Barriers in multicultural business communication: an empirical study of Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina

Ana Barić, Dejan Jelovac, Nuša Fain

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Companies that work in multicultural environments face several challenges in their everyday business life. In this article we focus on the communication aspect of working in multicultural business environments. We test the hypothesis that companies that work in multicultural environments are subject to communication barriers due to different cultural backgrounds of people that engage in these types of communication. We test the hypothesis through a case study of two companies, one from Bosnia and Herzegovina and one from Slovenia, that engage in mutual multicultural communication. Through an in-depth interview with the project manager who takes part in this communication every day and a survey with the employees, we identify and analyse the communication barriers that the employees perceive as relevant to their business processes. We overcome these barriers through the application of the fruitful intercultural business communication model. The main contribution of this work lies in demonstrating the applicability of this model to practical cases and the demonstration of the fact that cultural barriers can exist and inhibit successful business even in environments in close sociocultural and geographic proximity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-37
Number of pages22
JournalIIASS : Innovative Issues and Approaches in Social Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sept 2013


  • barriers
  • multicultural business communication
  • empirical study
  • Slovenia
  • Herzegovina
  • Bosnia
  • case study
  • intercultural communication
  • business culture


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