Summary of Access to Asia

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Access to Asia book summary
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International etiquette consultant Sharon Schweitzer – writing with award-winning author Liz Alexander – provides simple, straightforward advice about cultural complexities and differences across major Asian markets. This clear, jargon-free and practical book helps you avoid giving inadvertent offense. Schweitzer frames her lessons around eight basic considerations. Her detailed information about social expectations includes charts, timelines and quizzes. She also explains what to do when negotiations or transactions hit rough spots. And she teaches, just as Mom did, that good manners matter everywhere. getAbstract recommends this easy-to-read guide to entrepreneurs, managers, negotiators, and anyone working with Asians or in Asia.

About the Authors

Etiquette consultant Sharon Schweitzer, advises Global 2000 and Fortune 50 companies. The author of 15 books, Liz Alexander, co-founded the Leading Thought consultancy.



What Is Culture?

Culture is not art, music, fashion or literature, though culture influences the creative arts in every country. You can liken culture to a peach: Its skin is visible, as are “cultural manifestations,” such as traditional clothing. The fruit’s flesh stands for cultural norms that are “often unknown to people outside that culture,” such as a nation’s approach to spirituality, family and so on. The pit symbolizes the unconscious, underlying assumptions that shape the culture. To manage across cultures, understand and respect the particulars of each culture. Frame your research of cultural differences around eight questions:

  1. Do individuals act on their own initiative or do groups decide?
  2. What are the different functions of “power and authority?”
  3. How important, relatively, are “rules and relationships?”
  4. Do people conceive of time as “monochronic” or “polychronic?”
  5. Is communication seen in a “low context” or a “high context?”
  6. Do people expect you to be “formal or informal”; that is, is the culture “loose or tight”?
  7. What is the balance between people’s “social” and “business” lives?
  8. What is the...

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