Chapter 12: Intercultural Communication

Workforce demographics are changing organizational landscapes and how we work and communicate with others. What might be professional in one cultural context may not be seen as professional in another. We need to be adaptable and open to understanding others’ values and preferences to adhere to the platinum rule in business–treat others as they wish to be treated. In this chapter, you will expand your concept of culture to see how intercultural communication does not just happen between people who are from different countries, and no one is immune to cultural bias. We will also think locally about how our language can influence organizational climate and affect our relationships with colleagues.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this chapter, you should be able to:

  • Define and identify the effects of ethnocentrism.
  • Identify common cultural characteristics.
  • Compare divergent cultural characteristics.
  • Practice speaking in culturally aware and inclusive ways.
  • Recognize microaggressions and their influence on organizational climate.


This chapter was adapted from the following Open Education Resource:

Business Communication for Success by University of Minnesota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

Adaptations included editing tone, images, removing content to align the chapter with BCOM210 course learning objectives, and revising examples for an FHSU student population, and adding some original exercises to align with course objectives.


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

Introduction to Professional Development Copyright © 2022 by Rachel Dolechek & Rose Helens-Hart is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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