Cross-cultural gaps are a common element of workplaces that involve foreign contacts and partnerships. Acknowledgment of cross-cultural gaps provides a strategic advantage and fosters effective communication within an organization or partnership. Even though there are certain types of cross-cultural gaps, they are not perceived as absolutes and allow variations to avoid stereotyping. There are six areas of cultural tendencies in total: language, understanding of interpersonal space, communication, time orientation, religion, law, and political stability.
The most prominent area for possible gaps in communication with foreign colleagues is the language barrier. While hiring a translator or using an interpretation app might be helpful on one-time occasions, learning the language is recommended for effective workplace communication in perspective as it shows commitment. The second important area where cultural gaps could occur is the perception of interpersonal space. There could be various understandings of vital aspects of communications, such as the closeness range during the conversations, depending on the cultural background (Kinicki & Breaux-Soignet, 2021). Attention to cultural differences in this area is necessary to maintain a respectful approach to the conversation or circumstances, such as COVID-19 social distancing.
The other area that also relates to the country’s cultural background is communication. Learning more information on the country’s social culture and addressing significant concerns prior to important meetings will help avoid awkward situations and miscommunications. In addition to addressing the cultural concerns beforehand, it is vital to research the other organization’s policies on time, scheduling, and lateness, as it is polite to be slightly late in some countries.
Lastly, cross-cultural gaps include the most important aspects of religion and law and political stability. Religion could be the main source of culture in a country; thus, in attaining a partnership with an organization from a highly religious country, people are recommended to keep their adherence to religion private. The law and political stability aspect, on the other hand, implies transparency in conveying the organization’s relations with the law and the state and notifying the company about nuances of law between the two countries.
In conclusion, this report summarized six major tendencies in the cross-cultural gaps and recommendations to workplaces. Acknowledgment of cross-cultural gaps could establish a foundation for strong and reliable connections in the future. To address the six basic cultural areas in a workforce, I would recommend cross-cultural-focused training for employees. The training could improve employees’ effective communication skills and provide additional opportunities for development across the organization.
Kinicki, A., & Breaux-Soignet, D. (2021). Management: A practical introduction (10th ed.). McGraw-Hill Education.