Question - Communication Managment

You are managing a complex onshore team with resources from India, Ukraine, Nairobi, Ireland, Italy, France, Israel, and the United States. Several stakeholders have been invited to your most recent progress meeting. At the meeting, one of the stakeholders asked a question of one of the resources from India. The resource from India responded by using a head gesture that was misinterpreted by the stakeholder (the stakeholder thought he was saying ‘no’ when, actually, the resource was indicating ‘yes’). What type of barrier to communication does this describe?

a. Culture shock
b. Cultural difference
c. Distrusted resource 
d. Noise

I choose the option d) Noise but it does not seem to be correct. Could someone explain the correct answer but more importantly let know why "Noise" is not the correct answer.


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Its clearly cultural difference which has resulted in the misinterpretation. There is no Noise here. He saw the gesture and misinterpreted it. If he was not able to see the gesture due to something it would be Noise.

b. Cultural difference  


Cultural differences are different beliefs and values of a particular group. They are different from one another.

Answer is D. Question never says anything about cultural difference. Names of various countries given just for fake and to misdirect. This is clear misunderstanding case and that's why No. It is not mentioned here that in one country some gesture is treated is YES and same in different country is treated as No.

Do not get carried away by question.....see only what is asking for and what information is provided. We should restrain ourself from making any conclusion out of question.

Noise is not the right answer. The stakeholder who asked the question could receive the response and hence it is not Noise. The answer in my opinion is Cultural Difference. Please see PMBOK Page 255, Noise is clearly defined as "Anything that interferes with the transmission and understanding of the message (e.g., distance, unfamiliar technology, lack of background information)." The question asks what type of barrier to communication does this describe. Noise is a component of the Basic Communication Model defined by PMBOK and not a type of barrier. That is the key in this question. This is my opinion, comments on this are very welcome.

In the defination of noise, it is mentioned "understanding of message.....". This is clear case of misunderstanding and hence I believe Noise is correct answer.

Its not noise. Its cultural difference. Cultural difference is a noise in communications model. And all noises are barriers  or communication blockers. So we cannt just say noise when we have a specific choise "cultural differece". Rita Page: 357.