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Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind : Intercultural Cooperation and Its Importance for Survival

4.1 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0077074746
ISBN-10: 0077074742
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Editorial Reviews

Review

An understanding of other cultures is essential if we are to develop a more stable world and at the same time create national wealth -- Brian Burrows Futures Information Associates --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

The Classic Work on "Groupthink"-now in paperback! Since its original hardcover publication, this trailblazing work has stirred a response so deep and wide that its subtitle has become part of our language. Now for the first time in paperback, Geert Hofstede's study of the "software of the mind" helps us look at how we think-also at how we fail to think as members of groups. Drawing on decades of rigorous research, the author reveals the unexamined rules by which we live and work together. Melding unswerving intellectual courage and hard social, cultural, and organizational research, Hofstede shapes a sobering picture of a world perilously lacking in self-knowledge-unaware of serious difference between the groups that populate our planet and appallingly oblivious to the hidden "programs" that govern the behavior of cultures in a time of skyrocketing global contact. But culture shock-whether the shocking contact is between an individual and a new country, between organizations, between the sexes, or between opposing diplomats-can be turned to our advantage, Hofstede says-if we understand it. And understanding is what this work is all about. This is a book that every thinking person will want to read. Broad in scope, profoundly original in thought and profoundly important, it offers vital knowledge and insight on issues that will shape the future of our individual and collective lives. and profoundly --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 296 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill (September 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0077074742
  • ISBN-13: 978-0077074746
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,719,294 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Carl Scheider on October 16, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this book to be of tremendous value. I have had some experience with different cultures -- Italian, French and East African. This book helped me understand all of them better, and gave me a much deeper understanding of the problems I had encountered.
Each of the cultural difference dimensions is based on real research -- not just a theoretical idea. Each of them is introduced with a telling anecdote, that is almost as powerful as the statistical study.
I found lots of new information here, lots of new understanding. Most amazing to me is the fact that relatively close cultures have profound differences -- such as France and Sweden. Also amazing is the fact that these differences are of extreme duration -- reaching back thousands of years.
The author recognizes the problems that these differences bring to business and politics in an international setting. There do not appear to be any easy answers.
I highly recommend this book!
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Format: Paperback
This is a slow read, but take heart, read it all and also read "Corporate Culture and Performance" by Kotter and Haskett. The tools for making your organization run smoother, more efficiently and be more fun to work in are documented here. It is not a cookbook of how-to's. It is the research report into how cultural differences underlay everything you want to accomplish. If you are in the international arena or have a diverse workforce you absolutely need to read this book.
Knowing the differences in cultures and how to use them to everyone advantage is critical to your company's success. Ignore this one at your own peril, because at least one of your competitors is starting to implement the knowledge already. We started using the information by the time I got through the second chapter. Our Executive Coaching business is highly successful in changing corporate culture to produce the maximum benefits and returns with the resources available to top management because we factor in these differences. This book has become an indispensable reference for several of our programs.
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Format: Paperback
An important book for developing the skills needed for an individual for working in a multi-cultural environment. Through the course of reading the book i realized a few things (in fact a lot of things) that will help me work better in a global organization. It is also useful as a tool if one plans to work with people from different cultures. In all, this book gives you revelent information in uderstanding this topic!
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Culture matters - that is surely the case, but the issue is whether it matters in the specific ways posited by this book, and it is not at all clear that it does. Setting aside the problematic nature of the notion of "national" culture in multiethnic societies (plus issues of class, generation etc.), Hofstede argues on the basis of surveys given to IBM employees circa. 1970 that national cultures can be understood along four (or possibly five) dimensions. He has a tendency to invoke anecdotes as ex post rationalizations of whatever statistical result he obtains. Although Hofstede must be given his due as a pioneer in this field, subsequent research attempting to validate this analysis has yielded mixed results, and by and large Hofstede's IBM data has been superseded by the more extensive World Values Survey data. Readers with a more scientific bent who want to examine in detail the evidence that underlies (or does not underlie) the arguments that Hofstede makes are directed to the companion volume, "Culture's Consequences." Nevertheless, it is a fast and easy read, presumably one of its attractions in management courses.
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Format: Paperback
This book is a thorough and useful exploration of the ramifications of culture on national and organizational differences.

In comparison to Hostede's book "Culture's Consequences", this work is intended to be more accessible and less of a professional research text. While I'm sure the author attained this aim, I still find "Cultures and Organizations" to be a very dense read: many of the best conclusions are to be found buried between tables and outlines of research surveys. Even as a mathematician with a strong background in statistics, wading through this material was arduous, and I found myself frequently skimming in order to locate some of the many helpful observations and conclusions that Hofstede does offer. My concern is that I undoubtedly missed some of his gems as a result of my need to hop and skip through some paragraphs and passages.

I read this book in order to stimulate my thinking on cross-cultural issues of followership (the complementary idea to leadership). It has filled that purpose, but I will have to do much to further distill and simplify Hofstede's presentation for my own readers.
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By Moziah on December 21, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
very good condition, loved it., needed it and the price was nice, could not ask for more. Will buy again
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Format: Paperback
Culture matters - that is surely the case, but the issue is whether it matters in the specific ways posited by this book, and it is not at all clear that it does. Setting aside the problematic nature of the notion of "national" culture in multiethnic societies (plus issues of class, generation etc.), Hofstede argues on the basis of surveys given to IBM employees circa. 1970 that national cultures can be understood along four (or possibly five) dimensions. He has a tendency to invoke anecdotes as ex post rationalizations of whatever statistical result he obtains. Although Hofstede must be given his due as a pioneer in this field, subsequent research attempting to validate this analysis has yielded mixed results, and by and large Hofstede's IBM data has been superseded by the more extensive World Values Survey data. Readers with a more scientific bent who want to examine in detail the evidence that underlies (or does not underlie) the arguments that Hofstede makes are directed to the companion volume, "Culture's Consequences." Nevertheless, it is a fast and easy read, presumably one of its attractions in management courses.
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