PITFALLS OF CROSS-CULTURAL COMMUNICATION

Abstract. From the period of Hofstede’s survey cross-cultural communication being a relatively minor field in cultural studies has attracted attention within academicians and gained popularity. This isa result of growing needs as businessmen find it necessary to develop communication techniques that bridge disparate cultures. Global technology expansion, the interconnectedness of the globalized economy hasmade such contact constantly more common. Richard Lewis, Robert T. Craig, Fons Trompenaars, etc. have expanded the field and categorized cultural differences to aid in communication. The refinement ofcommunication has a clear-cut goal to solve problems that transcend cultural borders. Despite the essential nature of its application,the practice of cross-cultural communication appears to be limited frombeing
considered a science or serious field of research. There are three main arguments that consist of a methodological basis, a definitional basis, and an empirical one. Firstly, “communication” is a nebulous and illdefined term that differs in meaning according to contexts of technical field and cultural background. Additionally, communication is not an entity that exists itself but rather is an informational link between two separate entities. Therefore, communication can be studied only
through the lens of separate fields that relate to these entities. Lastly, communication cannot meet the criteria of a science through theScientific Method because of the lack of a controlled experiment. Crosscultural communication therefore cannot exist as a “hard science” without a substantive transformation. Communication is a process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs, behavior. This vague definition is divided into numerous categories depending on field of study and its use. According to Craig, they can be summed into seven traditions: rhetorical, semiotic, phenomenological, cybernetic, sociopsychological, sociocultural, critical. Each of these differ radically by process of handling distinct aspects of communication with unique goals in mind. Asconsequence, their research process is also at odds in procedure. This divide is exemplified by the difference between the field of cybernetics, established through mathematical theory of communication such as that by Claude Shannon and critical theory, which derives from a more philosophical and ideological basis (according to Craig).
Keywords: communication science, insufficiency of empiricism, a
constantly evolving system

Gregory Herbst1 , Larissa Talalova 2
1
Ningbo University
Ningbo, China
e-mail: gregherbst97@yahoo.com
2
State University of Management
Moscow, Russia
e-mail: talalova@gmail.com
ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1380-2339

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