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The Culture Map: Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business [Kindle Edition]

Erin Meyer
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Whether you work in a home office or abroad, business success in our ever more globalized and virtual world requires the skills to navigate through cultural differences and decode cultures foreign to your own. Renowned expert Erin Meyer is your guide through this subtle, sometimes treacherous terrain where people from starkly different backgrounds are expected to work harmoniously together.

When you have Americans who precede anything negative with three nice comments; French, Dutch, Israelis, and Germans who get straight to the point (“your presentation was simply awful”); Latin Americans and Asians who are steeped in hierarchy; Scandinavians who think the best boss is just one of the crowd—the result can be, well, sometimes interesting, even funny, but often disastrous.

Even with English as a global language, it’s easy to fall into cultural traps that endanger careers and sink deals when, say, a Brazilian manager tries to fathom how his Chinese suppliers really get things done, or an American team leader tries to get a handle on the intra-team dynamics between his Russian and Indian team members.

In The Culture Map, Erin Meyer provides a field-tested model for decoding how cultural differences impact international business. She combines a smart analytical framework with practical, actionable advice for succeeding in a global world.

Editorial Reviews


“A helpful guide to working effectively with people from other cultures…Meyer delivers important reading for those engaged in international business.” —Kirkus Reviews

"Although we live in an increasingly digitally connected and virtual business world, this book reminds us that understanding cultural differences in human interactions still matters. Global leaders know that blending cultural and individual diversity in teams is a sure recipe for better business outcomes. But this diversity needs to be first understood and then proactively managed. Meyer presents a brave, research-based, analysis of how to do just that. With clear and practical frameworks, The Culture Map will help business leaders become “cultural bridge builders” to the benefit of their teams and organizations."—Dr. Didier CL Bonnet, Global Head of Practices, Capgemini Consulting

“I highly recommend this book to both the professional and leisure reader. Erin has shown to be one of the main representatives of the next generation scholars who combine deep conceptual models with very practical applications. A must-read!”—Fons Trompenaars, Author of Riding the Waves of Culture

“Whether you are sitting at a desk in Boston or eating at a restaurant in Beijing, communicating across cultures is the great challenge of the global economy. Getting it right will be the the difference between success and failure. Erin Meyer shows you how to get it right in this very important book. Managers everywhere should read it.”—Des Dearlove and Stuart Crainer, Founders of the Thinkers50

About the Author

Erin Meyer is a professor at INSEAD, one of the world’s leading international business schools. Her work focuses on how the world’s most successful global leaders navigate the complexities of cultural differences in a multicultural environment. Living and working in Africa, Europe, and the United States prompted Meyer’s study of the communication patterns and business systems of different parts of the world. Her framework allows international executives to pinpoint their leadership preferences, and compare their methods to the management styles of other cultures. Her work has appeared in Harvard Business Review, Singapore Business Times, and In 2013 Erin was selected by the Thinkers50 Radar list as one of the world’s up-and-coming business thinkers. Follow her on Twitter: @ErinMeyerINSEAD

Product Details

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
As a manager and executive, and more recently a writer about leadership and performance, I’ve watched teams increasingly struggle with the impact of globalization. To understand how to deal with the challenges of cultural differences, I’ve tracked and relied on the various books that claim to help team managers and members navigate these difficult waters. Erin Meyer's just-published "The Culture Map" stands out as the best I’ve seen in this group for the practical clarity of its approach and insights. Her eight key dimensions let you map your team members (and yourself) against each other and find ways to bridge the chasms of misunderstanding that can sabotage everyone’s best intentions. "The Culture Map" reflects her deep experience at INSEAD and inside companies working with leaders from around the world.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended! August 4, 2014
I loved this book. The pages are packed with substantial, insightful information about how culture impacts communication and cross cultural negotiation. I have had three citizenships and have lived in four countries and feel that Professor Meyer is "spot on" in her analysis of subtle and complex patterns and variations in what different cultures consider to be good business practises. Her eight scale model outlines key differences in areas including (but not limited to) expressiveness, leadership, confrontation, and decision making and provides a clear and elegant summary of these differences for managers and individuals who are interested in the impact of cultural variations. An excellent guide for business people, it is also valuable for travellers who seek deeper understanding of countries they are visiting, Last, but not least, its a great read. I thoroughly enjoyed it!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
For decades, authors such as Hall, Hofstede or Trompenaars have dominated the field of intercultural research. The models they presented, commonly referred to as `cultural dimensions,' aimed to identify differences across countries and cultures; they are still widely used in cross-cultural education and training around the world.

