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The Culture Map: Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business Hardcover – May 27, 2014


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Editorial Reviews

Review

“The book abounds with well-chosen anecdotes to illustrate the misunderstandings that can arise from clashing cultural assumptions, making this enlightening book a pleasure to read.” —Foreign Affairs

“Whether you're a corporate or traditional diplomat, global traveler, government official, or passionate world citizen, this is the one book you should not miss. Chock-full of real-world examples and a simple framework that can be utilized in any cross-cultural context, Meyer's work is characterized by a fresh and relevant voice, distilling down the essentials of communicating, persuading and working effectively around the globe. It is rare that I pick up a cross-cultural book and can't put it down.”—Cari Guittard, Huffington Post

“This readable book explains how to dramatically increase organisational success by improving our ability to understand the behaviour of colleagues, clients, and suppliers from different countries.” —Professional Manager (UK)

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

“With business becoming ever global, there are a raft of books available on dealing with cultural differences. If you only read one, make it INSEAD professor Erin Meyer’s…Skillfully blend[s] real-life examples.. with an analytical framework… What brings this book to life are the numerous examples Meyer has encountered, both in her own life as an American living in Paris, and in her experience as running the Managing Virtual Teams module at INSEAD."—HR Magazine, 5 star review

"Amusing"—Financial Times

“In a relaxed, entertaining, but always knowledgeable style, Meyer draws on numerous examples from her experiences to explain how to detect the invisible barriers in the global business world – and how to get past them."—Siemens Industry Journal, issue 2

"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 Forbes.com. 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

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs (May 27, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1610392507
  • ISBN-13: 978-1610392501
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.8 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,186 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

I enjoyed reading the book, it is very entertaining.
Amazon Customer
She gives very practical advice to not only understanding the differences but how to break down the barriers between different cultures when working together.
John Seiffer
Living in a global world make a lot of us be exposed to these cultural differences.
Ralph Dellapiana&rocio Summers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By LKL in Santa Fe on June 1, 2014
Format: Hardcover
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Lothar Katz on July 31, 2014
Format: Hardcover
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Leni de Mik on August 4, 2014
Format: Hardcover
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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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Nowar on September 21, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The best quality of this book is the very easy to read, engaging, honest, personal and friendly style.
It is a book written by an American, addressed mostly to Americans.
It would be unwise to consider this book as a how to manual for your next important business meeting or deal.
Culture has more dimensions: most nations have mixed ethnic, multi-cultural populations, with different religions, languages or dialects.
How do you deal with people with mixed cultural origins (Japanese father and Brazilian mother)
How do you deal with people who have a different cultural heritage than their nationality and residency (An indonesian or Iranian or South African who heads a German division of an industrial group in Frankfurt)?
What is the role of the Organization culture (State owned company vs a tech start-up) of the people you are dealing with?
What is the culture of the function of the persons that you are dealing with: finance, HR, Legal, R&D, factory, field services?

This is a book to enjoy but it should not be hyped as a user manual. Culture is not a flat one dimensional thing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Renita Kalhorn on March 9, 2015
Format: Hardcover
The best business books, in my opinion, teach principles backed by research/science and then illustrate them with real-life anecdotes and stories. Prof. Erin Meyer did an impressive job of this in The Culture Map.

As a coach who's lived/worked in Japan, France and the US and had executive clients in 29+ countries, I found this book immensely helpful in 1) understanding their differing points of view and 2) helping them navigate their own interactions with global teams more productively (and I've been recommending it to a number of them).

It's not about having hard and fast rules -- how could we possibly account for all the individual differences within a culture based on age, socioeconomic levels, education, mixed ethnicities, etc.? But the eight-point scale raises our awareness to key areas of potential difference and gives us a concrete tool for identifying points of conflict.

As Prof. Meyer writes: "Sometimes just a few words of explanation framing your behavior can make all the difference in how your actions are perceived. Recognizing how your approach is viewed by those around you, and taking a moment to describe what you are doing and why, can greatly enhance your effectiveness." Knowing that you have cultural blind spots and what they might be could make the difference between a costly failure and long-term partnership.
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