The Influence of Television
and Media Use on Argentines
of the United States
John Carroll University
“All international business activity involves communication. ”
—Martin & Chaney (1992, p. 268)
Cross-cultural business communication has become increasingly important over the past decade and a half. A major factor is the growth of international trade. The combined value of import export trade for the United States grew to over $2,000 billion in 1997, an increase from $900 billion 1990 (International Financial Statistics Yearbook, 2001, p. 1031). One of every six manufacturing jobs is related to exports (Martin & Chaney, 1992, p. 267). Another contributing factor to the increase is international trade agreements like NAFTA and GATT. As Ferraro (1994) reminded us “… a fundamental precondition to any successful international business enterprise is effective communication” (p. 42).
Communication across cultures is difficult because it includes more than language. United States firms have had between 45% to 85% of their expatriate U. S. citizens return early from foreign assignments because of their inability to adapt a new culture (Martin & Chaney, 1992). Competing successfully in the global marketplace requires study and understanding of the communication systems other countries. Barriers to intercultural communication include verbal and nonverbal messages, ethnocentricism, lack of empathy, and differences in perception. Percep-