The Influence of Cultural Factors Including Language on Business Outcomes: Perceptions and Experiences of New Zealand exporters in Asia with reference to South Korea
Thesis DisciplineCultural Studies
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
This thesis examines the role of language and culture in international business. Through a theoretical framework, it investigates how these are integrated and argues that an understanding of the complexity of the relationship between language and culture in cross-cultural communication is crucial in international business, as essentially it provides an explanation as to what effective communication means. The premise that language and cultural barriers might be preventing New Zealand businesses from enhanced engagement in Asia was investigated using quantitative data obtained from an online survey of New Zealand exporters supported by qualitative data from case studies. The results revealed that New Zealand companies were expressing much apprehension regarding language and cultural barriers prior to entry into Asia but upon entry, they had found that the experience had not been as difficult as anticipated. English alone was sufficient for the most part, particularly during the early phases. However, if businesses wanted to commit fully on a long term engagement with Asia, then English alone was not enough because without the knowledge of the local language and culture, they could not communicate effectively to build long-term relationships. Faced with a rapidly changing, increasingly competitive multilingual global environment, this study suggests that New Zealand businesses will need to find practical solutions to best enhance their opportunities in Asia.