Cross-cultural communication (also frequently referred to as intercultural communication) is a field of study that looks at how people from differing cultural backgrounds endeavour to communicate. Cross-cultural communication tries to bring together such relatively unrelated areas as cultural anthropology and established areas of communication. Its core is to establish and understand how people from different cultures communicate with each other. Its charge is to also produce some guidelines with which people from different cultures can better communicate with each other.
The main theories for cross-cultural communication are based on the work done looking at value differences (or Cultural dimensions) among cultures, especially the works of Edward T. Hall, Geert Hofstede, Harry C. Triandis, Fons Trompenaars and more recently Shalom Schwartz. Clifford Geertz was also a major contributor to this field. The first Ph.D. called intercultural communication was awarded to William J. Starosta (Indiana University, 1973).
These theories have been applied to a variety of different communication theories and settings, most notably general business and management (Fons Trompenaars and Charles Hampden-Turner ) and marketing (Marieke de Mooij, Stephan Dahl). There have also been several successful educational projects which concentrate on the practical applications of these theories in cross-cultural situations. Notably the European-funded research project media-net-works which illustrates ways in which virtual communities can be established to achieve an understanding of how people from different cultures communicate with each other.