Le management interculturel
The book structure
This book has been released for the first time in 2003. Le management interculturel features 127 pages containing an introduction (from page 3 to 7), four main chapters (from page 9 to 120), a conclusion (pages 121 and 122), a bibliography (from page 123 to 126) and finally a table of contents at the end of the book (page 127). The book is written in French and can be found in the collection «Que sais-je?» at the Presses Universitaires de France editions (known also as Puf).
The goal of the author is to delineate the field of intercultural management and to clarify its content for the reader.
The introduction of the book is longer than the conclusion. Indeed and as usual, the introduction must answer to a crucial question: Why do you (the reader) must read this book. Instead of giving a list of reasons to the reader, Sylvie Chevrier uses different techniques. For instance, she defines the means of intercultural management in order to catch the reader’s curiosity («Intercultural management consists in building links between people carrying different cultures in order to minimize the negative consequences of the differences for the individuals and the firms and to take advantage of the potential resources that each culture offers» p.4). After having an overview of what intercultural management is made of, the reader can choose to start reading the whole thesis or not after that the author has shared her outline. As we will see in the point entitled «Hooks», the author can also find another techniques to convince the reader to follow her throughout this book.
* Between Chapters
The author splits her work into four chapters, from the roots of the intercultural management to its application. The first chapter called «Notion of culture» (pp 9 to 34) recaps all the different theories written by experts to define what a culture is made of. The second chapter named «Culture and management: from beginnings to systematic surveys» (pp 35 to 62) focuses on the works of Edward Hall and Geert Hofstede and their links with the principles of management. Then come «The interpretative approaches» (pp 63 to 98) which describe the content of the different intercultural management methods before the author finally explains in the fourth and last chapter «Practices of the intercultural management» (pp 99 to 120) their applications. At the beginning of every chapter, Sylvie Chevrier defines the title and highlights the outline. For the conclusion, she uses links and transitions to give credits to her structure and help the reader to follow her thesis easily.
* Within chapters
To stress the logical structure of her thesis, Sylvie Chevrier splits her four main chapters into several subparts and some of them are even divided into small paragraphs (Chapter III «The interpretative approach» Part 1 «Political cultures» Paragraph 1 «Culture considered as a senses system» pp 63 and 64). Every points highlights an important notion of the chapter as every paragraph underlines some essential details necessary to explain a notion in particular. Thanks to the clarity of this method, the author guides step by step the reader throughout her reflection on the intercultural management.
* Within paragraphs
The relevance of the chapters’ structure made of paragraphs let the author focus and explain the core of each theory (the paragraph entitled «The fundamental dimensions» recaps the five dimensions defined by Geert Hofstede, themselves written in the third subpart of the second main chapter called «The works of Geert Hofstede»; p. 52) and groups of ideas in order to build page after page a clear and remarkable reasoning by analogy. The reader learns the basis of every fundamental concept, fully described, analyzed and documented by Sylvie Chevrier and understands little by little the progression...
References: Sylvie Chevrier backs her arguments with a lot of documents and references. When a famous theorist is quoted to emphasize the relevancy of an argument, the author immediately put at the end of the quote the name of the person, the year when these words have been said or written and sometimes also the number of the page into round brackets («(Ortigues, 1993, p.14)» p.14, «(d’Iribarne, Henry, Segal, Chevrier, Globokar, 1998)» p.86).
As for the references, Sylvie Chevrier uses numerous footnotes to ask the reader to refer to the bibliography at the end of the book (« M. Weber, The Protestant Ethic and The Spirit of Capitalism, Paris, Plon, 1964 (French version), foreword» p.37) or gives a quick explanation about the context for instance (« See General Electric CEO’s statement on the efficiency of a good stock options plan to solve the cultural differencies issues during international mergers (Les Echos, 24th October 2004)» p.100).
Le management interculturel is sometimes complex to read but highly technical and accurate on the topic. Throughout the book, Sylvie Chevrier sums up, in the presence of the reader, all the theories made by the greatest minds and link them thanks to a clever reasoning by analogy to finally delineate the field of the intercultural management and clarify its wide content.
Word count: 2010
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