Hall (1976) distinguished between communication in low- and high-context cultures
, and Gudykunst and Ting-Tomey (1988) convincingly argued that low-context communication norms predominate in individualistic cultures and that high-context communication norms predominate in collectivistic cultures.
The bulk of these KLEs have taken place within operating environments that are high-context cultures
For example, high-context cultures
, such as China, are characterized by using indirect communication styles, and low-context cultures such as the USA and NZ are characterized by direct communication messages which are transmitted through clarity of styles and expressions.
are those that rely less on verbal communication and more on nonverbal communication, actions and settings to find meaning.
offer a robust framework at the cultural level.
So the theory of collective and high-context cultures
along with their characteristics as demonstrated by Hall (1976, 1978) is supported.
Children in high-context cultures
were encouraged to use more subtle cues, but those in low-context cultures were encouraged to use more verbal expressions.
In high-context cultures
communication is often not explicit and relies on situational cues, non-verbal behavior, and trust.
In contrast, advertisements in the high-context cultures
use emotional appeals (Biswas et al 1992), use a more of a soft-sell approach (Cutler and Javalgi 1992) and stress depth brand image perceptions (Roth 1992).
Such cultures are defined as high-context cultures
Members of high-context cultures
give much of their communication's meaning to the situation--the context--within which it is being made.
In low context cultures, contracts, and precise words are important, whereas high-context cultures
focus on the building of relationship, face, and belonging.