The premise that underlying cultural values and beliefs play an important role in speech act performance as mediated by perceptions of context forms the foundation of this chapter. The relationship between culture, context, and speech act performance is explained. Where there is less overlap between interactants’ underlying cultural values and beliefs, misunderstandings are more apt to arise. In order to identify cross-cultural differences that have the potential to cause such misunderstandings, relevant speech act studies are presented and their findings examined in terms of cultural dimensions and orientations used as heuristic tools. It is argued that an awareness of underlying cultural variables and their potential influence on speech act performance will contribute to more effective negotiation of meaning and identity.