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The Culture Map: Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business Audible – Unabridged

4.7 out of 5 stars 129 customer reviews

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Hardcover
As I began to read this book, I was again reminded of the challenges that the great explorers throughout history faced. Somehow they and their associates broke through what must have been for them invisible boundaries. Today, all manner of companies are struggling to navigate their way through different cultures, overcoming boundaries that had been previously invisible, barriers more numerous and daunting than any that Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, ‎Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, and Ferdinand Magellan had encountered.

According to Erin Meyer, "I provide a systematic step-by-step approach to understanding the most common business communication challenges that arise from cultural differences, and offer steps for dealing with them more effectively." She recommends and explains several strategies to increase her reader's effectiveness when addressing issues and resolving problems caused by cross-cultural misunderstandings, if not avoid them altogether.

Meyer shares her thoughts about how to achieve these strategic objectives:

o How to communicate effectively across cultures
o How to evaluate individual performance
o How to evaluate organizational performance (i.e.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a nice collection of believable anecdotes and personal experiences about a wide variety of cultures worldwide. The author claims that a culture can be defined along 8 dimensions:
- Communicating: explicit vs. implicit
- Evaluating: direct negative feedback vs. indirect negative feedback
- Persuading: deductive vs. inductive
- Leading: egalitarian vs. hierarchical
- Deciding: consensual vs. top down
- Trusting: task vs. relationship
- Disagreeing: confrontational vs. avoid confrontation
- Scheduling: structured vs. flexible

The anecdotes are very expressive and easy to relate to. They constitue a nice collection of tips and Things-to-keep-in-mind when dealing with multiple cultures.

On the flip side, the book only contains anecdotes, which gets a bit repetitive and boring after a while. In addition to making you wonder if really cultures can be mapped out along those eight dimensions. Maybe some dimensions are correlated and fewer than eight suffice. Maybe some anecdotes can better be attributed to organizational culture, or generational culture, or individual personalities. The author addresses the latter very briefly in the introduction but keeps elaborating upon nationalities and ethnicities.

Readers interested in this topic should definitely consider Geert Hofstede's work, which is demonstrably founded on real research.
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