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Communication and PR from a Cross-Cultural Standpoint

Practical and Methodological Issues

Edited By Valérie Carayol and Alex Frame

How should we approach cultural diversity in the workplace? Multinational corporations, transnational project teams and glocalised production and distribution processes raise challenging issues for communication and PR professionals. The complex nature of these communication processes often shows that existing models of cross-cultural or intercultural communication are inadequate to allow researchers or professionals get to grips with the complexity of the interactions encountered.
This book aims to pinpoint and address the apparent limits of many traditional intercultural communication research methods when they are applied to real situations in today’s hybrid and cosmopolitan global organisations. Written by distinguished scholars from around the world, the chapters challenge traditional ways of thinking and established academic categorisations. The chapters are structured around three main lines of questioning: how can we approach multicultural teambuilding situations where culture is a multi-faceted and multi-level dynamic construct linked to identity and experience, rather than ‘simply’ a question of national habitus; how can we study emerging concepts, categories and practices in such situations using culturally sensitive qualitative research methods; and how can we approach the field of PR from very different cultural standpoints?

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PART I. PEOPLE AND CULTURES: LOOKING BEYOND NATIONALITY IN MULTICULTURAL SETTINGS

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PART I PEOPLE AND CULTURES: LOOKING BEYOND NATIONALITY IN MULTICULTURAL SETTINGS 15 CHAPTER 1 Beyond Stereotypes: Utilising a Generic Competency Approach to Develop Intercultural Effectiveness Stuart REID Associate Fellow, University of Warwick Centre for Applied Linguistics Helen SPENCER-OATEY Director, University of Warwick Centre for Applied Linguistics Introduction In 2002, the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) initiated a £4 million programme, the Sino-UK eLearning Programme (known as the eChina-UK Programme)1 in collaboration with the Chinese Ministry of Education. The aim of the programme was to promote educational collaboration between the two countries, particularly in relation to ICT-based curricula. In order to achieve this, several teams of people at various British and Chinese universities were funded to work together on a set of projects, because it was felt that this would be the most effective way of enhancing mutual understanding. After two phases of the programme, HEFCE decided that the amount of (tacit) learning that had taken place through these partnerships was so substantial that it ought to be captured in some way. The participants’ learning in relation to working effectively across cultures was particularly profound, and so HEFCE funded a Phase 3 project to research and help capture this element. This became known as the 1 Project website available at: . Communication and PR from a Cross-Cultural Standpoint 16 Global People project, and it ran from late autumn 2007 to the summer of 2009. Outputs from this project included an intercultural competency framework, a life cycle model for those...

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