Cross-Culture Communication Cross-Cultural Communication -- Research Proposal

Excerpt from Research Proposal :

Had this measure been implemented six months ago, after the skit, it is quite probable that before sending the puppy e-mail, Douglas L. Getter (manager of the company's European Merger and Acquisition division) would have better thought through the implications of his comment. If only for a second, had he remembered that the author of the skit had been subjected to a pay cut (even a symbolic pay cut) or that he had been forced to join sensitivity training programs, it is possible that Getter would not have even send out the e-mail and the entire situation would not have even been created in the first place.

The adoption of punishments combined with the implementation of repercussions is generally a rudimentary, but an effective means of handling organizational situations. Nevertheless, it must be remembered that the punishments must fit the crime; they must be just, well understood by the employees and implemented in such a means that they serve their purpose. Discretion and lack of judgmental opinions are crucial for the success of this endeavor.

If for instance the punishment is too severe and spoken out loud so to humiliate the respective employee, it is possible for him to react in a negative manner, such as decrease its performance levels or even leave and bad mouth the company. Inadequate punishments can also stifle creativity and impose fear (Furnham, 1994). The single role of the punishments is as such that of enforcing what the other measures promote and implementing counteractive measures whenever the accepted regulation is willingly neglected. A final specification which needs to be made relative to internal punishments is that they occur only when the situation aroused is not severe enough to be presented to the local authorities. In such cases, the firm loses its ability to punish the employee as his crime falls under the category of civil crimes (Wheeler and Rojot, 1992).

Considering that the individual who has committed a mistake in his behavior relative to multiculturalism and political correctness has been applied a just and constructive punishment, it is next necessary to strengthen communications with the rest of the employees. This basically refers to the creation and consolidation of solid communications media and the formation of a strong and reliable relationship between employer and employees. This will ensure that employee motivation is maintained at high levels and that the messages of both parties get through and receive constructive feedback (Drenth, Thierry and De Wolf, 2001).

Provided that Dewey Ballantine has created a context which fosters open communications, feedback, employee motivation and creativity, it is next necessary to use it to inoculate the employees with the importance of respecting and embracing multicultural diversity, as well as implementing the concepts of political correctness. The speeches could also include data on the downside of not accepting the two elements, such as the loss of organizational reputation, increased costs, high turnover rates or the loss of customers. The most relevant examples would be those with the skit and the e-mail. The communications would generally be conducted though open dialogues and speeches held by the managers at the law firm, through which they would inform the staff members and plea them to obey to the norms of multiculturalism and political correctness.

The third step in improving the acceptance of multiculturalism and political correctness is that of implementing sensitivity training programs. These would be offered by specialized consultants, with vast expertise in the field. Sensitivity training is a less known concept, and it is generally being applied in fields which deal directly with human interactions, such as sociology and psychology. Its aim is that of getting to understand, respect and take seriously the human beings with which we interact. "Sensitivity training is focused more in hearing others' feelings and tuning in on all the levels of communication. […] in the typical sensitivity training workshop, participants explore relations… through giving and receiving deliberate feedback" (Miner, 2006).

All in all, in order to reduce the incidence of multiculturalism and political correctness issues within Dewey Ballantine, a three stage approach has been proposed:

(1) Implementation of constructive punishments to employees who do not respect the norms of political correctness and multiculturalism

(2) Creation and fostering of open communication media through which the employees are informed of the importance of multicultural diversity and political correctness

(3) and, finally, the implementation of sensitivity training programs; as an ultimate specification, follow through, in the meaning of evaluation of the outcome and sustained implementation of what is learned, is pivotal to overall success.


Drenth, P.J.D., Thierry, H., De Wolf, C.J., 2001, Handbook of Work and Organizational Psychology, Vol. 4, 2nd Edition, Psychology Press, ISBN 0863775276

Furnham, a., 1994, Personality at Work: The Role of Individual Difference in the Workplace, Routledge, ISBN 0415106486

LaGuardia, T.S., 2004, the Decommissioning Handbook, ASME Press, ISBN 0894480413

Miner, JB, 2006, Organizational Behavior, Vol. 2, M.E. Sharpe, ISBN 0765615258

Pope-Davis, D.B., 2003, Handbook of Multicultural Competencies in Counseling and Psychology, SAGE, ISBN 0761923063

Tuleja, E.A., 2005, Dewey Ballantine, LLP: Cultural Stereotypes and an Interoffice E-Mail, International Communication for Business, Mason, OH: Thomas…

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