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Communication Barriers in a Cross-Cultural, Multinational Company. A Case Study of Tesla, Inc. Company


There is staff diversity in a normal international environment company, with variations in religion, belief, gender, perspective, conduct, and attitude, resulting in issues and conflicts in cross-cultural communication. With the advancement of globalization, the flow of goods and services across borders has increased. As a result, multinational corporations have been forced to embrace and research the most effective techniques for maximizing the benefits of cultural diversity among their employees. Globalization has also made it possible for some businesses to conduct business across international borders. The diversity of cultures has brought new challenges, particularly in the management of enterprises.

Hofstede’s cultural dimensions theory, which outlined the impact of a society’s culture on its individual’s values and ways in which these values connect to behavior, will be the inspiration for this study. Uncertainty avoidance, individuality vs. collectivism, masculinity vs. femininity, and long and short-term orientation as well as power distance are the five components of cultural differences indicated by the model (Hofstede,1980).

Managers can increase their capacity to oversee their staff members by acquiring a grasp of the cultural dimensions when they have personnel from various cultures and social backgrounds (Caligiuri and Lundby,2015). The study will focus on cultural differences in communication to prevent undesirable conflicts in cross-cultural communication. This research will pique any firm interested in knowing more about the impacts and benefits of adequately handling cross-cultural communication. According to Nguyen et al. (2021), effective diversity management and improved organizational performance are strongly correlated.

Aims and objectives

The study’s main objective is to determine the communication barriers in a Cross-Cultural, Tesla, Inc. Several studies have been done on this topic. Still, very few have been done in the Chinese market. This study will supplement the few studies that have been done to solve the issues that will enhance the performance of the companies in China and the rest of the world. To prevent undesirable problems in cross-cultural communication, the channel of information flow must be functional and efficient (Jimenez et al.,.2017). Miscommunications, Misinterpretation, and misunderstanding are some of the difficulties that have been identified as a result of cross-cultural contact. However, if the management can properly handle communication, the team and, ultimately, the firm will benefit significantly (Ordu, 2016). Furthermore, a diverse workplace may affect each person’s productivity and complement their shortcomings, resulting in a higher workplace impact than the total of its parts. In brief, workplace cultural variety would drive innovation that would pay out in improved corporate performance (Kundu and Mor, 2017).

The other objectives are:

  • To identify the importance of outstanding human interaction in helping Tesla, Inc. establish a credible brand in China.
  • To learn how to overcome cross-cultural communication difficulties at Tesla Inc.
  • To identify problems with cross-cultural communication in multinational organizations.
  • To figure out how to improve the firm’s cross-cultural process of communication.

Topic justification 

China has hosted and attracted many foreign enterprises, resulting in a multicultural work market. This is since such corporations’ staff are either international or locally hired. As a result, there is a wide range of corporate cultures. However, cultural differences hamper cross-cultural communication. As a result, cross-cultural communication has become increasingly important in businesses to assure their success, particularly abroad. To effectively manage cross-cultural communication, a corporation must first understand how other cultures view the environment around them and how they interact and communicate.

(Jimenez et al.,.2017). Cross-cultural communication is crucial since it affects how a business is run and the power dynamic within the organization. All of these are determinants of a company’s financial performance. This research will serve as a foundation for future research on the subject. The conclusions of this research will help multinational firms dealing with cross-cultural communication problems, particularly the Tesla Inc. Company.

Scope and Limitations of the Study

In one way or another, every study has a drawback. Similarly, various issues or restrictions will likely arise while conducting this research. For instance, the respondents are likely to delay in submitting the questionnaires. In addition, there might be a reluctance to return the respondents’ filled questionnaires. Besides, there have not been so many studies on the topic; there is no surety if the resources will be enough to conduct the study.

The study will focus on Tesla inc. Company in china where 100 employees will be required to participate. These workers will be given survey questionnaires to fill out to get their views and remarks on cross-cultural communication in the workplace.

Literature review 

Hofstede’s cultural dimension theory will be employed in this investigation. Dimensions include the behavior of people from a culture and how their values influence their behavior. Hofstede’s research yielded five dimensions. Uncertainty avoidance, long-term orientation, masculinity vs. femininity, power distance, and individuality vs. collectivism are among these qualities (Hofstede,1980).

Hans (1998) devised the Lasswell 5W model, a comprehensive model. This entails a five-element analysis. His research discovered that cross-cultural communication is defined by five core aspects: customs, morals, habits, dialect, and culture.

