Summary of When Cultures Collide

Managing Successfully Across Cultures

Nicholas Brealey Publishing, more...

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When Cultures Collide book summary
You’re on time; he’s late. You follow the agenda; she won’t. You think your contract is firm; they see it as a moving target. It’s just a culture thing.


8 Overall

7 Applicability

8 Innovation

9 Style


Richard D. Lewis, an expert on cross-cultural and language training who has tutored clients from Swedish corporate executives to the Japanese Imperial Family, discusses the need to consider cross-cultural differences in managing any company in today’s global world. He suggests a broad model you can use to characterize different national characteristics as linear-active, multi-active, and reactive. These traits shape attitudes toward time, leadership, team building, and affect a range of organizational behaviors. Lewis includes brief national profiles you can refer to when doing business away from home. This in-depth book covers common patterns in different cultures, and offers many examples of how different groups act under different situations. getAbstract recommends this book to top executives, managers and anyone who works in a multicultural business environment, as well as to general readers with a yen for informed people watching.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why it is crucial to understand the cultures in which you are conducting business
  • How cultural differences in basic concepts affect communication
  • Why truth in business is not absolute


The Vast Diversity of Cultures
While everyone shares certain basic concepts, people from different cultures see these concepts from different perspectives and behave differently as a result. That’s why you may think that someone is behaving irrationally or even violating certain values...
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About the Author

Richard D. Lewis is chairman of Richard Lewis Communications, an international institute of cross-cultural and language training. His clients include Deutsche Bank, Mercedes Benz, BMW, Fiat, Gillette, Pfizer, Andersen Consulting, Nestle, Nokia, Volvo, Saab, IBM and a dozen government industries. He spent five years in Japan, where he was the tutor for the Empress Michiko and other members of the Japanese Imperial Family.

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