Swedes in Australia - and their thoughts about business communication and culture
The purpose of the thesis is to study Swedes who live in Australia about their thoughts concerning differences between the cultures and their communication styles in the following four areas; Power Distance, Masculinity verses Femininity, Affective verses Neutral, and Time.
I have chosen a qualitative approach for this study. My research is based on 10 telephone interviews; conducted with Swedes who work for various companies in Australia.
My theoretical chapter includes theories in the field of communication science and culture. Four scientists’ theories are explained; William B. Gudykunst's Anxiety /Uncertainty Management theory, Edward Hall’s High-and Low-context theory, Geert Hofstede’s national culture theory, and Fons Trompenaars’ culture business theory.
My research concludes that there are some main differences between the Swedish and Australian culture and between Swedes’ and Australians’ communication style. My research shows that Sweden is a low-power distance, feminine and neutral culture. While Australia is a higher power-distance, masculine and more affective culture, compared to Sweden. My study also confirmed that the time aspect is not as flexible communicated in Sweden as it is in Australia. All these culture differences are reflected in the cultures’ communication style. For example, Swedes are characterized by a team-oriented, open and equal communication style, whereas Australians use a more hierarchical, assertive and unilateral communication style. While group discussions, personal responsibility, and a high flow of information are common in Sweden, Australia is more characterized by delegation and protectiveness of territories, authority, and information flow.
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