Mary Ellen Toffle
University of Messina, Italy

4th International Conference – ERAZ 2018 – KNOWLEDGE BASED SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, Sofia- Bulgaria, June 7, 2018, CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS published by: Association of Economists and Managers of the Balkans, Belgrade, Serbia;  Faculty of Business Studies, Mediterranean University – Podgorica, Montenegro; University of National and World Economy – Sofia, Bulgaria; Faculty of Commercial and Business Studies – Celje, Slovenia; Faculty of Applied Management, Economics and Finance – Belgrade, Serbia, ISBN 978-86-80194-12-7


Volumes of text have been written about the necessity of cross-cultural communication in global organizations, particularly in business (Moran et al. 2007).   Communication was reported to be an important core mechanism of support strategy processes for sustainable development (OECD 2001). The cooperation of stakeholders depends on it (GTZ Rioplus, 2006). Very little research has been done on effective sustainable development multicultural teams. Sustainable development project creation and implementation is highly impacted by cultural differences and communication differences. Members of international commissions need to be able to communicate with each other in creation and implementation of important sustainable development projects. 
The purpose of this study is to examine the state of cross-cultural communication involving two significant players in the arena of sustainable development: the African Union and the European Union. Cultural differences between the AU and EU are discussed and areas of communication breakdown are identified.   
Some styles represented in the EU seemed to be more apt to promote misunderstandings and breakdowns in the communication process.  Recommendations include comprehensive cross-cultural communication.  Cross-cultural training to develop strategic communication beneficial to facilitating relationship formation, teamwork and coherence in project implementation is highly recommended. More research is necessary in methods for creating cultural synergy, solving problems in mindful ways and adjusting styles to fit the other team members.

Key words

cross-cultural communication, African Union, European Union, sustainable development, multicultural teams​​


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