SUSTAINABILITY IN THE BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT THROUGH INTERCULTURAL DIALOGUE
In the contexts of global economy and the increasing necessity for sustainable development of the business connections all over the world, the relations between the partners often involves not only the foreign language communication but also the dialogue between their cultures. International economic activity takes place in a set of business environments (business arrangements, timelines, quality output, sales, cash flows) which are also largely determined by additional cultural business conditions (culture as communication, attitude towards power, organizational hierarchy, interpersonal relations, etc.). In this sense, intercultural dialogue is a particularly important tool for achieving excellence and sustainable business relations between economic partners from different countries.
In this paper, we suggest that intercultural dialogue in the international business environment is an indispensable tool for achieving economic effectiveness and goals, and can be assessed on the same scale as business performance. In order to identify the need of awareness-raising concerning the importance of intercultural dialogue as a business environment facilitator, a survey regarding the sewing industry in southwestern Bulgaria was conducted. The survey involved 16 small enterprises (participating with professionals from four different positions) working with firms from Greece. The evaluation of the business relations was actualized at two levels: the level of assessing the ability of professional communication and the level of assessing the ability of intercultural dialogue. Following the results obtained, the authors suggest a more active inclusion of intercultural dialogue in business practices and in negotiation. This recommendation fully corresponds to the Global goals of sustainable development because it contributes to the improvement of global partnership.
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