Review Intercultural politeness: Managing relations across cultures (a review)
It goes without saying that globalisation has brought many more people from different countries together than ever before and put more and more into contact virtually via ICT such as the Internet and social media platforms. Intercultural theorists have identified a range of features that enable people to work together and one of them is how to build relationships. Intercultural theory differentiates between task-oriented and relationship-oriented cultures, and research indicates that the majority of the countries of the world are primarily relationship-oriented. In relationship-oriented countries it’s important you build a relationship first, whereas in task-oriented countries you build the relationship through working successfully together. But the task comes first. I use the expression as a generalisation as individuals in task-oriented cultures might be relationship-oriented and vice versa. However, since the majority of the world is relationship- rather than task-oriented it is important to pay due attention not just to how people behave but how they express their feelings and build relationships. In that process of building international relationships, politeness is extremely important and that is why this book is so timely and so valuable. It explores what intercultural politeness means, how it is expressed and how it can be used to help build relationships and resolve conflicts.