Title

Cross-cultural communication

Publication Date

1-1-2003

First Advisor

Mary Gannon

Abstract

Since Cambodia established peace in 1992, foreign aid, including United Nation Agencies, International Non-Government Organizations (NGO), and other Humanitarian Organizations, has come into Cambodia to help with social, human, and economic development in the rural areas, and even small business enterprises. World Education is an International Non-Government Organization. World Education, Inc. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of the poor through economic and social development programs to help women, men and youth take greater control over their lives. World Education has developed innovative programming that integrates literacy and non-formal education training with the critical concerns of disadvantaged people in Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, and North America. Family planning, health care, livelihood improvement, agriculture and community development have become important educational components of World Education. Presently World Education has country offices in India, Nepal, Thailand, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Indonesia, and Philippines. These offices draw on each other’s technical expertise as well as from resources available from World Education’s headquarters in Boston. World Education came to Cambodia in 1992. It began working in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, and the Cambodian National Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The purpose of these partnerships was to develop, implement, and evaluate an interactive educational program for rural school children and teachers with a focus on sustainable agriculture, environmental protection, food security, Land Mine Awareness, and AIDS/HIV education. UNICEF, AusAID, UNDP, and FAO fund world Education/ Cambodia. World Education/Cambodia is a cross-cultural organization. Cross-cultural conflicts occurred between Khmer staff and expatriates who were in a hierarchical system of project managers with different socioeconomic backgrounds, experiences, levels of dynamic power, and communication styles. The issue was the use of the English language for communication at WE/C that caused conflict in cross-cultural communication. The expatriates had an advantage in communicating in the English language that placed them in a dominant position over the large numbers of Khmer/local staff, who were very poor at communicating in the English language. This major problem caused breakdowns in the relationship between expatriates and Khmer staff.

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