Bridging Cultures

Table of Contents


Cross-cultural Issues.

Communication Barriers.

Personal Barriers.


Theories, Concepts and Frameworks.

Culturally Intelligent Way of Handling Issue.



Introduction to Bridging Cultures

The cross-culture concept refers to the differences among individuals who belong to different ethnicities, nationalities, and backgrounds. It is based on bridging the gap between cultures. With the concept of globalization, a need for cross-cultural understanding has increasing (Kafetsios, Hess & Nezlek, 2018). This report is based on the case study of "PharmaTECH Global". This is considered among the largest pharmaceutical companies in the international market whereas, through the case study, it can be noticed that the issue of cultural diversity can affect the project success of the organization. International business opportunities require an effective business and communication strategy that can help all individuals to maintain conversations and share their opinions. The project LOGOS of the organization is led by William in the case study that raises the issue of cross-cultural concept. This report aims to identify bridging cultures in the organization to benefit all the employees.

Cross-Cultural Issues

Global companies face different issues in working through different regions and people with different cultures. To manage services and products in the wider community, global companies develop an assumption of cultural diversity (Andresen& Bergdolt, 2017). Through a different cultural background, individuals usually perceive a different perception. In an environment of cultural diversity, people usually face the concept of prejudice. It is known as a common misconstruction of the idea regarding the new partner or people (Kafetsios, Hess & Nezlek, 2018). It requires the development of several adjustments to maintain the work through a cross-cultural environment. The cross-cultural concept is based on the thinking, behaviour, and attitudes of individuals. The given case study focuses on the core problems of cultural diversity such as language barriers, communication barriers, and prejudice. Cultural differences affect the behaviour of an individual that raises cultural issues at the workplace (Reiche, Stahl, Mendenhall & Oddou, 2016).

Communication Barriers

One of the essential elements of business is communication. It is critical in international companies to maintain effective communication where individuals speak different languages (Andresen & Bergdolt, 2017). The value of directions and professions is necessary while maintaining effective communication. The given case study of PharmaTECH Global concentrates upon the behaviour of all individuals and their characteristics that raises an issue of communication. Cultural differences promote sensitivity in professional interactions (Reiche, Stahl, Mendenhall & Oddou, 2016). Won Yang and Aiza Abad find difficulty in sharing their views in the team meeting while William does not respect the views of other individuals. Personal barriers create a gap among individuals to communicate effectively and share different views (Reiche, Stahl, Mendenhall & Oddou, 2016).

Personal Barriers

Personal barriers are related to emotions, attitudes, and behaviour of an individual. It affects the ability of an individual to communicate effectively (Savolainen, 2016). The individual behaviour of Aiza and Won reflects their barriers that are related to the individual capabilities to communicate. Lack of confidence and motivation affects the abilities of an individual to communicate with others. Through shy nature and disengagement, it can be noticed that an individual feels uncomfortable in conversation. An effective leader must understand the needs of the team members (Reiche, Stahl, Mendenhall & Oddou, 2016).


Prejudice is known as a negative attitude towards a member of the team. It is based on stereotyped beliefs, negative feelings, and discriminatory nature of an individual towards another team member (Reiche, Stahl, Mendenhall & Oddou, 2016). It is based on discrimination through intercultural communication that involves favourable and unfavourable treatment by a senior individual. The treatment of an individual is based on gender, race, religion, and ethnicity. Prejudice affects communication through the non-involvement of an individual and maintains their perception. The behaviour of William represents the concept of prejudice effectively that leads to cultural differences (Savolainen, 2016).

Theories, Concepts, and Frameworks of Bridging Cultures

Cross-cultural communication theory explains the phenomenon based on the research of cross-cultural concepts. It compares the individuals based on their diverse cultures and helps them to seek their contrasting behaviours (Savolainen, 2016). It is based on the concepts of collectivism, individualism, power distance, uncertainty avoidance, and high or low context communication. By generating different concepts in management, individuals can seek for their communication needs. The major issues identified in the case study are based on communication. Lack of communication resulted in the development of a negative perception (Sovacool& Griffiths, 2020). Discrimination can be seen through the behaviour of all individuals in front of Aiza Abad. Cross-cultural theories are based on human nature, culture, and individual personality. It represents human nature as inherited and universal concept while culture is learned by individuals and differs from specific to groups. Personality is a distinguished element that is a mixture of human nature and culture (Savolainen, 2016).

The 5-D model of Hofstede represents the layers of culture in the global organization. It represents different cultural dimensions that can classify cultural differences (Sotirov& Winkel, 2016). Classification of cultural differences is necessary to modify the issues and manage the cultural background of individuals. The major cultural dimensions as per the five-dimensional model of differences are power distance, collectivism vs individualism, uncertainty avoidance, femininity vs masculinity, and long term orientation to short term orientation (Savolainen, 2016).

