Book: The Global Business Culture Guide by Lothar KatzBuy it from Amazon Buy it from Barnes&Noble
Do you know what it’s like when you are meeting a business contact in another country, or maybe just calling a colleague over there, and suddenly, you realize that “things don’t make sense”? When you both speak English but don’t appear to be communicating? When you are both quite experienced but seem unable to agree on the right course of action? When your counterpart’s behavior is rather unorthodox and you are unsure what to make of it?
The Global Business Culture Guide helps you navigate these and many other situations.
Part I discusses how culture affects the ways in which people do business. It starts with a short review of culture and cultural dimensions, models that aim to identify and describe differences in values and practices across cultures. As we will find, all such models come with significant limitations and caveats. They are nevertheless helpful in developing cross-cultural understanding and have many applications, for instance when you are working to determine your best strategy for how to influence local decision-making. At the end of part I, we take a look at other societal, organizational and/or individual factors that influence business styles. Among these factors are corporate values and practices, as well as aspects such as age, gender, or religion.
Part II lays the foundation for the country-specific information provided in the book. We review fundamental aspects that shape differences in the ways people do business around the globe, such as a country’s history, diversity, and geography, local expectations of relationship building, communication styles, meeting protocol, negotiation practices, approaches to decision-making, and others. Looking beyond these areas, the final chapter of this part of the book asks a seemingly ancillary question: “What else would be useful for you to know before engaging in business in a country?” The answer, we will find, is complex and has much to do with your business objectives.
Part III serves as a reference for anyone conducting business in, or with people from, any of 50 different countries across six continents. For each, we begin with a brief look at historic events, geographic influences, and diversity aspects that influence local business culture(s). Next follows a discussion of relationship expectations and communication preferences. An introduction to meeting etiquette and expectations is followed by hints for business negotiations, from general styles to specific approaches and caveats. Other sections are dedicated to decision making, agreements, and contracts, to gender roles in business, and to other aspects that matter when doing business in the country, from religious practices to dinner etiquette or gift giving rituals. Two more elements round off the information for each country: Recent Trends highlights developments in the country that are likely to influence business values and practices near- to mid-term. Finally, a list of Do’s and Dont’s summarizes the most crucial hints for business success in the country.From etiquette and protocol to negotiation and decision making, The Global Business Culture Guide offers the advice you have been looking for on how to adjust business practices, personal attitudes, and social behaviors to be successful in any of 50 countries around the world.