Back to list

Detail of contribution

Auteur: Halina WISNIEWSKA

Communicative Competence in Global Business Communication

Abstract/Résumé: Constantly increasing global connectivity, integration and interdependence affect workplace relations, which have to be adapted to the new reality. Global workers need to know how to operate in new, often challenging environment, how to understand cultural diversity and ethical issues. The Towers Watson 2009/10 Communication ROI Study ( show that companies that are highly effective communicators generate higher total return to shareholders over a five-year period than companies paying less attention to communication issues. Communicative competence is a skill that is top-ranked by employers. It includes all the behaviours and feelings that exist within the participants of the communication process and which govern interactions. Communicative competence is essential for establishing appropriate interpersonal and professional relationships that allow building trust and lead to successful workplace communication. Growing evidence that English has become the primary language for international business dealings made governments rethink language educational policies. In reforms that are taking place in the education systems in many countries, English is no longer regarded as one of foreign languages individuals may want to learn, but as a key to a professional career. As a result, a big shift can be noticed in teaching English as Foreign Language (EFL) or English as Lingua Franca (ELF). In the current approach, more emphasis is recommended to be put on sociolinguistic and pragmatic competence. The focus of interest is to be on intercultural training, which allows learners to communicate effectively with speakers representing different cultural backgrounds. Lack of interpersonal skills or lack of confidence in using such skills may hinder the effective use of the language chosen for communication. Developing communicative competence that enables global workers to improve the quality of interpersonal workplace relationships requires acquiring verbal, non-verbal and relational competence to a similar degree. Right choice of lexical items and making use of specific language features can contribute to the effectiveness of workplace communication as much as the use of non-linguistic elements or cross-cultural knowledge. Not less important are personal communication skills of business language users. The aim of the paper is to discuss some important, but often not adequately addressed, elements of interpersonal communicative competence in business context.