Hall High/Low Communication

Hall High/Low Context Communication In this essay I’d like to express my opinion about Hall’s Context Communication. In general, in today’s business relations, it’s a small world after all. As more companies turn towards global markets, professionals are finding themselves in foreign locales, wheeling and dealing like never before. However, the key to effective communication between countries is an understanding of each other’s culture, especially a working knowledge of how each society conveys meaning.
First used by author Edward Hall, the expressions “high context” and “low context” are labels denoting inherent cultural differences between societies. High-context and low-context communication refers to how much speakers rely on things other than words to convey meaning. Hall states that in communication, individuals face many more sensory cues than they are able to fully process. In each culture, members have been supplied with specific “filters” that allow them to focus only on what society has deemed important.
In general, cultures that favor low-context communication will pay more attention to the literal meanings of words than to the context surrounding them. When individuals from high-context and low-context cultures collaborate, there are often difficulties that occur during the exchange of information. These problems can be separated into differences concerning “direction”, “quantity” and “quality. For example, employees from high-context cultures like China and France share very specific and extensive information with their “in-group members” (good friends, families, close coworkers, etc). In comparison, low-context cultures like the United States and Germany prefer to limit communication to smaller, more select groups of people, sharing only that information which is necessary. And now I’d like to speak in detail about the main features of each kind of Context Communication. High-Context Communication

Hall: “Most of the information is either in the physical context or initialized in the person. ” * Knowledge is situational, relational * Less is verbally explicit or written or formally expressed * More internalized understandings of what is communicated (ex: “in-jokes”) * Often used in long term, well-established relationships * Decisions and activities focus around personal face-to-face communication, often around a central, authoritative figure * Strong awareness of who is accepted/belongs vs. outsiders” Low Context Communication Hall: “The mass of information is vested in the explicit code [message]. ” * Rule oriented * More knowledge is public, external, and accessible. * Shorter duration of communications * Knowledge is transferable * Task-centered. Decisions and activities focus around what needs to be done and the division of responsibilities. To draw the conclusion, once can say that communication is everything, so make sure you know not only what to say, but also how to say it!

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