The Influence of Cultural Factors and Values on Intercultural Communication in YWAM India's Multicultural Teams
This study explores the influence of selected cultural factors and values, and intercultural competence on intercultural communication of multicultural teams in YWAM India. Informed by Hofstede’s dimensions of culture and theory of intercultural competence, it seeks to understand how our cultures and intercultural competence influence our communication with people from other cultures in YWAM India’s multicultural teams.
The study first examines cultural values using Hofstede’s three cultural dimensions—power distance, uncertainty avoidance, and individualism versus collectivism. The study then explores the concept of intercultural competence and its components from the precedent literature. The cultural factors and values that influence YWAM India’s multicultural team communication are different relationship-orientation, communication styles, cultural distance, hierarchy, and preserving harmony and saving face. Important elements of intercultural competence for YWAMers are knowledge of the other culture’s language, different values and communication styles, understanding the other person’s personality and background, and the meaning and intention of the other person’s message. Motivation and attitudes such as respect and valuing the other person, the attitude of Christ, having an attitude of learning, and listening are also key elements. Skills such as the ability to communicate clearly, adaptive communication, being flexible and mindful, and having tolerance for ambiguity also affect intercultural competence.
In missional application I propose team building and training on intercultural competence as a means to improve effective and appropriate intercultural interaction, and building strong multicultural teams in YWAM India. It is my desire that this be a useful tool for fellow YWAMers, and cross-cultural workers who are willing to cross cultural boundaries to communicate the love of Christ with humility.
Mentor: Dr. Alan R. Weaver
Doctor of Missiology
Weaver, Alan R.
Intercultural communication; India; Protestant churches
Missions and World Christianity
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