Cultural Differences, Stereotypes and Communication Needs in Intercultural Communication in a Global Multicultural Environment. The Employees’ Perspective

This study examines the personal opinions of Chinese employees working in a multicultural environment on the relationship between cultural diversity and the efficacy of their communication in a multicultural environment. To better understand the connection between cultural background and efficient business communication, we conducted a questionnaire survey in 2014 among 20 employees from a Chinese subsidiary of a European top global manufacturing company. Analyses showed that even if the respondents expressed negative effects of cultural differences on communication, they also manifested positive attitudes toward intercultural interactions. Moreover, ignoring or even disrespecting the different cultural values of interactants were regarded as basic barriers in intercultural communication, and such barriers can be avoided when a different cultural background is respected. Although cultural differences were considered to hinder the respondents’ performance and often to be a source of dissatisfaction, they did not discourage them from entering into intercultural communication.

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