With The Culture Map, INSEAD professor Erin Meyer now boldly presents a new and different set of dimensions, a map of eight continua structured along the lines of how people interact: communicating, evaluating, persuading, leading, deciding, trusting, disagreeing, and scheduling. What sets this model apart is its practicality. Where others discuss value differences, Meyer concentrates on resulting behaviors; where others analyze how values manifest themselves, she focuses on strategies for crossing cultural gaps and reconciling different ways of getting things done. All the while, the author strikes an effective balance between oversimplifying and getting carried away with complexity. Meyer uses a wide range of stories, her own and others', to illustrate essential concepts and highlight critical caveats.

The Culture Map encourages readers to think beyond the obvious. For instance, when discussing levels of directness in communication, Meyer does not stop at warning Westerners of the importance of paying attention to the subtle ways in which messages are commonly worded in Asia, as most authors in the field do, but also emphasizes the `inverse' risk: those used to highly indirect communication styles may sense "between-the-lines" messages that the sender had no intention of sending. Thankfully, Meyer frequently discusses strategies for working across such cultural differences.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is highly recommended to anybody working frequently with people from other cultures. While most books in this field are theoretical and abstract, Erin Meyer makes the intercultural workplace come to life. Full of real-life examples and lively - often humorous - anecdotes, ’The Culture Map’ becomes an essential tool that can be applied directly in the workplace. A rare combination of well-researched concepts and entertaining storytelling, I highly recommend Erin’s book to any professional dealing with other cultures!

The highest possible rating fits this book, as it is such a practical guide for use in any international business or organization.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great resource for multicultural teams and leaders August 13, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
I love this book! As an American trained professionally in Chinese and Japanese work environments, I find the insights incredibly valuable. The book gives precise and actionable advise that I can apply immediately when I hear coworkers grousing about colleagues from other cultures. If you work in a multicultural group, or are leading one, this is well worth the read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This book brings cross cultural affairs to life through anecdotes, case studies and Erin's own rich professional experience. It is a totally pragmatic and even humoristic book for anyone who wishes to learn more about this currently under-explored topic. From the international business people, foreign students or ex-pat families through to the simply curious I cannot recommend this book highly enough ! The subject is often tackled in a very dry, academic or abstract/ technical even philosophical manner which may detract from the importance of the subject. I could identify with many situations from my own working experience and felt the "business first" approach was perfect way to make the point!
Thank you Erin!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A most helpful road map for anyone negotiating the challenges of communication and conflict in today's diverse workplace...."
Published 18 hours ago by Fred Koning
5.0 out of 5 stars Helpful handbook for entrepreneurs and others.
I have read only a part of the book so far, but I have enjoyed the information and the examples given. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Sarv Grover
5.0 out of 5 stars Erin Meyer has great ideas in her book
Erin Meyer has great ideas in her book. I recommend it highly, specially for those who travel and work within other cultures.
Published 1 day ago by Masoud S.
5.0 out of 5 stars useful.
Informative, useful.
Published 1 day ago by Karin Tamas
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best purchases I have ever made
One of the best purchases I have ever made! This book is very well written, with bits of humor mixed in with the loads of fascinating cross-cultural information. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Colton Downing
3.0 out of 5 stars it depends
Significant number of topics discussed are repetitive and not new for somebody exposed to different cultures. Nonetheless, I strongly recommend it to the others. Read more
Published 3 days ago by H. Baki Iz
5.0 out of 5 stars Great reading. I am the head of a US$ ...
I've bought this book about a month ago. Great reading. I am the head of a US$ 2bn real estate investment management business. As per October 2014, we are going Global. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Matthys Storm
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading for multicultural teams
I had the great opportunitty to have a day class with Prof Erin Meyer at INSEAD. The way she explains the several cultural pilars is great and very easy to understand and... Read more
Published 9 days ago by Mauricio Arguello
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read for anyone who wants to work more effectively across...
Over the last couple of years I’ve been working to help college students understand and appreciate cultural differences in the context of leadership. Read more
Published 17 days ago by David W
4.0 out of 5 stars Helpful.
Definitely worth reading. A good reference for creating healthy cross cultural relations and communication. Also compact and accessible. Sometimes funny.
Published 20 days ago by Amazon Customer
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