7CO04 Business research in people practice

7C004: Business Research in People Practice

Selected Topic: To evaluate how cultural differences of employees lead to miscommunication issues. A Case Study of Saudi Aramco Organisation

Task 1.1 Reason of Selecting Terms of Reference of Project (150)

The rationale of selecting the identified area of study is informed by the fact that in current 21st century, organisations are increasingly expanding and are engaging individuals from different cultures and global nations. According to Bhaduri (2019) for success in such a cultural environment, organisations must possess immense skills. Further, Men and Yue (2019) report argued that culture directly influence communication process. Hence, the manner in which people communicates is affected by the culture. Further, from the effectiveness of the communication in an organisation, they end up improving the organisation performance. Specifically, in a large organisation such as Saudi Aramco, owing to their large nature of operations, they are enormously impacted by the issues of miscommunication. The rationale of this is what GMI (2022) identify as at 30%, majority of the KSA nationalities are expats. Similarly, in Saudi Aramco, 45% of their employees are also comprised of expatriates. As a result, there are immense prevalent miscommunication issues occasioned by these differences. 

Task 1.2 Literature review (700)

Adopting the definition of Schmidt et al. (2020) cultural differences entail an integration and maintenance of system of socially acquired values, beliefs and rules of conduct which impact enormous, accepted behaviours differentiated from one society group to the other. This definition is different from Barreto et al. (2021) which identified cultural differences as existence of a response to environments in which people are living in. As a result of the global environmental diversity, human beings end up responding in a manner that is relevant to the unique demands placed to them. As evidenced in CIPD (2022) the organisation culture is a core area of the organisational life and it is relevant for business leaders in their operations. This is in the areas of HR, L&D and OD all found influencing organisation culture. The rationale of this is that organisations as systems are inclusive of human relationships and human interactions. Further, communication is defined by Chbaly et al. 92021) as a strategy of ideas exchange, thoughts, opinions, knowledge and data to ensure the communicated message is received and understanding clearly and purposely. Through an effective communication, the sender and receiver achieve a sense of holistic satisfaction. Conversely, miscommunication is defined in Pongton and Suntrayuth (2019) as occurring in an event when in making an attempt of conveying an issue, the message receiver understands something different.

As a result of engagement of different people in modern organisations with varying cultures, this has similarly impacted on communication increasing instances of miscommunication. As defined in Koyuncu and Denise Chipindu (2020), miscommunication in workplace are noted to emerge since the cultural differences existing contribute to people misunderstanding in engagement. Further, to explain the impact cultural differences have on miscommunication, Reinisch and Karimi (2020) study explored this area in-depth. The authors hypothesised that as a past best practice, organisations management and administration opted for establishing a common and unique communication style to deal with clients, partners and suppliers. This has since changed and today managers are prompted to start with pursuing a due diligence for understanding their stakeholders prior engaging them in communication. This is for avoiding instances where miscommunication would prevail. Further, Ummi (2020) report argued that through an embrace of verbal communication and body language, cultural differences often lead to miscommunication issues. This is since one verbal communication aspect or  signs language could be meaning one thing in a certain culture and mean differently in a separate culture. Hence, the authors recommended that for avoiding such miscommunications being prevalent, the managers and administration would ensure that they understand the languages basic practices considering that the cultural diversity elicit immense miscommunication issues.

From the reviewed literature, it is evidently clear that there are various cultural differences impacting communication and way of their consideration. One of the studies which has focused on evaluating this is Paxton et al. (2021) which identified the issue of context. For instance, high-context cultures are characterised by reduced reliance on verbal engagement and prioritising more on the non-vernal communication. Also, they tend to prioritise on actions and settings for obtaining meaning. For instance, in Yadav (2021) study, they had identified countries such as Japan, India and Saudi Arabia as high-context cultures. Conversely, the low-context cultures are found  as prioritising on verbal communication and do not capitalise majorly on the different contextual clues. The study further identified low-context cultures as including USA, UK and Germany. A significant issue which lead to miscommunication as noted in Yuralevich et al. (2019) and linked with the cultural differences is stereotyping. Despite of the possibility of defining a culture in a particular manner, this is not an indicator that such things are true to every person and regional differences similarly being core. For instance, an employee working in Saudi Aramco from Malaysia is of significant distinction with an employee from Nigeria. Further, Kew (2021) highlighted that the miscommunications are as a consequence of roles and statis, personal space and body language. The authors further hypothesised that the roles and status of men and women for example could be impacting the extent in which male employees are found relating to female supervisors and comfort of a female employee in their engagement with a manager.

Hence, in summary, from the reviewed literature, it is evident that cultural differences lead to behaviour and personality differences such as body language, thinking, communication, manners, norms and more. All these aspects combined lead to miscommunication prevalence. A case example is where some of the cultures consider an eye contact as core with some of the cultures viewings such a practice as an act of rudeness or disrespect to others.

Task 1.3 Research questions for examining in research (150)

For the purpose of achieving this research intended aim, the research questions which would need to be pursued are;

RQ1: What is the impact of the cultural differences on the employees miscommunication?

RQ2: Which are the best practice in managing the cultural differences for maintaining an appropriate communication systems in organisations?

RQ3: Hypothesis; There exist direct correlation of employees cultural differences and employees miscommunication issues

Therefore, as evidenced in the research findings, there are expectations that through working on appropriate cultural practices, an effective communication process would prevail. The miscommunication issues are as a result of having cultural diversities particularly in the modern globalisation era where most organisations are working on engaging diverse teams. Further, these research questions would be linked to the context of Saudi Aramco which is the organisation of interest in this project. By evaluating the correlation of these factors, it will be possible to achieve the interest research outcomes.

Task 2.1 Main differences of primary and secondary data and their use (150)

According to the definition in Aguirre-Duarte (2020) a researcher obtain a primary data by using survey, interview process, experimenting appropriately managed for appreciating and solving varying focus issues. This is different from secondary research which entail use of existing data which are offered by government bodies, healthcare institutions and organisations bodies. In the current research for instance, to appreciate the cultural differences and their impacts on the modern business environment, application of the CIPD research, Saudi Arabia Government resources and Office of National Statistics in the country would be important. The outcome of this is appropriateness of secondary research being achieved. Further, Nayak and Narayan (2019) note that the primary data is more relevant when it is used to collect information for specified study purpose and intentions. This is an indicator that questioning is aligned with secondary research appropriateness. Albeit the secondary research being appropriate and presented effectively, it is unsuitable for research of this high magnitude. The rationale of this is that the information obtained are not authoritative and holistic.

Task 2.2 Choice of research methods for collecting data (700)

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