Skip main navigation

New offer! Get 30% off your first 2 months of Unlimited Monthly. Start your subscription for just £29.99 £19.99. New subscribers only. T&Cs apply

Find out more

Benefiting from intercultural communication

Our international team of scholars comment on their views ,motivations, and applications for intercultural communication.
[Dr.Dharm Bhawuk] Good morning. Welcome to this programme on intercultural communication. You are going to have a wonderful time learning wonderful ideas, and you’ll be able to go and conquer the world. Culture shapes everything that we do. All activities are shaped by culture. All our products that we develop for consumption is shaped by culture. How we price products is shaped by culture. How we promote our product is shaped by culture. In marketing, we talk about place, and every place has a culture. So culture actually shapes everything. All managerial roles are shaped by culture. Decision making is shaped by culture. Communication is shaped by culture.
Now, when culture shapes each of these behaviours, it usually provides one right way of doing it, one best way of doing it. And then when we work internationally, globally, then we need to deal with more than one right way of doing things. So every culture has its own correct way of doing things. And intercultural communication helps us build that bridge to connect two right things and make one right thing. So we talk about creating a third culture. But often we may just use one right way, but we need to adjust to it. Now, how do we adjust to intercultural differences, to culture differences?
This course will provide you all the necessary tools that you can use to lead a successful business career. But also, you will be able to use these tools in your own life, to have a richer, fruitful, and productive life. So I wish you all the success with this course, and I’m sure you will learn the tools for your self-development also. Best of luck. [Dr. Yan Bing ZHANG] Communication is an ongoing process of sharing and understanding meaning. Broadly speaking, culture is everything that unites us and divides us. In an age of globalization, the world around us is getting increasingly more plural, sophisticated, social, and mediated.
As we all know that human beings have an innate need to love, to be loved, and to affiliate with others and groups, and are in constant competition and comparison with each other to seek for positive distinctiveness. While social group memberships enhance our self esteem and well being in general, they are also the categorizations that are considered the root of evil– namely stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination. So in order to have positive intergroup relations, we needed to increase our knowledge about outgroups in general, establish effective ties with outgroups members, accept outgroups members, and to reevaluate our cultural practises and biases. Each of which is an outcome of increased contact with outgroups members.
The study of intercultural communication enhances our understanding of the intergroup processes and the dynamics and mechanisms between contact and attitude. Thus, we become informed citizens, leaders, and advocates in understanding ways in which communication sustains and erodes collaboration within and amonglocal, national, and global communities. Thank you so much. [Dr. Darla Deardorff] To me, the importance of studying intercultural communication in higher education is really that it’s at the heart of what higher education is all about. And in fact, in international higher education, there is quite a bit of research that shows intercultural learning and intercultural competence is really emerging as a key focus of higher education.
Because not only does it– this intercultural confidence, intercultural learning– help to prepare students for the 21st century, in a world in which they are going to live and work, but it also really responds to key fundamental challenge facing all of us as humans. And that is the question of what is necessary for us to get along together as humans sharing this planet And intercultural communication, intercultural competence, really becomes the key to understanding how we can get along together as humans, as we address the critical global challenges that face all of us. Whether it’s climate change, poverty, or global health, there’s so many crucial global challenges that face us as humans.
And as Martin Luther King Jr said, “We must learn to live together as brothers, or perish together as fools.” And this really becomes the summary of why intercultural communication is so important within higher education today.

Three international experts are invited to comment on the benefits of this course. In turn, they emphasize the importance of intercultural communication from international business, intergroup, and education perspectives.

Having scholar/practitioners explain the value of intercultural learning from their respective fields can give you a picture of how relevant this topic is. Not only are their viewpoints motivating, but each provides ideas that we will refer to again when we review the contents of the coming four weeks.

If any of their thoughts inspire you or challenge your thinking, please let us know what you were impressed by.
This article is from the free online

Intercultural Communication: Dynamics of cultural identities in global interaction

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now