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Communication and PR from a Cross-Cultural Standpoint

Practical and Methodological Issues

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 II. OBSERVING EMERGING FORMS IN MULTICULTURAL CONTEXTS: TOWARDS A QUALITATIVE APPROACH IN CROSS-CULTURAL RESEARCH

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PART II OBSERVING EMERGING FORMS IN MULTICULTURAL CONTEXTS: TOWARDS A QUALITATIVE APPROACH IN CROSS-CULTURAL RESEARCH 57 CHAPTER 4 New Challenges in Cross-Cultural Communication Studies Valérie CARAYOL MICA, EA 4426, Université de Bordeaux 3 Organizational scholars interested in intercultural approaches or cross-cultural communication and PR studies need to take into consideration the way organizations are being affected by globalization, without minimizing associated socio-political issues. This should be seen as an opportunity to relinquish strictly mono-disciplinary approaches in favor of a broader understanding of complex communication situations, and therefore to embrace interdisciplinary approaches. In this way, scholars can take into consideration the different levels of analysis that these cross-cultural approaches can produce and the different methodologies that can be used. In this light, qualitative studies may appear more suitable than macro-social and often comparative ones, namely in a bid to avoid the dangers of essentializing culture or identity. After a brief definition of the perimeter of cross-cultural studies, we will develop these questions and highlight the possibilities and difficulties faced when seeking to implement new research perspectives in communication and PR studies. Defining Cross-Cultural and Intercultural Studies Christophe Vatier (2003) stresses that the distinction between cross- cultural or intercultural studies has faded over time. In the 2000s, he writes, comparative (cross-cultural) studies were distinguished from the studies of face-to-face (intercultural) interactions. He goes on to suggest that these distinctions have since tended to disappear and that the terms are now used in an almost undifferentiated way. According to him, five types...

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