Richard D. Lewis represents different cultural types based on the theories and countries. It classifies the different dimensions of different cultures. The way of thinking of an individual, changes with their behaviour and communication style. A global organization works in different cultural concepts. Each country individual reflects a specific cultural category (Sotirov & Winkel, 2016).Each group represents a specific characteristic or feature. The cultural categories are divided into three segments which are linear active multi-active and reactive. The specific country represents the characteristics of an individual with their cultural diversity (Sovacool & Griffiths, 2020).

Intercultural communication is necessary for global organizations. Through the case study, it can be noticed that each individual represents a significant characteristic while through the theories of cultural differences, organizational culture can be identified that can promote the individual characteristics of the employees and enhance equal opportunities (Sotirov & Winkel, 2016). Aiza, Victor, Gemma, Won, Haruto, Gunter, and William belong to different cultures that reflect their thoughts and beliefs. Cross-cultural communication can be seen with intercultural stress and miscommunication (Sovacool & Griffiths, 2020).

Culturally Intelligent Way of Handling Issue

Cultural intelligence stands for a concept that manages individual capacities to respond to the values, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviour of individuals using motivation, cognition, and behavioural capabilities to maintain desired responses (Ott & Michailova, 2018). The concept of cultural intelligence is important to manage diverse situations at the workplace and manage effective work practices among individuals. Effective communication and interaction promote cultural intelligence (Chao, Takeuchi & Farh, 2017).

Cultural intelligence can be effectively used in the organization to maintain the views and perspectives of all individuals and develop equal respect for team members. It can be derived through intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, managing knowledge and experience of other’s culture, acting positively for others and promoting awareness in the organization. Awareness creation is a major part of building cultural intelligence(Chao, Takeuchi & Farh, 2017). Through a clean mind, an individual can get knowledge about the cultures and traditions of another individual. It helps an individual to respect others. Moving towards a specific goal requires equal opportunities and an understanding of the needs of other employees as well. Cultural intelligence can be developed by creating awareness to maintain effective relationships, clear biases in the culture, and understand the situation of others (Ott & Michailova, 2018).

William can develop cultural intelligence to promote cultural diversity and manage all the employees effectively. To handle the issue of communication barriers and cultural differences in the global organization, cultural knowledge can be translated to maintain cross-cultural skills. It promotes team effectiveness (Ott & Michailova, 2018). Cultural knowledge promotes self-awareness and bridges the cultural gap. Cultural bridging promotes the development of an effective strategy that can repair cross-cultural relationships. Effective communication and managing effective relationships can fulfil the cultural differences and bridge the cultural gap. William can work as a transformative leader to maintain cultural diversity and bridge the cultural gap. Embracing cultural differences and overcoming cultural barriers can promote effective communication and help the individuals to work by overcoming intercultural differences. Interaction with the team members and mutual understanding help to promote a positive organizational culture (Chao, Takeuchi & Farh, 2017).

Conclusion on Bridging Cultures

It can be concluded that cross-cultural differences affect the success of the organization through the difference in thoughts, ideas, and beliefs. The given case study focuses on cross-cultural barriers and gaps that raise the issue for the organization. Working with cultural diversity is not an easy task. Effective cultural understanding and managing respect for all the individuals help to overcome discrimination among cultures. PharmaTECH Global company faces several issues related to cultural diversity which are language barriers, communication barriers, and prejudice. Cross-cultural communication follows the concepts that arise in the case study. Through the understanding of Lewin's 5-D model, individuals can overcome the gap of cultural differences. Cultural intelligence is an effective option for managing a culturally diverse organization. Cognitive, motivational, and behavioural techniques can promote cultural intelligence that can enhance the cultural understanding and bridge the gap of cultures in the organization.

References for Bridging Cultures

Andresen, M., & Bergdolt, F. (2017). A systematic literature review on the definitions of global mindset and cultural intelligence–merging two different research streams. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 28(1), 170-195.

Chao, M. M., Takeuchi, R., & Farh, J. L. (2017). Enhancing cultural intelligence: The roles of implicit culture beliefs and adjustment. Personnel Psychology, 70(1), 257-292.

Kafetsios, K., Hess, U., & Nezlek, J. B. (2018). Self-construal, the affective valence of the encounter, and quality of social interactions: Within and cross-culture examination. The Journal of Social Psychology, 158(1), 82-92.

Ott, D. L., & Michailova, S. (2018). Cultural intelligence: A review and new research avenues. International Journal of Management Reviews, 20(1), 99-119.

Reiche, B. S., Stahl, G. K., Mendenhall, M. E., & Oddou, G. R. (Eds.). (2016). Readings and cases in international human resource management. US: Taylor & Francis.

Savolainen, R. (2016). Approaches to socio-cultural barriers to information seeking. Library & Information Science Research, 38(1), 52-59.

Sotirov, M., & Winkel, G. (2016). Toward a cognitive theory of shifting coalitions and policy change: Linking the advocacy coalition framework and cultural theory. Policy Sciences, 49(2), 125-154.

Sovacool, B. K., & Griffiths, S. (2020). The cultural barriers to a low-carbon future: A review of six mobility and energy transitions across 28 countries. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 119, 109569.

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