Cultural Differences in Online Communication Research Paper by Nicky

Cultural Differences in Online Communication
A review of the literature on communication issues in a cross-cultural online community.
# 148909 | 3,312 words | 41 sources | APA | 2011 | US

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This paper explores current literature on cross-cultural communication in regards to the importance of culturally significant contextual clues. The paper looks specifically at several studies on electronic communication and context, trust building in an online world and how the meaning of word may vary between cultures. Finally, the paper looks at steps that organizations can take to make certain that online communication is effective and that cultural misunderstandings do not occur.

Literature Review

From the Paper:

"The ability to acquire speech and language are universal. However, although the process is the same for everyone, the meaning and content that are derived from the messages are almost entirely environmental. We learn how to interpret words and phrases from those around us (Hwa-Froelich, 2004). When asked how we are, we do not always tell the entire truth, but will respond in a manner that is consistent with our teaching to that point. We will not always provide detailed information.
"The response that we give when we are asked how we are depends on many factors. For example, it depends on closeness and familiarity of the persons that are speaking, It depends on the formal relationship that exists. For instance, if a boss and an employee are the two communicators, then the response may be more vague than if the question is between two friends. In some cultures, it may be inappropriate for a manager to ask an underling how they are. In Middle Eastern countries, it is traditional to respond with information about one's family rather than oneself. This answer may appear to be strange to a westernized communicator. It could even appear to be an evasive or an unresponsive insult. These types of misunderstandings plague electronic communication on a daily basis. The westerner's response to "How are you?" may seem to be short and terse to someone from a different culture."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Awad, N. & Ragowsky, A. 2008. Establishing Trust in Electronic Commerce Through Online Word of Mouth: An Examination Across Genders, Journal of Management Information Systems. 24 (4), 101-121.
  • Boh, W. 2007. Mechanisms for sharing knowledge in project-based organizations, Information and Organization. 17(1), 27-58.
  • Borgatti, S., & Cross, R. A Relational View of Information Seeking and Learning in Social Networks. Management Science. 49 (4), 432-445.
  • Burn, J. & Barnett, M. 1999. Communicating for advantage in the virtual organization. IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication. 42 (4), 215-222.
  • Cyr, D. 2008. Modeling Web Site Design Across Cultures: Relationships to Trust, Satisfaction, and E-Loyalty. Journal of Management Information Systems. 24 (4), 47-72.

Cite this Research Paper:

APA Format

Cultural Differences in Online Communication (2011, November 13) Retrieved June 09, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Cultural Differences in Online Communication" 13 November 2011. Web. 09 June. 2023. <>