In this MNC oil and gas industry, linguistic and communication diversity has been an eternal issue. It is important to note that in multinational companies in particular for local ones, employees are not well versed in language diversity and hence delivering wrong messages. There are challenges in communicating properly with other employees hence cause the impact among the teams and cause the miscommunication. This misunderstanding affects the group members and leads to a negative attitude towards each other (Jakob, 2011).
The fact that we are in the TECH world today, various media are available for communication. However, there many times we failed and increasingly the linguistic diversity because of the existence barrier (Feely, 2003). The impact of the language diversity is associated with the tone of voice, pronunciation, slang and speed of conversation of the person. This difference is commonly noticed among individuals from different other nationality, example the message could be as simple as greeting ‘how are you’ in Australia the greeting would be ‘good day mate’ but for the local will be heard wrongly with the meaning of ‘go die mate’. As for Malaysian, the sentences will always end with ‘LAH’ with the mixture conversation of Malays language for example ‘I kena check with him’ means ‘I need to check or confirm with him’.
Language barrier interferes with effective communication in a workplace. It suffices to point out that in circumstances where the receiver has preconceived ideas, communication becomes a challenge. For instance, when the receiver only hears what s/he wants to hear on the basis of personal opinions, ideas, and views, the information that is being communicated is distorted (Steyaert, C., Ostendorp, & Gaibrois, 2016). In some cases, there occurs denial of contrary information. This distortion happens when the message that is communicated has some conflicts with the kind of information that the receiver acknowledges to be valid.
Consequently, a situation arises where the receiver ends up rejecting the information or the message from the sender (Woo, & Giles, 2017). In most cases, communication breaks down because the message that is being put across by the sender possesses a different meaning to the one known by the receiver. Further, communication requires interest, trust, and motivation for it to be effective (Woo, & Giles, 2017). The language barrier is also brought about by the variations in the dialects. The meanings attached to a particular dialect appears to be different from the other and therefore, constraining communication.
It is worth noting that in the contemporary world, communication is evolutionary and dynamic in nature. The issue of intercultural communication is imperative to the company because its workforce is drawn from different cultural backgrounds (Gavin et al., 2017; Steyaert, C., Ostendorp, & Gaibrois, 2016). It is imperative to note that in many cases employees fail to communicate effectively because they often assume similarity instead of appreciating the differences in their cultures (Ahmad, 2016; Woo, & Giles, 2017). In addition, communication has been ineffective because messages sent or received are packaged with a lot of prejudice and stereotypes. It is vital to note that in communicating effectively, employees ought to appreciate the value systems of colleagues so that conflict does not arise in the company.
In the modern times when the world is turning into a global village, people must understand how culture affects communication. Culture is important in the communication process because it influences how people perceive and understand messages that are sent to them (Atkinson, & Kelly-Holmes, 2016). There is a plethora of literature that supports the argument that people from different cultures encode and decode messages in various ways. As a result, misunderstanding is inevitable as the communication and the messages are altered (Steyaert, C., Ostendorp, & Gaibrois, 2016).
Ahmad, F. (2016). Knowledge sharing in organizations: language diversity and performance. Informaatiotutkimus, 35(3), 15-16.
Atkinson, D., & Kelly-Holmes, H. (2016). Exploring language attitudes and ideologies in university students’ discussion of Irish in a context of increasing language diversity. Language and Intercultural Communication, 16(2), 199-215.
Feely, A. J., & Harzing, A. W. (2003). Language management in multinational companies. Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, 10(2), 37-52.
Gavin, M. C., Rangel, T. F., Bowern, C., Colwell, R. K., Kirby, K. R., Botero, C. A., ... & Gray, R. D. (2017). Process?based modelling shows how climate and demography shape language diversity. Global Ecology and Biogeography.
Lauring, J., & Selmer, J. (2011). Multicultural organizations: common language, knowledge sharing and performance. Personnel Review, 40(3), 324-343.
Steyaert, C., Ostendorp, A., & Gaibrois, C. (2016). 8. Multilingual organizations as ‘linguascapes’ and the discursive position of English. A Guide to Discursive Organizational Psychology, 168.
Woo, D., & Giles, H. (2017). Language attitudes and intergroup dynamics in multilingual organizations. International Journal of Cross Cultural Management, 17(1), 39-52.
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