Summary of Managing People Across Cultures

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Managing People Across Cultures book summary


6 Overall

6 Applicability

6 Innovation

5 Style


While human resource management (HRM) departments are a critical part of the modern corporation, they are often considered detached from the daily workings of their own employees. In a multinational modern corporation, these problems are exacerbated when other issues distract HRM professionals. Authors Fons Trompenaars and Charles Hampden-Turner inadvertently explain why many corporate employees consider HRM departments irrelevant. Meandering and without focus, their book rarely signals just where it is going. While it is part of a cross-cultural series, this book’s stated intent is to make HRM a stronger part of corporate management through the ways it recruits, trains and rewards staff members. The authors cite interesting facts and studies as they discuss various facets of human resource management, including change, motivation, recruitment, assessment tools, managing teams, organizational learning, leadership development and diversity, all with some attention to cross-cultural issues. Although this book falls short of hitting its stated goal of placing HRM at the center of the modern corporation, appreciates its ambition and the scope of its coverage.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What different types of corporate cultures exist
  • How human resource management (HRM) must change to remain effective; and
  • How to make HRM more entrepreneurial so it can encourage the emergence and implementation of new ideas.

About the Authors

Fons Trompenaars is director of Trompenaars-Hampden-Turner, an intercultural management firm. He wrote or co-wrote several books, including Did the Pedestrian Die?, Leaders for the 21st Century and Riding the Waves of Culture. Charles Hampden-Turner, the author of 18 books, is a senior research associate at Cambridge University. A graduate of Cambridge and Harvard Business School, he is a former Guggenheim and Rockefeller Humanities fellow and a visiting professor at Singapore’s Nanyang Business School.



What Comprises Corporate Culture?
Corporate cultures are living systems with built-in defense mechanisms for self-preservation. While corporate cultures are difficult to identify at first blush, they consist of commonly held assumptions that are invented, developed and discovered by people...

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