Trump, Cultural Awareness and Systems Theory

In situations where one is faced with effectively communicating with someone of a complete world-view,  Cordon (2016) offers some great solutions such as; recognize and appreciate cultural differences, avoid inappropriate stereotypes, and approach cross-cultural relationships with a learner’s mindset.  

Recognizing and appreciating cultural differences implies respecting others by not imposing but learning to adapt to another’s culture. Stereotypes are not necessarily a bad thing when utilized as a starting point when they are positive, however, they become dangerous when they are used to project one’s own norms and values on another culture or used to generalize a group of people (Cordon, 2016).  Trump lends us many examples of this, but just for one, he was quoted as saying that federal judge Gonzalo Curiel could not fairly preside of a class action suit against Trump University because he is Mexican and Trump is building a wall on the Mexican border (O’Connor and Marana, 2016). Having a learner’s mindset is about being open-minded- going into the situation open to other’s knowledge and ways of problem-solving and not with the attitude that your own culture is superior (Cordon, 2016).

The characteristics of high cultural awareness relate to systems theory principles because they support the objectives of “binding the total system to the external environment,” (Almaney, 1974, p. 36 para. 7 ). The idea is that effective communication with the external environment (i.e another culture) “enables the system to adapt and cope with changes in environmental forces,” (Almaney 1974, p. 37 para. 1). So the solutions that Cordon (2016) offers aid in adapting and breaking down communication barriers. I think behaving in a way that demonstrates a lack of cultural awareness only works to build up barriers and ineffective communication.



Cardon, P.W. (2016). Business communication: Developing leaders for a networked world. (2nd ed). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Almaney, A. (1974). Communication and the systems theory of organization. Journal Of Business Communication, 12(1), 35-43.

O’Connor, L., Marana, D ( 2016, February 29).Here Are 13 Examples Of Donald Trump Being Racist. Retrieved from.




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