Talk:Intercultural Communication

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Christina Merl, 2009/10/20

Dear all,

I hope you can help me do a little brainstorm...

My question to you: Which topics would you like to find in an international magazine's special issue on Intercultural Communication?

Many thanks for your inputs!

If there's anyone who would like to submit an article, please let me know as well!

Ramin Assa, 2009/10/20

Dear Christina,

This is a very interesting and often complex topic. Two frequenlty overlooked areas are: 1) non-verbal communications and clues, 2) a sense of time and urgency.

Nancy White, 2009/10/20

I'd love to see something on the role of visuals and non verbal practices that can help enhance intercultural communications!

Peter Beez, 2009/10/20

All the don'ts you should avoid when coming into a different culture:

Look straight in the eyes of a Mossi in Burkina Faso when greeting him. Slap "Asians" jovially on the back. Forget to bow in Japan. Receive and give things with two hands in Korea. And so on.

A special on every country over years with sources and links.

That would be fantastic,



Peter Beez Dr. rer. pol. Asesor Tématico Regional Cooperación Suiza en América Central Managua, Nicaragua

James J. Tarrant, 2009/10/20

Never point with your index finger at someone in Ethiopia and never curl your index finger (as in come here) at someone in Indonesia. Both are considered rude gestures and in lots of countries don't sit with your leg crossed so that the sole of your shoe is pointing at someone.

James J. Tarrant, PhD Senior Manager International Resources Group (IRG)

Beatrice Murray, 2009/10/20

Polite ways of saying no to requests (and how to recognise that a request is being refused); different ways of dealing with disputes; and showing feelings.

A. Beatrice Murray Division Head IT+C, Knowledge Management International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development GPO Box 3226, Khumaltar, Lalitpur, Kathmandu, Nepal.

Benjamin Kumpf, 2009/10/20

Formulating and dealing with (critical) feedback in professional contexts; dealing with uncertainties and ambiguity; differences within one "culture" disaggregated into identified sub-cultures regarding whatever your research question is, e.g. tolerance of ambiguity or images of masculinity and femininity.

Pete Cranston, 2009/10/20

  1. Don't talk about Scotch in Scotland unless you're paying.
  2. This cries out for a rapid amalgamation in the wiki, as does the current thread on impact. I volunteer to do one after mid-November but haven't got time to keep up with the flurry of rich threads atm let alone fold them into a wiki post. Any volunteers?

Joitske Hulsebosch, 2009/10/20

Hi Christina, a lot of relevant topics have been mentioned.

I would be curious to know whether migration and globalisation (and even online gaming) have let to a change in intercultural communication skills. Somehow I have the impression my daughters are already in an intercultural environment at school- which wasn't the case when I was young. They grow up with muslims, hindus, catholics and experience that at friends' homes there are very different rules. Immigrants are already bicultural.

Not sure who would qualify to write such an article though...

Christina Merl, 2009/10/20

Hi everyone,

Thank you so much for your wonderful feedback! I would like to point out again that we are looking for topics that can be covered in academic papers.. At the same time I realise that many of you have had "intercultural" experiences.. so we indeed should go deeper here... I love the wiki-suggestion! I don't think something like that exists?

Looking fwd to more thoughts on that!

Margarita Salas, 2009/10/20

Hey Christine and all the km4devers,

Regarding topics for an intercultural journal I would love to see a piece on how different contexts and socialization processes have a bearing in communication and interaction styles. Also, it would be great to see some reflections on how historic events (such as dictatorships) influence networking patterns and mechanisms. I find that often enough IM + KS methodologies do not make the context in which they work explicit enough.

cheers from sunny and rainy Costa Rica,


Margarita Salas Cooperative Sula Batsu

Kim Tucker, 2009/10/21

Hi all,

One option is for this km4dev community to write a wiki book.

e.g. start here:

Type "Inter-cultural Communication" into the text field above the button "Create a book" and click on the button.

I did a quick search for something similar on Wikibooks and found this:

The same approach can be done on WikiEducator. Here is an example of a book produced there: Version 1.0 is available on Lulu:

Here is where to start with WikiEducator:

or do a free course:


Nancy White, 2009/10/21

There is also our own KM4Dev wiki at

Pete Cranston, 2009/10/21

yes, that is more what I had in mind - simply recording the conversation highlights on our wiki

Judith Henderson, 2009/10/21

How about English in its different forms and guises...just because we all profess to speak the language doesn't necessarily mean we always understand each other - as I have found out all too often...

Judith Henderson HELIOS cc Henderson Library and Information Services Windhoek Namibia

Martine Poolman, 2009/10/21

Hi Christina and others,

Some reference was made to it already, but I'd also like to give intercultural a slightly different twist by defining intercultural communication not as only between people from different countries and generations, but also as the interaction between people with different backgrounds and experiences. For example; a farmer, an engineer and a religious leader are all involved in or subject to the (re)development of something. I have a feeling that this difference is often overlooked in academic papers.

Kinds regards, Martine Poolman, PhD student Water Resources Management Faculty of Civil Engineering, Delft University of Technology

Christina Merl, 2009/10/21

Dear Martine,

Excellent! Thanks a lot for pointing to this...