10 Annexures in:

Fungai B. Chigwendere

Towards Intercultural Communication Congruence in Sino-African Organisational Contexts, page 265 - 282

1. Edition 2018, ISBN print: 978-3-8288-4234-2, ISBN online: 978-3-8288-7121-2,

Tectum, Baden-Baden
Bibliographic information
265 annexures 10 Annexures Annexure 6.1: Quasi-systematic review and meta-synthesis process 266 Chigwendere: interCultural CommuniCation CongruenCe in Sino-afriCan organiSational ContextS A nn ex ur e 6. 2a : E xa m pl e of fr am ew or k sy nt he si s t ab le T he na tu re of co m m un ica tio n: W es te rn , A fri ca n a nd Ch ine se cu ltu re s So ur ce : A ut ho r’s o w n co ns tr uc tio n fr om so ur ce s a s i nd ic at ed 267 annexures A nn ex ur e 6. 2b : E xa m pl e of fr am ew or k sy nt he si s t ab le Va lue s, gu idi ng ph ilo so ph ies an d c om m un ica tio n: W es te rn , A fri ca n a nd Ch ine se cu ltu re s c om pa re d 268 Chigwendere: interCultural CommuniCation CongruenCe in Sino-afriCan organiSational ContextS Source: Author’s own construction from sources as indicated Annexure 6.3: Interview guide (African experts) Intercultural Communication Effectiveness Interview Guide: African Experts Section 1: Introduction In the business context, it is reported that there are many challenges experienced when African and Chinese people communicate which can be attributed to differences in cultures. On the other hand, it is also reported that there may be synergies between African and Chinese cultures that could help improve communication. The researcher is interested in learning about more about how communication between the African and Chinese people takes place in business. As such, your contribution in participating in this research study will contribute towards a better understanding of how communication effectiveness between the African and Chinese people in business can be improved. Your contribution will enable the development of a framework for understanding intercultural communication effectiveness between the Africans and the Chinese people in business. This framework will inform the development of appropriate training and other intervention strategies to help improve communication effectiveness. Your identity and your association with an organisation or institution will be treated with complete confidentiality. Section 1: Demographics Interviewer Name Fungai Chigwendere Date of Interview Respondent ID # (e .g . 1, 2, 3) Nationality of respondent Gender Ethnicity (e .g . Black, White, Indian, Chinese) Age (How old are you?) Marital Status (Are you married?) Home Language (What language do you speak at home?) Current Position/Occupation a. Where have you worked with or interacted with the Chinese people? (For example: work in a Chinese owned organisation, do business with Chinese nationals etc.) 269 annexures b. What was/is your role? (For example, manager of staff in an organisation, employee in an organisation, student or instructor at an institution, business partner etc.) c. How long were you/have you been or worked in that role? (In months) Section 2: Communication Experiences (Question 1) • Given your experience with the Chinese people, I would like you to describe a communication experience that you have had with a Chinese person. (Please describe exactly what happened in the communication and where this happened). a. Was this a good or a bad communication experience? Please can you explain why? b. What did your learn about the way Chinese people communicate from this experience? Section 3: Understanding Differences & Similarities in Communication (Question 2) • Would you say there is a difference in the way that the African people communicate and the way that the Chinese people communicate? (Please can you tell me more about this) • Would you say there is a similarity in the way that the African people communicate and the way that the Chinese people communicate? (Please can you tell me more about this) 270 Chigwendere: interCultural CommuniCation CongruenCe in Sino-afriCan organiSational ContextS Section 4: Improving Intercultural Communication Effectiveness (Question 3) • What do you think are the most important considerations when communicating with others from a different culture? (Can you name them?) • Can these considerations (above) be taught or shared by people from both African and Chinese and cultures to have a good communication experience? (How could this be done?) Section 5: Understanding Communication in African Culture (Question 4) • Please tell me about the correct (most appropriate) style of communication in the African cultural context. In other words, what do you consider as “good communication” in the African cultural context? (Is it direct or indirect? elaborate or succinct? personal or contextual, instrumental or affective?) • How important are the values and philosophies such as Ubuntu, Humanism, Communalism, etc. in communication in African culture? Conclusion: (Question 5) • Is there anything else that you would like to tell me about how people communicate in the African culture? THANK YOU! 271 annexures Annexure 6.4: Interview guide (Chinese experts – translated version) 272 Chigwendere: interCultural CommuniCation CongruenCe in Sino-afriCan organiSational ContextS 273 annexures 274 Chigwendere: interCultural CommuniCation CongruenCe in Sino-afriCan organiSational ContextS Annexure 6.5: Ethics approval letter (Rhodes University) 275 annexures Annexure 6.6: Invitation to participate in research 276 Chigwendere: interCultural CommuniCation CongruenCe in Sino-afriCan organiSational ContextS Annexure 6.7: Example Informed Consent Form 277 annexures 278 Chigwendere: interCultural CommuniCation CongruenCe in Sino-afriCan organiSational ContextS Annexure 6.8: Sample transcribed interview INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION CONGRUENCE Transcription: Africa03 I=Interviewer R=Respondent I: We will start with a few general questions, for instance, I would like to confirm your nationality? R: South African. I: In which age bracket would you fall into? 30 to 40; 40 to 50? R: 34. I: Are you Married? R: Yes. I: What Language do you speak at home? R: English. I: I would like to find out where have you worked with or interacted with