The Influence of High- and Low-Context Communication Styles on the Design, Content, and Language of Business-to-Business Web Sites

Details

Serval ID
serval:BIB_D2C29236211A
Type
Article: article from journal or magazin.
Collection
Publications
Title
The Influence of High- and Low-Context Communication Styles on the Design, Content, and Language of Business-to-Business Web Sites
Journal
Journal of Business Communication
Author(s)
Usunier  Jean-Claude, Roulin  Nicolas
Publication state
Published
Issued date
04/2010
Peer-reviewed
Oui
Volume
47
Number
2
Pages
189-227
Language
english
Abstract
Language and communication, especially high- versus low-context communication styles, have been
shown to lead to differences in Web sites. Low-context communication provides the lowest common
denominator for intercultural communication through the Internet by making messages linear, articulated,
explicit, and therefore easier to understand in the absence of contextual clues. Based on theories
of intercultural business communication and recent empirical studies, this article investigates
how communication styles influence Web site design and content. It is hypothesized that, for the global
audience, Web sites from low-context communication countries are easier to find, use colors and
graphics more effectively, make navigation more user-friendly, contain more corporate and product
information cues, and offer more contract- and relationship-related content than Web sites from highcontext
communication countries. This article also contributes to international business communication
by investigating the choice of languages in business-to-business (B2B) Web sites. Empirical
findings confirm the influence of high- versus low-context communication styles through systematic
content analysis of 597 B2B Web sites in 57 countries. High-context communication style may be
detrimental to the design of global Web sites, making them less readable, less effective in their use of
colors and graphics, and less interactive for the globally dispersed users.
Keywords
language, high-context communication, Web sites, international business communication
Create date
26/08/2010 9:49
Last modification date
21/08/2019 6:11
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