Summary of Cultural DNA

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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.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What “cultural DNA” means;
  • Why cultural DNA matters;
  • What strategies will help you understand the cultural DNA of eight world regions; and
  • How these insights can promote workplace diversity, interpersonal relationships and corporate global competitiveness. 
 

About the Author

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

 

Summary

“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 light on the genesis of cultural differentiation:


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