Purpose – To provide information regarding international/intercultural communication problems, along with management tactics for coping and handling such problems occurring in the international business work setting in foreign companies operating in Thailand. Design/methodology/approach – Exclusive 14 in‐depth interviews with expatriate executives and Thai senior employees were conducted in four Japanese, two German, and two multinational companies in Thailand. Both expatriates and Thai employees were asked to identify communication problems and describe how they managed such problems with international/intercultural partners, supervisors, or subordinates. Research limitations/implications – The sample was quite small. The subjects reacted to the interview protocol based upon their own personal experience working in eight foreign companies in Thailand, which might not represent the entire intercultural/international viewpoints. Practical implications – This study provides guidelines for prospective expatriates who will be assigned to work in the Thai host country and for Thai newcomers who are interested in working in foreign companies and must prepare to cope with the problems they may have in working with foreign managers. Originality/value – It is hoped to be beneficial for both expatriates and Thai employees to perceive and learn each other's understandings, needs, and expectations. Also, it is hoped that information presented in this paper can trigger more thoughts and generate further discussions in international/intercultural business communication classrooms. The study also provides a framework for further investigation of commonalities and differences in tactics for dealing with international/intercultural communication problems at work in other countries compared with those found in Thailand.
Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Oct 1, 2006
Keywords: Communication management; International business; Foreign relations; Thailand
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