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Cultural Intelligence, 3rd Edition by Kerr C. Inkson, David C. Thomas

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CHAPTER 5

Communicating and Negotiating across Cultures

COMMUNICATION FAILURE

Consider these four vignettes of cross-cultural living, all of them authentic experiences.1

• Brits Clay and Joanne arrive in Auckland, New Zealand, for their holiday—the first time they have ever visited. They are monolingual and like the fact that New Zealand is an English-speaking country. They take an airport bus to the city center. They know their hotel is close by, so as they leave the bus they ask the driver for directions. “That’s easy,” says the driver. “Just follow the footpath a hundred meters and you’re there.” He closes the bus door and drives off. Clay and Joanne look around. There is no footpath in sight. What on earth did the driver mean?

• Stephanie, ...

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