Question 1 (Marks: 30)
Analyse the following scenario and then answer the questions that follow with reference to this

Luyanda recently joined a new company as the head of the customer-service department. At this company of 50 employees, Luyanda is one of only two black women, and she is the only woman in a management position. The majority of employees, and all the other managers, are Chinese men. There is a clear dominant cultural group at this organisation, as all employees from other cultural groups are expected to do things “the Chinese way”.

This involves early-morning meetings, high expectations of punctuality, and long work hours to finish projects on time as there is a big sense of responsibility on each employee to give their all in their work. Verbal communication is kept to the minimum and people tend not to express their intentions or needs openly. As there is a high reliance on nonverbal cues, all meeting take place in person and not online. This company does not allow employees to work from home. Relationship- building is important at the company, and therefore it is expected that employees frequently have lunch together in the cafeteria. All the other managers have lots of ambition and are very focused on achievements and success, but achievement belongs to the collective group rather than one individual. While success is important, the group is more patient to wait for results as they believe one must persevere to achieve greatness, which is more important than a series of quick results.

Q.1 Describe Luyanda’s new workplace culture based on the work of theorists Hall and Hofstede.
• You must identify (for 10 marks), five relevant cultural values and value- dimensions based on the evidence in the scenario, and
• Explain (for 20 marks) these concepts in more detail with your own examples. Do not exceed 800 words. Reference all material correctly.

Question 2 (Marks: 30)
Analyse the following scenario and then answer the questions that follow with reference to this case.

During the first three months at her new job, Luyanda has found it difficult at times to get along with her colleagues, especially her fellow managers. Remember that all the other managers at the company are Chinese. During the month of September, Luyanda proposed to the managers that everyone at the office must bring a signature dish from his or her culture to share with everyone for lunch. She wants to draw attention to a small but diverse group of non-Chinese employees and hopefully create a more inclusive work environment.

Unfortunately, the idea was met with strong disapproval, and one colleague even made the comment, “Why must we eat weird food? We all know Chinese food is the best anyway. That’s why you all keep buying Chinese take aways”. Another colleague said: “We don’t like to eat samp.
That is the only signature dish African people have – samp. It is all they eat morning and night.”

Despite this incident, Luyanda gets along with most of her colleagues, except for the Marketing manager, Lu. Lu tends to avoid interacting with Luyanda at all costs. When Luyanda tries to talk to Lu, he seems awkward and quickly leaves the room. They have hardly had any conversation since Luyanda joined the team. When Luyanda asked a co-worker why Lu does not want to interact with her, she is told that “Lu has never worked directly with a black person before, and he is very afraid that he will say or do something wrong. He feels that black people, especially women, can get
upset quickly if they feel wronged.”

Q.2 Identify the three intercultural barriers that Luyanda is experiencing in this scenario and Discuss (for 15 Marks) the negative impact of these barriers to intercultural communication in the workplace.

Further motivate (for 15 Marks) your answer with evidence from the scenario.

Do not exceed 800 words and reference all material correctly. (30)

Question 3 (Marks: 30)
Analyse the following scenario and then answer the questions that follow with reference to this case.

Despite not having a great work relationship, Lu, the marketing manager, and Luyanda, the consumer-relationship manager, are instructed to work together to fix a series of recent customer complaints.
During the meetings, these two colleagues experience more conflict. Luyanda believes that the best course of action to address the customer complaints are to issue a statement of apology to all affected customers. Lu strongly disagrees and maintains that it is bad marketing and that apologising means the company admitting it made a mistake.
Luyanda maintains that open and honest communication is the best way to maintain customer relationships, but Lu says loyalty to the reputation of the company is more important.
Luyanda explains that if the complaints are not addressed, the company will lose the customers,
and that she is trying to prevent this from happening. Lu on the other hand says his top priority is to make the company look good and to attract new customers.

Q 3.1 Identify the three types of conflicts that Luyanda and Lu are experiencing
Motivate your answer by describing the conflict type with evidence from the scenario. Do not exceed 500 words. Reference all material correctly. (10)

Q.3.2 Explain (for 15 marks) the four conflict resolutions styles available for people who experience intercultural conflict. Then, recommend which of these four styles Luyanda and Lu could use to overcome their differences. Motivate your answer (for 5 marks). Do not exceed 800 words. Reference all material correctly. (20)

Question 4 (Marks: 30)
South Africa is rich in cultural diversity which makes the chances of working in a multicultural environment high. Cultural differences are often reflected in work-related values and communication styles (Martin et al, 2013: 188). For example, in the previous scenario, Luyanda is displaying a relationship priority to the customers of the company, while Lu is maintaining a task priority on marketing for new business.

• Briefly explain (for 2 marks each, to a maximum of 10) the following work-related values.
• Provide (for 4 marks each, to a maximum of 20) your own scenarios. Do not copy examples from the textbook. Reference all material correctly.
Each point should not exceed 200 words.

Q.4.1 Individualism vs collectivism (6)

Q.4.2 Quality vs efficiency (6)

Q.4.3 Indirect vs direct communication (6)

Q.4.4 Honesty vs harmony (6)

Q.4.5 Work vs material gain (6)

Answers to Above Questions on Intercultural Communication

Answer 1: Hall and Hofstede have given us the important cultural theories that are quite useful in explaining and contrasting the differences between two distinguishable cultures such as high and low context culture. The application of the theory would help in better understanding Luyanda’s new workplace culture whereby she is faced with a similar situation of high and low context culture in her new organisation. According to Hall, the cultural differences can be better understood by dividing the target population into two groups such as high context and low context. In the given case scenario of Luyanda, the situation of Luyanda can be considered as a low context group whereas the Chinese employees can be categorised into a high context group.

Get completed answers on all the above questions on intercultural communication from the experts of Student Life Saviour South Africa.

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