- Paperback: 599 pages
- Publisher: Nicholas Brealey Publishing; 3 edition (September 29, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1904838022
- ISBN-13: 978-1904838029
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.8 x 9.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 47 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #56,685 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Lewis is a crosscultural expert who has now presented his wisdom in a highly readable book.―Evening Standard
This eloquent, easy-to-read book covers everything you need to consider to create a structure that will allow your international team to succeed...Lewis brings theory to life through a number of engaging case studies, as well as his own personal experience... Lewis has achieved a fine balance between theory often delivered in a light-hearted and easy to remember way and tactical every day application. Whether your international team is 10 people or 10,000 people, the clear narrative provides valuable insight... This fascinating subject is crucial to the success of global business.―People Management
Lewis provides urbane and knowledgeable guidance... Verdict: this book could mean the difference between winning and losing valuable orders abroad.―The Director
About the Author
Richard Lewis is the chairman of Richard Lewis Communications, an international institute of cross-cultural and language training with offices in over 30 countries. He founded the quartely magazine Cross Culture in 1989 and is heavily involved in the intercultural field, lecturing in countries from Finland to Hong Kong and working with companies as diverse as Fiat, IBM, Nokia, Andersen Consulting and Nestle. He lives near Winchester, and is one of Britain's foremost linguists, speaking 12 languages - and spent 5 years in Japan, where he was tutor to the Imperial Family.
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Top customer reviews
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As far as the practical applications and the business perspectives go this books seems to be really good. (I only say 'seems' because I don't know enough about the subject to give a more definite answer) However its stance on Linguistics and Cultural Theory is a little more dicey.
If you read this book I would recommend following Lewis's advice on business matters, but anything he says about culture theory should be taken with a grain of salt.
Lewis seems to enamored with the idea of Linguistic Determinism, stating at one point that most linguistics believe it and frequently citing linguistic differences as the reason for cultural differences. The only problem is most linguists don't believe it. Even the studies on Linguistic Relativity (a much softer version Linguistic Determinism) are concluding that language is not a major factor in how we think (there are some debates about the validity of the studies, but that is what the studies are finding)
Anyways here is the tl;dr version: Seems to be a good book if you're interested in International business, not so much if you're interested in cultural studies.
My only other problem with this book is that while it covers most of the places that are currently have a lot of international business, it mostly ignores places like Africa and Polynesia.
Having visited or worked in 31 of the 94 countries, over the last three decades, in my business career, I can relate totally with what Richard Lewis writes about. The details given in the book are startlingly real. In each country we read about their history. The cultures and values are given their due respect. Concepts of Leadership and Status are described to readers, so that one understands how important these are to achieve a successful business relationship. This continues into sections on Cultural Factors in Communication that are a true benchmark for anyone who is learning on how and what to do in such complex environments.
The importance of understanding the basis cultures and values in countries where, say Europeans, have either migrated some years back or gone there to take up a position, is addressed with knowledge and understanding. In my experience working in African, Asian and Latin American countries, one cannot overemphasize the importance of what Richard Lewis writes about.
Well, in a word, Yes. Yes, if you are suddenly faced with having to do business with people from other nations. I cannot praise highly enough how this book, in both its current and previous editions, enabled me to come to terms with the challenges of working across cultural divides. It has come to my rescue on no end of occasions, helping me adapt my expectations and be open to differences. The style is light without being shallow, and it can be dipped into as easily as it can be read cover to cover.
And it was particularly useful when I suddenly found myself responsible for a department in Finland!