The Guide to Cross-Cultural Success

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The Guide to Cross-Cultural Success Second Edition

Danielle Medina Walker Thomas Walker Joerg Schmitz

New York Chicago San Francisco Lisbon London Madrid Mexico City Milan New Delbi San Juan Seoul Singapore Sydney Toronto

Copyright 02003 by McGraw-Hill. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. Except as permitted under the United States Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means, or stored in a data base or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

ISBN 0-07-137832-4

McGraw-Hill books are available at special quantity discounts to use as premiums and sales promotions, or for use in corporate training programs. For more information, please write to the Director of Special Sales, Professional Publishing, McGraw-Hill, Two Penn Plaza, New York, NY 10121-2298. Or contact your local bookstore.

The Cultural Orientations Modelm, C O P , Cultural Orientations Indicate*, and COIB are all trademarks of Training Management Corporation; Registration 75-652669,75-652654, and 75-652670.

This book is printed on recycled, acid-free paper containing a minimum of 50% recycled de-inked fiber.


Foreword Avant-Propos Preface

vii ix

xi xv


The Global Environment Culture 33


4 5

The Cultural Orientations Model A Survey of Cultural Patterns 91


Cultural Orientations in Communication Cultural Competence in Marketing and Sales




Translating Global Vision into Local Action: Focus on 28 1 Multicultural Teamwork and Collaboration Notes Index 3 13




n a world in which companies are increasingly global, understanding cultures has become a prerequisite for sustainable development.

The issue was not so acute when companies exported products that they adapted to local needs, or even for multinationals, where a central unit developed corporate strategy and was responsible for all the crucial hnctions (R&D, technology, allocation of human resources). In a global company that integrates different parts of the world, where there are multiple decision and strategy planning centers present within a dominant matrix structure, understanding cultures universally has become an essential element of competition. Here culture and cultural systems have an important impact on planning, organizing, staffing, leading, and controlling skills.

All too often, companies behave ethnocentrically, showing a strong belief in the superiority of their original culture and using certain stereotypes, but forgetting that others also behave rationally, but in relation to different systems of values. There are considerable differences in the ways in which individuals approach the key dimensions of existence. Such differences can be observed in the approach to nature itself, depending upon whether the individual wishes to dominate or to live in harmony with nature; in the approach to time, depending on whether the individual considers time to be of a fixed, chronological nature or a fluid nature; and in the approach to success, which can be perceived as an individual or a collective phenomenon. This book provides significant input both for those who are already in business and for those who are preparing to enter business. It is scientifically based and useful at an empirical level of action. It is scientifically sound in vii



that the authors demonstrate their knowledge of the literature on the subject and the analysis is conducted rigorously. The reminder of the foundations of culture and its impact on behavior and the treatment of emotions are well covered. In addition, there is a solid basis to the analysis of the choices with which individuals are confronted. The book is clearly very usehl on a practical level. It...
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