the Chinese? I already know your organisation which I won’t mention now. How long have you been working with the Chinese? R: Interaction happened in March 2013. I: What was your role in the organisation with them? R: I started off and I am still currently the Financial Director of the organisation. I: Given your experiences with the Chinese people, I would like you to describe communication experiences that you have had with them or any challenges. Whether good or bad. R: I interact with them on a daily basis. My current CEO is Chinese; my previous CEO was Taiwanese-Chinese. This means we have constant interaction with them. The current CEO is not even 80% as fluent as my previous CEO in terms of the English. So we constantly have to have an interpreter in all our meetings. I have improved on my Chinese so I do know some words. Although it is still very difficult to have a conversation when it comes to business language. When things get technical, you have to rely on the strength on the interpreter to get your point ac- 279 annexures ross and their point across as well. I am quite fortunate that my financial manager is also Chinese, she is very fluent in Chinese and she has been in South Africa for the past 25 years. This makes my communication a bit easier because she understands the financial terms therefore isn’t as difficult as it can be. I: Can you recall any challenges or perhaps where you were misunderstood or a story that comes to mind about an incident? R: I am not going to pick out one event as it’s my daily task, I talk to them every day – five or six hours a day. I find what gets misconstrued is certain jargon that we might use in our financial fields. As there isn’t an equivalent Chinese jargon, and as good as my financial manager is, it’s difficult to put my point across about decisions that need to be made. There hasn’t been anything outstanding in terms of a complete misunderstanding and I think that’s because of the strength of my financial manager, who is exceptionally good at translating. I: Looking at the way Chinese people interact and communicate between themselves and the way we, as Africans, communicate. Would you say there is a difference in the way that South African people communicate and the way that the Chinese people communicate? R: The biggest culture shock going into meetings was that in a meeting with Africans, there is usually one conversation, generally one person speaks but in the Chinese culture you have five conversations occurring at once even though you should be listening to one person. I find this very interesting and till today it still baffles me. Somebody could be addressing an issue and there’s a side conversation going but it’s a norm, it’s not like people are gossiping. I: In those discussions they could be discussing something completely different from the main person speaking? R: Absolutely. They are very respectful in terms of the way they address their elders. They know their place and I find it very common amongst Black people as well. So as much as you might be having conversations, when they address the CEO, they always use full names and a Mr or Mrs. They will never address you by the first name. I: If the CEO is speaking, will they also tend to have those mini discussions? R: Yes. It’s completely surprising. And they love cellular phones in meetings. Generally, its rude for us to be on our phones. I: I know you have touched on this but in order to improve communication effectiveness between ourselves and the Chinese, bearing in mind the cultural differences and other factors, what would you say are the most important con- 280 Chigwendere: interCultural CommuniCation CongruenCe in Sino-afriCan organiSational ContextS siderations if we want to understand how the Chinese communicate so that we can communicate better with them? R: The obvious thing is to start picking up a bit of languages from both sides and it’s actually not that difficult if you put your mind to it. I think what’s really important is that the Chinese culture is really unique. For example, there is a situation or problem that needs to be assessed, we (South Africans and business white South Africa) tend to be very direct about a situation ‘you messed up, these are the consequences, etc.’ but this is completely different with the Chinese culture. They don’t raise their voices, they don’t become animated, they are not rude at all but they can make a point by being calm and serene but they aren’t afraid to embarrass you in front of a group of people. That’s the Chinese culture. Whereas we want to be all brash, loud, insulting and vocal. They don’t do that, they will embarrass you if you do something wrong but in a very calm, serene manner. It’s important that when you are addressing an issue with them, that you don’t get flustered, loud and brash because it immediately cuts you off from them. That not how they communicate. Very much like the Black culture. I: In your experiences, have you seen any of Western type of communication coming in? I am looking at African application but obviously you have the Whites, etc. I have kind of put them all together but have you seen how the Africans communicate, there’s a Western-ness that has come through in their way of communicating. R: Yes, it does. Especially us urbanised Black people. My father’s family is from Limpopo and if I go back home its very much akin to the Chinese way of respect. We are so Westernised in the urban areas that there is a massive difference between the two. From my interaction with the Chinese, there is no Westernisation of their communication. I: So you would say perhaps, in the organisation setting, Black people have tended to adopt Western ways? R: Absolutely. My point that I want to make is that it’s all about trying to understand their culture. However, I find their culture has a more civilised ways of handling things unlike the Western side. So it’s important to understand not to be loud, forceful, brash or offensive, to always remain respectful no matter how angry or upset you are. That will facilitate better communication especially with the Chinese. It’s all about understanding culture. I: I take it that as Africans those things are potentially the things we need to