In the modern era of globalization managers venturing forth to engage alien societies must be armed with cross cultural skill sets least they travel on feet of clay. Most academic texts and encased individual chapters targeting business students are awash with a confusing maze of intersecting theoretical based value determinants to define and characterize cultural differences. This book offers a concise, simple and practical approach to cross cultural management. The book is divided into three sections. The first offers the novice, while reminding those acquainted with the subject, how culture acts as the prime driver of our life - the filter of our senses and the guide of our values hence the measurement barometer upon which all our decisions and behavior is constructed. The use of culture in a commercial setting is introduced with research generated guidelines to complete the introduction for managers. The next section examines how cross cultural determinants should function as a worthwhile tool in cross cultural engagement proposing a two-step concentration.
Firstly if we are different, what is the degree of separation, a step to getting people to recognize that diverse societies are not necessarily polar opposites, black and white programmed absolutes, as there exists a grey space of shared common ground. The second step directs one to take notice of similarities as opposed to focusing attention on differences, and use such areas of commonality to build bridges across the cultural divide. The final section offers the practical application of techniques to navigate the cross cultural milieu; become a cultural detective. Concluding comments are then offered on collateral issues to strengthen the skill sets of managers.
Lawrence A. Beer (JD) St. Johns University joined the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University in 2002 as a faculty associate, attained Lecturer in 2003 and then Senior Lecturer in 2004. Such positions followed his tenure at Western International University, Paradise Valley Community College and Long Island University.