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The Culture Map: Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  9,598 ratings  ·  1,035 reviews
Whether you work in a home office or abroad, business success in our ever more globalized and virtual world requires the skills to navigate through cultural differences and decode cultures foreign to your own. Renowned expert Erin Meyer is your guide through this subtle, sometimes treacherous terrain where people from starkly different backgrounds are expected to work harm
Kindle Edition, 290 pages
Published May 27th 2014 by PublicAffairs (first published May 6th 2014)
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Sarah Checked the Index at the back of the book, Belgians are mentioned just once. However, she talks most of understanding several different scales that re…moreChecked the Index at the back of the book, Belgians are mentioned just once. However, she talks most of understanding several different scales that related to culture, and has an online tool pack to see where different many countries fall on each scale. I see she has data for Belgium: . So if you want to apply the book to Belgium, you could pay for access to the data for a day, write down where Belgium follows on each cultural scale, and then follow the insights for each scale in the book based on where Belgium falls. (less)
Imie Mark III No, this book is structured around the interaction between different international cultures, not subcultures within a specific country.

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Jan 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A practical guide for navigating cultural complexity while conducting global business. Interesting examples of everyday failures to communicate and work around solutions. Implements personal changes sounds like a challenge, but that is the way things are.

While strong cultural expression makes for good stories, it can impede effective communication with people from different traditions.
Of course, downgraders are used in every world culture, but some cultures use them more than others. The Briti
Jan 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book can be an excellent tool for any person that works or even just interacts with different cultures.

The author has an extensive experience as a cultural trainer and she shares interesting and educational events from her many years working with different people from all over the world. The focus is on European countries (UK, France, Scandinavia, Russia, Germany), USA and Asia (Japan, India, China, South Korea) and South America (Brazil, Colombia, Mexico) and Oceania. Africa is not covered
Mar 04, 2016 rated it liked it
There is a minefield out there for anyone who steps from their own familiar territory into foreign turf. The consequences might only be embarrassment or they could be a lost client or you might never know what you did or did not do.

“Cultural patterns of behavior and belief frequently impact our perceptions (what we see), cognitions (what we think), and actions (what we do).” If Meyer’s goal is “to help you improve your ability to decode these three facets of culture and to enhance your effective
Tarek Amr
Mar 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Being a person who is born and raised in Egypt, then moved to work in the Netherlands a couple of years ago, this book is an eyeopener for me regarding cultural differences I used to notice but wasn't able to articulate very well. Erin Meyer's books focuses on 8 aspects where cultures differ; how are people from different cultures communicate, evaluate, persuade, lead, decide, trust, disagree and schedule. The author maps culture differences onto those 8 scales, and funny enough, the Middle East ...more
Jun 06, 2016 rated it liked it
The book was OK. It offers a good overview of differences between cultures. Sometimes we may assume that 2 cultures are similar, but in the end there is a possibility of conflict, because they have different "mentality" on a certain point (trust or time perception, for instance).
But Erin often limits herself to personal stories and doesn't cite almost any researcher or study. Where did she take her scales from? What indicators did she use? Hunch? Gut feeling? Statistical analysis? Sometimes sto
Jul 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
I picked up this book at Schiphol airport while traveling in Holland, on a vacation that included London, Germany, and a cruise of the Baltic Sea to Russia, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, and Denmark. It was highlighted as a " must read" and though it is a book written about the complexity of people from different cultures working together in the business world, I found it a very interesting read which maps out the general social customs of people from different countries. I kept thinking of my broth ...more
Jake Goretzki
Oct 20, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
This one came heavy with praise from various colleagues. Strong concept, but profoundly tedious and slow-going in its execution. As per the form with very many business books (this happens nearly every time), it's making points that could easily be condensed into a short essay.

Somewhere in there, there are a handful of useful dimensions to think about (e.g. high context vs low context communication). But successive dimensions feel narrower and narrower - to the extent where I'm not sure 'giving
Sebastian Gebski
Apr 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I had it on my recommendations list for a long time, but my impression was always like: "damn, I don't need a book on cultural differences; I've worked in many international enterprises, I have been trained, I have practical experience - it would be just a waste of time".

In the end, it wasn't (a waste of time).

I really appreciate that the book is something much more than a collection of bias and anecdotes. Meyer proposes her own classification of cultures that in fact is very reasonable and intu
Meh. It started off really good but the generalisations got annoying towards the end.
Maciej Kuczyński
Cool, cool. Now I just need to become a manager of an international team in order to see if all this is true. :D
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
When you offer a drink to a guest, and she says “no, thank you”. Would she be expecting you to ask her again or she really meant what she said? The answer depends on if she’s from a “high-context” culture like China or a “low-context” culture like America.
Erin Meyer used many enlightening real-life examples like this to illustrate the cultural differences around the world.
I particularly like Erin Meyer’s approach of using 8 self-standing yet interconnected scales, communicating, evaluating, pers
Jan 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Candidate for the best book I have read in 2016 unless another one can beat it. The author made is fun to read with great examples that I could easily relate to.
Do you have books that you have been sort-of-reading for ages? They are not really gripping and you read or skim a chapter here or there, but you never seem to make real progress and you don‘t want to DNF the book either?
This is the book that probably has been hanging out on my currently-reading shelf the longest — since September 2018!