learn. Those are learning points for us. R: Yes. 281 annexures I: In seeking to understand their culture, do you have an idea on how you can? R: Spending more time with them. Also, to be more receptive to differences and not rigid. There’s a lot of things that we would take as being not offensive but it is offensive to them. And I think it’s important to spend time but to be receptive to the idea of understanding the different culture and sharing your culture with them as well because they also very receptive towards that. I: That’s what I was going to ask next, how important do you think it is for them as well to equally and proactively learn. I would like to go back to communication in the African culture, for instance the Black culture. In your views, what is the most appropriate way of communicating in the organisational context? You mentioned that the Chinese are very calm. Would you say that’s how you describe appropriate communication in African culture or are there other things that expected when you communicate in African culture? R: In African culture it’s all about respect just like the Chinese. If you haven’t achieved a certain status in your life, you can’t address an elder, you can’t be part of a conversation. So it’s very hierarchical and about respect. Just like I have mentioned about the Westernisation of urban Africans, that doesn’t fly when you back at home. You still have to show that level of respect. You don’t talk back and you can’t be opinionated just because its offensive to the elders. I think it depends on the setting and I don’t think it ever goes way as Black people, I mean, I wouldn’t expect my kids to talk to me any different because I wouldn’t speak to my parents or grandparents like that. It’s about how you address your elders. You shouldn’t be rude, sarcastic and loud. These are all Western ideas that is taught to us and it is foreign to the elders. I: Again in the organisational setting, I understand, when we leave our villages we adopt this urban way and potentially carry it into the organisation. Have you been in or witnessed any instances when African people practise some of these western methods of communicating. I know you mentioned that the Chinese stick to their values. Have you seen a clash? Or where an African person has addressed a Chinese person and they’ve taken offence or caused a deadlock? R: Not from an African point of view. Definitely not. I have not seen it, in terms of communication with the Chinese. White South African males, generally, get their point across by being loud, demanding and bossy. You can see the body language from the Chinese, they are not as open, you just see them closed off to the idea. I: Looking at the Black African culture, how important are the values such as Ubuntu, humanism and communalism etc. in communication in South Africa? 282 Chigwendere: interCultural CommuniCation CongruenCe in Sino-afriCan organiSational ContextS R: Extremely important. I don’t think we can communicate effectively, as Africans, if we don’t show a level of respect to the elders. Urban people, maybe it’s different but generally it’s inculcated in us to respect your elders and Ubuntu is part of that respect. I: Would you say that there would be merit in a study that says ‘pure African values and cultures and how communication takes place, then looking at the Chinese values and culture, then try to marry these two together.’ R: Absolutely. I think there is lots of similarities in communication. Culture, obviously not, but upbringing forms a part of how you communicate with people. So, there’s definitely similarities and its worth looking at it. I: That’s one of my aims so that we can develop a framework that identifies and compares similarities and differences. This framework will hopefully be used for training in organisations both from a Chinese and African perspective. Finally, is there anything else that you would like to share about your experiences with communication with the Chinese and African people or communication in African culture that you think might help in developing more effective communication between the parties? R: Chinese and South Africans both like to have a good time. Both love a party. Cheers- ‘Gānbēi’, a meal, drinks, getting ‘rat faced’ -which South Africans are good at -etc. That’s the best way to forming a bond with the Chinese. It’s expected, they expect you to do the same. I: Thank you so much.

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The global outlook of contemporary businesses has made the notion of intercultural communication effectiveness increasingly relevant as home and host country organisational incumbents seek to minimise intercultural communication challenges. From an academic perspective, despite the prevalence of theories and research that could serve as guidelines for addressing intercultural communication challenges, continued existence of these challenges in some contexts suggests potential inadequacy of such theories. Therefore, in this study, using a case of the Sino-African organisational context, several frameworks for enhancing intercultural communication effectiveness are proposed and developed. The frameworks culminate in a hybrid intercultural communication congruence framework to enhance intercultural communication and achieve intercultural communication congruence (IC congruence) in Sino-African organisational contexts. This book is a must for academics interested in theory development in intercultural communication, as well as organisational and management research in Africa. The bevy of frameworks developed and the methodological processes followed present a point of academic debate and raise numerous questions for future research. The book also provides useful insights into intercultural communication in Sino-African organisational contexts and would be of interest to managers, consultants and trainers working in Chinese organisations in Africa as well as on cross-cultural and intercultural management. In addition to introducing new concepts to the discourse of intercultural communication, the study marks the first comprehensive inquiry into intercultural communication in Sino-African business relationships in the organisational context.