Summary of Breaking Through Culture Shock

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Indonesians aren’t punctual, but the Germans believe timeliness is a sign of respect. The French are well educated, but elitist. And, spouses and children don’t always find living abroad to be a "grand experience." Those are just some of the things you’ll learn from Dr. Elizabeth Marx, who explores why many managers have a horrible time abroad. To help improve your managerial experience overseas, she provides a 100-plus item checklist of what to do before you leave for a foreign country, including information on whether to sell your house or have your children inoculated. Her book tells the ambitious manager Everything You Always Wanted To Know About the International Experience but Were Afraid to Ask. For instance - and this isn’t surprising considering her background in psychology - she tells corporations to provide psychological testing for employees before sending them to international posts. getAbstract says read this before you plan your bon voyage party.

About the Author

Dr. Elizabeth Marx is a director of Norman Broadbent International, a worldwide executive search company. She focuses on the search for and the psychological development of international executives and carries out research on boardroom issues. Based in London, she works throughout Europe and the United States, and lectures internationally on management topics. She trained in psychology at the University of Marburg, gained her doctorate at Oxford University and was previously a lecturer in psychology at the National University of Singapore.

 

Summary

What is Culture Shock

Culture shock is the experience of foreignness. Adapting to this experience, or failing to adapt, is a major professional challenge in international business. Whereas some executives clearly thrive on this challenge, others feel disoriented and anxious and do not perform well.

Why Some Succeed and Some Fail

Why are some international managers successful while others struggle with day-to-day activities? Air miles or technical excellence have nothing to do with it. The ability to manage culture shock in international business makes a difference between failure and success. Culture shock is a reality in today’s global business. Some managers adapt, others desperately cling to their habits and their national approaches. If you are - or are about to be - a manager in an international setting, you can use this book as a self-coaching guide. First, you have to take an active approach to answering three questions:

  1. How can you adapt effectively to the demands of international work?
  2. How can you motivate an international team and understand your foreign colleagues?
  3. And how should your international...

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