Intercultural communication is a form of communication that aims to share information across different cultures and social groups.
It is used to describe the wide range of communication processes and problems that naturally appear within a social context or an organization, made up of individuals from different religious, social, ethnic, and educational backgrounds.
Intercultural communication is sometimes used synonymously with cross-cultural communication. In this sense it seeks to understand how people from different countries and cultures act, communicate and perceive the world around them.
Many people in intercultural business communication argue that culture determines
- how individuals encode messages
- what medium they choose for transmitting them, and
- the way messages are interpreted.*
Aside from language, intercultural communication focuses on social attributes, thought patterns, and the cultures of different groups of people.
It also involves understanding the different cultures, languages and customs of people from other countries.
Intercultural communication plays a role in social sciences such as anthropology, cultural studies, linguistics, psychology and communication studies. It is also referred to as the base for international businesses.
* Lauring, Jakob (2011). "Intercultural Organizational Communication: The Social Organizing of Interaction in International Encounters". Journal of Business and Communication. 48.3: 231–55.