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Effective Business Communication Cultures

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Discuss about the Effective Business Communication Cultures.



In the cotemporary world of rising globalization, the business organizations have been experiencing an immense issue to communicate with the people from different cultures. As the culture is a major conditioner of the human perspectives, any individual from different culture inherits different ways of interpretation, hearing, seeing as well as thinking. In addition to that, there are numbers of different languages, which poses greater problem for mutual communication between two individuals from different culture. The communication model play a significant role in resolving these issues rose from cultural differences. Lewis Model has been highly popular in maintaining organizational stability and growth in multicultural context. The current report will reveal the role of Lewis model in resolving communication issues from cultural differences.

Cultural Barriers to Effective Communication:

The extensive study on the cultural problem with regards to communication has revealed that there are three major constraints, which interfere with effective cross-cultural understanding. These constraints are cognitive constraints, behaviour constraints as well as emotional constraints (Kinloch & Metge, 2014). The cognitive constraints refer to the framework, every culture provides, by which an individual discern every information of the real world. For example, low voice can be interpreted as weakness in various cultures, whereas in other culture it can be interpreted as politeness (Ulijn, 2017). At the same time, behaviour constraints refer to the rules of standard behaviour set by different culture (Bochner, 2013). For instance, the hugging can be considered as camaraderie in one culture, while in others it can be considered as violation of personal space. On the other hand, the emotional constraints are known by different levels of emotional display in different culture. Some cultures express greater level of emotion while debating an issue, while other try to exhibit rational aspects of the situation. All of these constraints immensely hinder the effective communication by creating a number of interferences (Asante, Miike & Yin, 2013). One of the most important barriers noted in the communication is language barriers. The practice of different language in different culture creates greater chance of misunderstanding at the time of communication. Sometimes, certain culture holds assumptions regarding any particular trait of other cultures. These stereotypes often noted as being hostile, and creates multitude of problems during the communication (Adler & Graham, 2017). The practice of different belief system also creates unnecessary image of others.


Lewis Model:

British linguist Richard Lewis has been able to plot the world cultures on a chart. The scholars of the cultural study believe that the model of Lewis has been quite effective to identify the distinct traits of various cultures (Rice & Nguyen, 2015). The Lewis model plots the countries on three categories, which are linear active, multi-active as well as reactive. The traits of these categories are described below:

Linear active: This category signifies the people who pursue action chain, organize, schedule and plan. The group includes German and Swiss.

Multi-active: This particular category reveals the lively, loquacious people, which include Arabs, Latin Americans as well as Italians.

Figure 1: Lewis Model of Culture

(Source: Ronen & Shenkar, 2013)

Reactive: This category involves the people who emphasize on the courtesy and respect. This group includes Finns, Japanese as well as Chinese.

The behaviours of these categories are mentioned in the following table.




Talks very limited time

Talks maximum time

Listen maximum time

Performs one task at a time

Performs several tasks at a time

Depends on the action of the Partners

Focus on strict planning

Focus on brief outline

Emphasize on principles

Direct but polite


Polite and indirect

Role of Lewis model in resolving communication issues:

According to Lewis, an individual can calculate and foresee the possible reaction of others by focusing on their cultural roots of national behaviour (Stahl & Tung, 2015). The cultural roots would be also effective for making any assumption with regards to their possible approach in any situation. The implementation of the Lewis model immensely improves the accuracy of management in the global world (Ferraro & Brody, 2015). It has been identified that every cross cultural communication needs a certain degree of knowledge about the partner’s cultures. It has been observed that most of the time, misunderstanding occurs due to misunderstanding of different cultural traits. The Lewis model effectively provides a greater opportunity to understand the traits in different culture. The model provides a greater insight to the organization in the context of making any move in different cultural environment. The organization can evaluate the moves in the light of Lewis model (Edwards, Davey & Armstrong, 2013). This way they would be able to assume the reaction of general populace. The business communication is also greatly supported by this model. The organization attains a proper understanding of the customer base and plans their business approach with greater success. In addition to that, Lewis Model is also quite effective in the context of negotiation. The management would be able to plan their way out quite efficiently as they would be successfully assume the opponent’s approach. In other words, the Lewis Model has the capability to enhance the cross cultural communication, whether it is one to one interactive communication or the business communication with target audiences.


The above-described report has successfully disclosed the cross-cultural issues in the context of communication. It has been identified that there are three major constraints, which interfere with effective cross-cultural understanding. These constraints are cognitive constraints, behaviour constraints as well as emotional constraints. The report has been also able to describe the Lewis model which would be most effective for cross cultural communication. The Lewis model plots the countries on three categories, which are linear active, multi-active as well as reactive. The report has been successful to depict the traits of individual category. The report also discussed the role of Lewis model in cross cultural communication.



Adler, N. J., & Graham, J. L. (2017). Cross-cultural Interaction: The International Comparison Fallacy?. In Language in International Business (pp. 33-58). Springer International Publishing.

Asante, M. K., Miike, Y., & Yin, J. (2013). The global intercultural communication reader. Routledge.

Bochner, S. (Ed.). (2013). Cultures in contact: Studies in cross-cultural interaction (Vol. 1). Elsevier.

Edwards, J. R., Davey, J., & Armstrong, K. (2013). Returning to the roots of culture: A review and re-conceptualisation of safety culture. Safety science, 55, 70-80.

Ferraro, G., & Brody, E. K. (2015). Cultural Dimension of Global Business. Routledge.

Kinloch, P., & Metge, J. (2014). Talking past each other: Problems of cross cultural communication. Victoria University Press.

Rice, W. S., & Nguyen, H. B. (2015). Linguistic politeness: the backbone of cross-cultural communication within a second language environment.

Ronen, S., & Shenkar, O. (2013). Mapping world cultures: Cluster formation, sources and implications. Journal of International Business Studies, 44(9), 867-897.

Stahl, G. K., & Tung, R. L. (2015). Towards a more balanced treatment of culture in international business studies: The need for positive cross-cultural scholarship. Journal of International Business Studies, 46(4), 391-414.

Ulijn, J. M. (2017). The Anglo-Germanic and Latin concepts of politeness and time in cross-atlantic business communication: from cultural misunderstanding to management success. HERMES-Journal of Language and Communication in Business, 8(15), 53-79.

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