A work colleague recommended this to me. I generally struggle with non-fiction, unless it is a topic that really, really interests me. Work-related literature is
Andrea Grandi
Jan 09, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Possibly the worst book I've ever read.

It's a huge collection of biases for all the possible countries and cultures. The whole book is structured with examples like: if you are working with Chinese people, you should take this approach, instead if your team is composed by German people you should do this etc....

While I can't possibily verify all the claimings for every culture mentioned (since there are no references about all these claiming. No studies mentioned. Nothing. All based on author ow
Cic il ciclista stanco
Well, I would rate this book 4 stars, but it was the first time I read something about trying to "measure" differences among different cultures and I found it fascinating and rather helpful for anyone who has to deal with people from all around the world. ...more
All My Friends  Are Fictional
Apr 30, 2019 rated it did not like it
A book full of oversimplifications, generalisations and self-contradiction. Plus many of the examples felt simply made up. Although it had one or two good ideas thrown in there, I am honestly not sure if this book can hardly help anyone. I guess if one has never heard words "culture" or "team" before? ...more
Tom Koolen
May 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
A practical and comprehensive guide to how different cultures should be approached regarding business relations, but it can also be used outside of that.

If you've read multiple books about cultural differences already, some parts might already be known. However, the way all the information is combined makes it really good.

The quote that really fits (and which is used several times in the book) is "once you identify your sickness you are halfway cured". This book helps you identify the gaps bet
Oct 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, 2016, culture
I found this book to be fascinating, enlightening, important, and highly relevant. Erin Meyer talks about culture in a way that is respectful and also relative, so that we can understand cultural differences by contrast and comparison.

Even though this book is designed to help business-people, I would argue that it is relevant and useful to all people. Everyone could benefit from reading it.

Even if you don't agree with everything she has to say (though I personally can't say that I found her to b
Aug 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This should be mandatory reading for all ex-pats and folks working at multicultural/international companies. It's given me so much more language for what I've experienced in Rwanda, whose culture is nearly the exact opposite that in America. I'm really looking forward to employing Meyer's strategies in my new and upcoming professional experience, with colleagues and students alike. ...more
Philippe Le Grand
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"The Culture Map" is a captivating read for someone who interacts with people from different countries. It describes a practical framework with 8 scales to understand the differences and similarities in the ways people from different cultures express emotions, schedule their time, lead, persuade, choose words they use when they communicate, give feedback or take decisions.
For each scale the differences are explained by linking the chosen way to behave to aspects from the cultures' history and p
Dec 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Eye opening introduction into how cultures affect work relationships

I was quite impressed with how much I’ve learnt from this book. The book talks in detail about how culture manifests itself at work and how it can sometimes cause clashes. It was really interesting to learn about ‘low context’ and ‘high context’ cultures which differ in the level of directness of communication, and how that can cause issues in the workplace. It was also super enlightening to see a ‘map’ of how various cultures r
Bredo Erichsen
Dec 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the book I should have read 20 years ago when starting to work abroad! @erinmeyerinsead gives the background and the examples. I will recommend this book for all people working abroad or working with foreigners back home. Understanding and respect differences are a good start for a successful collaboration.
Kamil Goungor
Mar 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I saw this book in a store at the Brussels airport, and, since I work on international, multicultural environment, I thought it might be useful to check it out, so I bought it. Often this kind of books disappoint me, but not this one.

The 'Culture Map' is a really great read for all those that work or act in a multinational setting (and for everyone else too). Even if your work is going great and you don't have any issues with your colleagues from other countries, you will still find the book in
Jan 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Loved it!! Insightful, fun, with lots of personal “a-ha” moments for me! I have experience of living in 3 different cultures and interfacing with even more through the job I have in a multinational company. Not only did I find the insights provided in the book very relatable, but the language and anecdotes scattered throughout the books made it even more memorable and digestible.
Herve Tunga
Jan 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Excellent! Clear concepts, illustrative examples, without falling for easy stereotyping. A reference on the subject.
Gopal Sadagopal
Feb 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
good observations of cultural differences and practical guide to interpret and navigate them
Karen Chung
Mar 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Unlike many books or discussions on culture, which often tend to be rather abstract, vague and impressionistic, this one covers many of the solid, verifiable differences between people who grew up in different cultures, including how direct or indirect they tend to be, how they provide and react to negative criticism, how to build trust, what it takes to get them to respond to an email quickly or at all, and perceptions of time and punctuality. Indispensable for anybody interacting with or manag ...more
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wish I had this to read (at least) 13 years ago. Insightful and practical, with great additional resources available online.
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sera by: Work
I was required to read this book for a program that I am involved in through work.

I thought that the author did a great job describing the nuances of working with people from other countries and the differences among cultures when it comes to among other things, leading, persuading and trusting. We had a great conversation regarding these activities, how they vary by country or region, and then we shared examples of how we had each by impacted by these differences within our company. Meyer also
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Erin Meyer (born August 22, 1971) is an American author and professor based in Paris.[1] She is most known for writing the 2014 book, The Culture Map: Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business a study that analyzes how national cultural differences impact business.

Meyer is a professor at INSEAD, an international business school with campuses in France, Singapore and Abu Dhabi. S

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