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The Interface of Business and Culture

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Michael B. Hinner

Humans need to communicate in order to interact with one another, and culture helps regulate such interaction and communication. The same is true in the world of business since there, too, people interact and communicate with one another. And in today’s globalized world, it is inevitable that many such encounters and interactions involve people of diverse cultural background. That is why it is so imperative that business people understand how culture influences human behavior and communication, including their own. This knowledge will provide a better understanding of not just one’s own behavior, but also that of one’s international business partners, employees, and customers. So who better to explain the influence of culture than some of the leading experts in the field? These contributing authors cover a wide spectrum of topics that range from general principles of intercultural communication to very specific aspects of culture’s influence in particular business contexts. These insights should prove to be interesting, perceptive, and useful to many international business transactions and interactions.

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Intercultural Personhood: Globalization and a Way of Thinking - Young Yun Kim 563

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563 Introduction to Intercultural Personhood: Globalization and a Way of Being By Young Yun Kim Young Yun Kim notes that the world is changing rapidly, bringing different cul- tures, nationalities, races, religions, and linguistic communities closer together than ever before. Individuals are challenged to face and interact with people of different cultural background so as to be able to move beyond their customary imagination in search of creative solutions to problems. As the physical boundaries are reduced, ethnic and national rivalries have increased, Kim ob- serves. Some of the most passionate domestic and international conflicts in- volve differing identities; particularly along tribal, racial, and religious lines. The relatively simple consensus in the vision of a diverse yet peaceful and de- mocratic society is being challenged by one that upholds a particular group iden- tity in the place of the larger identity of national and world citizenry. Kim points out that often absent in the identity polemics are the main ideals of multi- culturalism itself; namely, that people of different ethnic roots can coexist, learn from one another, and that they can and should look across and beyond the fron- tiers of traditional group boundaries with minimum prejudice or illusion and learn to strive for a society and a world that celebrates diversity side by side with unifying cohesion. Kim discusses intercultural personhood as a constructive way of being a mem- ber of increasingly integrated communities at a local and global scale. This is a way of relating oneself and others...

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