Summary of Cultural DNA

Looking for the book?
We have the summary! Get the key insights in just 10 minutes.

Cultural DNA book summary
Start getting smarter:
or see our plans




  • Analytical
  • Bold
  • Engaging


Discussing intrinsic differences inherent in certain groups can be uncomfortable, since it can sometimes wrongly assume a hierarchy of good-to-bad, and it can sound like stereotyping or even racism. Business psychologist Gurnek Bains keeps bias out of his in-depth analysis as he examines socioeconomic variations among national and regional populations. His research analyzes factors, some dating back thousands of years, which shape the “cultural DNA” of people from eight different regions. Human beings have a lot in common, yet people think in ways that are slightly but meaningfully distinctive. While many business books explore cultural differences in general, Bains digs deeper to explain the roots of those differences and to consider how they affect contemporary workplace diversity. getAbstract recommends his compelling scholarly research to all leaders and to anyone crossing virtual or physical borders for business or pleasure.

About the Author

Gurnek Bains is the co-founder of Young Samuel Chambers, an international cultural consultancy. He also wrote Meaning, Inc.



“Cultural DNA”

People worldwide share hopes, dreams, problems, aspirations and imperfections. With businesses going global, travel getting easier and around-the-clock connectivity reaching the most remote outposts, life seems rather homogenized no matter where you travel or do business. Yet people of various regions differ both culturally and psychologically. The causes of these regional differences spring from stages of human development beginning thousands of years ago in disparate parts of the globe. Greater awareness of and tolerance for each area’s distinct cultural nuances of behavior, attitude and social mores have significant implications for companies and individuals who interact with people of varied backgrounds. A society’s cultural DNA has many ingredients, including deeply engrained aspects of thought, life and custom that transfer from one generation to the next. Despite the use of the biological term DNA, in this sense, identity derives from environmental factors and the preferences of the people – “the founders” – who originally lived in each part of the world and led the beginnings of settled life there. This study of eight places sheds ...

More on this topic

Customers who read this summary also read

The Unnatural World
The New North
The Pioneers
Our Time Has Come
How Population Change Will Transform Our World

Related Channels

Comment on this summary

  • Avatar
  • Avatar
    E. K. 6 months ago
    Súper interesting ! As one of the quotes says: “ it is important in international business to see the person beyond the race”. This book reminds me of a job I had as an interpreter for an American company doing business in Costa Rica, Peru and Chile. Simply, because I made sure the company knew that business in central and South America were conducted in a very different way that the American way, with my South American background (Colombian) and my expertise in the specific business we were able to conduct a very satisfying trip for all the parties involved.
    I encourage people to read this book, not only for business purposes but for life in general. We need to understand, as the author says it very well, the background of each person, understand their countries, their culture and know the differences and similarities we have in common.
    This book should be in every company doing international business.
    I really liked it !!
    Elsa Krauss
    Chemist , Environmental Engineering
    Lake Worth, Florida USA