Kirkus *starred review*
This outstanding guidebook plies the cultural waters of Asia and offers insider tips for developing successful business relationships.
Intercultural consultant Schweitzer and consultant/author Alexander (# Thought Leadership Tweet, 2012, etc.) have crafted an invaluable reference guide that is comprehensive and fascinating. Using a consistent approach, the authors offer details about 10 countries, including a historical overview, the names of heroes and sports figures, foods, business protocols, etiquette for socializing, and more. Each chapter also has an ingenious “self-awareness profile,” a simple one-to-six scale so the reader can gauge the nuances of certain cultural aspects. The authors map the scale to“the prevailing cultural preference”; in the case of doing business in Japan, for example, the cultural tendency is to be “highly formal” (six on the scale) rather than “very informal” (one on the scale). The ranking provides key intelligence to a businessperson in light of his or her own cultural bias. Interestingly, the authors begin with an overview of the United States of America, both to demonstrate the book’s framework as it relates to the subsequent countries and to offer guidance to readers who might wish to do business in the USA. The remainder of the book covers China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan. The insights offered could only be the result of a deep understanding of each country’s cultural attributes, so to validate the content, the authors wisely called upon numerous country experts, who are acknowledged in the back of the book. Details both broad and specific paint a rich, unique picture of each country. Readers learn, for instance, that in China, “decisions are made as a group rather than individually.” In Japan, “gifts (omiyage, or honorable presents) are a crucial element and expected on almost all business occasions.” In the Philippines, personal hygiene is vital because “Filipinos shower several times a day.”
Beautifully constructed and expertly written in straightforward language; will make it far easier for anyone to navigate the cultural differences of doing business in Asia.
From the Inside Flap
Access to Asia presents a practical framework and effective strategies for today's global business leaders and managers, whether they are traveling from Toronto to Taipei, Baltimore to Bangalore, or San Francisco to Shanghai. Drawing from the extensive experience and global connections of intercultural consultant and international etiquette expert Sharon Schweitzer and consulting co-author and book strategist Liz Alexander, as well as contributions from over 100 international professionals, this crucial guide suggests that irrespective of their industry, everyone is in the relationship business. When doing business in Asia, building trust and gaining respect are vital steps in developing meaningful business relationships. Access to Asia is filled with the inside advice and real-world stories that explain how to strengthen business ties in ten countries including China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Myanmar/Burma, and South Korea.
Access to Asia reveals why cultural awareness is so vital to sustained business success and outlines an eight-question framework for building business relationships in ten important Asian markets. The simple Self-Awareness Profiles prompt you to identify where you currently stand on topics related to this framework, compared with the prevailing country culture. The U.S. chapter offers insights for U.S. Americans into their own culture, and is a primer to doing business in the U.S. for Asian readers or indeed anyone from another culture. The authors include an alphabetical listing of common concepts and terms that offer a better understanding of how to create long-lasting business relationships in Asia.
The book is filled with down-to-earth suggestions for creating goodwill such as incorporating the names of national heroes and sports figures in conversations and presentations. For each Asian country highlighted there is a handy guide to that country's etiquette and protocol including material on gift-giving practices, forms of address, greetings, and much more. The authors also impart insider tips and suggestions for the proper way to socialize, and they include a guide to fiscal calendars and important dates of regional holidays.
For individuals and companies looking to engage more successfully with their counterparts in Asia, Access to Asia showcases the critical people skills that drive global business success.