This article examines the connections between culture, law, and intercultural business communication. Both legal systems and cultural priorities come out of the history of a country. Culture affects legal systems just as laws affect changes in culture. While there has been a substantial body of research on the impact of culture on communication in a global setting over the past few decades, there has been very little on the role of law. We focus mostly on issues of privacy and employment communication. Europeans, and in particular Germans, establish specific rules and regulations whereas Americans have fewer laws. Europeans have very detailed laws on issues of privacy, whereas Americans are more focused on freedom of speech. Tighter privacy rules directly affect communication within companies and with suppliers and customers. In Germany employment is based on a specific contract; Americans practice employment-at-will. These practices come out of cultural priorities. Germans, for example, dislike uncertainty and try to create certainty by establishing rules. Americans are more comfortable with uncertainty and prefer flexibility. International managers need to be knowledgeable about these differences and adapt to different communication styles to be successful.
Varner, Iris I. and Varner, Katrin
"The Relationship Between Culture and Legal Systems and the Impact on Intercultural Business Communication,"
Global Advances in Business Communication:
1, Article 3.
Available at: http://commons.emich.edu/gabc/vol3/iss1/3