Frameworks for the management of cross-cultural communication and business performance in the globalizing economy: a professional service TNC case study in Indonesia
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Globalization increases the integration and interdependence of international, national and local business and stakeholder communities across economic, political and cultural spheres. Communication technology and the international role for English suggest the integrating global communication reality is simplifying. Experience indicates integration produces complex heterogeneous dialogue and asymmetrical relationships with no shared interpretative systems. The global/national/local nexus presents management with universal and particular paradoxes mediated through diverse contextual micro communication practices and behaviours. This thesis derives from a professional service (environmental engineering) TNC request for help to address the business communication and performance concerns implicated in the production of professional bi-lingual English and Indonesian reports for clients. At the heart of this corporate concern lie the multicultural nature of interactions between the individuals, organizations and wider stakeholders involved in the Jakarta, Indonesian branch office operations. A developing nation adds further complexity. This thesis contends that these micro organizational concerns link to critical macro economic, political, and cultural societal concerns for the development of more responsive ethical and sustainable management and governance. This thesis argues for an elevated notion of the role of communication management to enable business to pursue more sustainable goals, improve business performance, and address the issue of risk. The thesis reviews multidisciplinary literature to develop a multifaceted theoretical framework that links macro management issues to this micro contextual concern.This framework guides a qualitative research strategy to apply an ethnographic-oriented case study-based methodology to map the diverse worldviews of a sample of the Indonesian professional staff, their local senior expatriate management, and Headquarters. The case study assesses the impact of diverse worldviews on the interactions, relationships and performances involved in a specific project involving the international investment sector, a national proponent developer, the national regulatory agency, local and indigenous stakeholder communities and the consulting TNC. The findings have implications for the management of international business, the higher education sector and civil society organizations.
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