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

Ana Baric, dejan Jelovac, Nusa 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 pages20
JournalIIASS : Innovative Issues and Approaches in Social Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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

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