The influence of high/low context culture and power distance on choice of communication media: Students' media choice to communicate with professors in Japan and America
This study focuses on two widely-used cultural constructs, high/low context culture (HC/LC culture) and power distance (PD), and investigates their influence on media choice behavior. The assumptions Japan is a HC, high PD culture, and the United States a LC, low PD culture were tested. The study also explored the association between individual cultural values and choice of communication media. Specifically, college students' choice of communication media when contacting their professors was examined in Japan and the United States. Participants (N=141) reported their HC/LC communication and PD values on two new scales, and reported their choice of media for 17 hypothetical situations in which they contact their professors. The results confirmed that Japan has a relatively higher context culture and the U.S. a relatively lower context culture. The association between individual HC/LC values and media choice was not found. The reliability of PD scale did not reach an acceptable level, resulting in a failure to test the assumption of Japan being a higher PD culture and the U.S. a lower PD culture. However, the post hoc analysis revealed significant differences between Japanese students' and American students' media choices. A possible explanation for this result is proposed. Implications and limitations of the study are also discussed.