Harada Inagi (2008) investigated the same concept, with the Toyota Corporation in Japan as the study’s focus. He took a fresh approach, introducing public opinion and historical analysis as influences on cross-cultural communication. Language and culture are the most important factors influencing cross-cultural communication in businesses.

Although many criticize Hofstede’s theory and argue that his statistics are outdated (Caligiuri and Lundby,2015), the data on national cultural dimensions is not an absolute value but rather a set of relative values. At the very least, Hofstede’s aspects of cultural identity theory are still a well-known and popular idea that several studies are subject to. For example, project GLOBE is a current study that examines the relationship between organizational culture and behavior. Nine cultural dimensions are proposed by Globe, some of which are related to Hofstede’s Dimensions of National Culture. On the other hand, Globe’s theory is still a fresh theory that hasn’t been thoroughly tested

Research questions 

The main question for the study

What are the Communication Barriers in a Cross-Cultural Company?

Specific questions for the study

  • What are the causes of communication difficulties in a cross-cultural company?
  • What is the value of excellent human interaction at Tesla, Inc. is helping the company build a reputable brand in China?
  • What are the solutions to barriers to cross-cultural communication at Tesla Inc. Company?
  • How can the organization’s cross-cultural communication process be improved?

The philosophical approach

The realism philosophical approach is chosen in this study. This philosophy is based on the principle that reality is distinct from the conscious imagination. Furthermore, this philosophy is founded on the notion that knowledge is established scientifically. In other words, direct realism describes the world through the person’s eyes. For instance, people employees of an organization come from different cultural backgrounds, which affects their interaction in the company.


The theoretical technique, empirical investigation, case study, and literature review will be applied in this study. The study focuses on Tesla, Inc.’s human resources department. The surveys will be sent to a predetermined number of Tesla, Inc. workers. To create a pattern, the data collected from questionnaires and secondary sources is analyzed thematically.

Ethical considerations

The study’s anonymity must be prioritized for participants to freely disclose information regarding the subject under investigation. The investigator must ensure that participating in the study does not affect the study participants (Wiles et al., 2013) .In this study, the researcher will advise respondents of Tesla Inc. Company ahead of time that their replies will be used purely for educational purposes and will not be shared with other parties for any other reason. Revealing data to a third party may likely jeopardize the company’s security and trade secrets, resulting in the respondents being persecuted.

Analytical approach

To achieve the study goals, the material acquired through questionnaires and secondary research is conceptually examined to construct a pattern. From the trend established in the evaluation, the researcher can develop results and conclusions about the topic matter under investigation. The data obtained in the questionnaire will be evaluated and shown in graphs. For example, Tesla, Inc. is projected to build a strong company reputation over time, which will aid in the development of favorable relationships among its personnel. Besides, Tesla, Inc. is anticipated to design a rotation plan for its senior executives that spans more than two years. As a result of the homogeneity, the managerial and staff-staff relationships become more amicable.




Nguyen, N. T., Yadav, M., Pande, S., Bhanot, A., & Hasan, M. F. (2021). A conceptual framework is the impact of diversity management on organizational performance in hotel organizations. International Journal of System Assurance Engineering and Management, 1-11.

Ordu, A. (2016). The Effects of Diversity Management on Job Satisfaction and Individual Performance of Teachers. Educational Research and Reviews11(3), 105-112.

Kundu, S. C., & Mor, A. (2017). Workforce diversity and organizational performance: a study of IT industry in India. Employee Relations.

Nind, M., Wiles, R., Bengry-Howell, A., & Crow, G. (2013). Methodological innovation and research ethics: forces in tension or forces in harmony?. Qualitative Research13(6), 650-667.

Basinska, B. A. (2015). Job satisfaction in the multicultural environment of multinational Corporations. Baltic Journal of Management, 10(3), 366-387.

Cagiltay, K., Bichelmeyer, B., & Akilli, G. K. (2015). Working with multicultural virtual teams: critical factors for facilitation, satisfaction, and success. Smart Learning Environments, 2(1), 11.

Hofstede, G. (1980). Culture’s Consequences: International Differences in Work-Related Values. Beverly Hills CA: Sage.

Caligiuri, P., & Lundby, K. (2015). Developing cross-cultural competencies through global

Teams. In leading global teams (pp. 123-139). Springer, New York, NY. Wilson, V. (2014). Research methods: Sampling. Evidence-Based Library and Information Practice, 9(2), 45-47

Jimenez, A., Boehe, D. M., Taras, V., & Caprar, D. V. (2017). Working across boundaries:

Current and future perspectives on global virtual teams. Journal of International Management.


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