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The Culture Map: Decoding How People Think, Lead, and Get Things Done Across Cultures

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  2,777 ratings  ·  301 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 ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published January 5th 2015 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…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)
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4.36  · 
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 ·  2,777 ratings  ·  301 reviews

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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 Britis
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
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
Jul 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
عبدالرحمن عقاب
نعم! نحن مختلفون! كذلك ولذلك خُلقنا.
تناقش الكاتبة بأسلوب جميل الاختلافات بين الشعوب وذلك بدراسة 8 مواضيع يهتمّ بها عالم الأعمال والإدارة، وهي : (الوضوح في التخاطب- الإعلام بالتقييم السلبي- الإقناع والاقتناع- الهرمية في القيادة- طرق اتخاذ القرار- آلية الاختلاف- وآلية بناء الثقة- التعامل مع الوقت والتخطيط).
وعلى الرغم من أنّ الخطوط العريضة للاختلافات بين الأمم قد سبق دراستها؛ مثل دراسات (نسيبيت)، إلا أنّ ما يميز هذه عن تلك أنّ هذه الأبحاث قد بحثت في الفروق "النسبية" بين شعوب الأمّة الواحدة. فمثلاً
Tarek Amr
Mar 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
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
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jan 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Oct 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Luciana Betenson
Nov 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Adorei este livro. A autora tem bastante experiência com interações multiculturais e explica, organiza, situa e ensina a lidar com diferentes culturas, em relação a temas como comunicação, liderança, persuasão e organização do tempo, entre outras. Cheio de exemplos e pequenos casos, muito interessante!
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.
Pavel Annenkov
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Книга обязательна к прочтению всем, кто ведёт бизнес с иностранными партнёрами или в командах с сотрудниками из разных стран. Автор разбирает поведенческие отличия разных культур на 8 уровнях. Много примеров из практики автора.
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
Andreea Lucau
Oct 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I feel that the book is written for managers handling multicultural teams, but it can be extremely useful for everyone working and even living in a multicultural environment.
I read it as a team exercise and it forces us to reflect about ourselves and to also know the team better.
The author proposes 8 scaled for measuring a culture and dedicates a chapter to each one. I don't know if this is the most comprehensive way to dissect cultural differences, but at least for business settings it fits pre
Mar 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, culture
My non-fiction reading "spree" continues.. a little explanation on my perspective before going into the book: I work at a pretty international company and we have scaled up quite a bit during the past few years and whereas I am not in a management position, I am still curious about how and why things work in a business environment. Since last fall, I am participating in a 1 year talent and leadership program which has really opened my eyes about a lot of things and when The Culture Map was start ...more
Jun 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For me, the main takeaway from this book is to try to explain what you are doing and why; make it an exercise in empathy. The problem then becomes the fact that you don't really know when and where there’s potential for trouble due to cultural differences. Surprisingly, it’s the anecdotes in this book helped the most in building an intuition on this. The author starts with common scenarios in a business/work environment, then derives, through induction, the general rules.

One of the things I foun
Nov 30, 2018 rated it liked it
“Trust is like insurance—it’s an investment you need to make up front, before the need arises.”

3,5 stars.

This is a book I had to read for my University course, however I never expected to enjoy it as much as I did. Obviously it's radically different from what I usually read, but the way in which Erin Meyer explains the cultural differences in many different aspects, such as trust, leadership, and decision making it becomes clear that a misunderstanding can happen very quickly. I think this
Hanson Ho
Aug 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ostensibly a book about work with people from other countries, it is actually a great framework for communicating across cultures. You'll get immediate value if you work with folks from cultures outside your own, but even in your personal life, it gives you perspective about why certain folks communicate the way they do. Highly recommended for anybody who wants to understand human communication better.
Åsmund Ådnøy
Dec 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sakprosa
Erin Meyers bok "The culture map" er skrevet for ledere av multinasjonale selskaper, men er en fryd å lese for oss andre også.

Den handler om arbeidslivskulturen verden rundt. Erin Meyer er konsulent for selskaper som kjenner at det knirker når de skal få avdelinger i ulike land, noen ganger ulike verdensdeler, til å jobbe sammen.

Åtte akser
Erin Meyer plasserer verdens land langs åtte akser når det gjelder arbeidslivskultur. En slik grovinndeling vil selvsagt bli temmelig overfladisk, men setter t
Salam Al-Nukta
Feb 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
The book gives insight with study cases and acuurate examples of different cultures. I enjoyed reading the book while also reflecting on my experiencing and linking how this relates to me and to the cultures I worked with. I just wished to have read more examples from the middle east as I see it is often and overlooked part of the world.
Nov 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
אחד הספרים הטובים ביותר שקראתי בשנים האחרונות. מומלץ לא רק למנהלי צוותים בינלאומיים אלה גם לאנשים שחיים במדינות רב תרבותיות כמו הארץ.
Rawn Shah
I appreciate the real stories that capture the experience of culture clash from different views. In some anecdotes, she relates a story and conversation by her clients during a such a clash or misunderstanding. In others, she is the protagonist of the story experiencing the point of culture confusion, and reflecting upon it.

It is this mix of both others views, as well as willing to relate her own personal stories that makes this a fascinating read. It also brings out some of the author’s own jou
Jan 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
If I could give it 10 starts, I would have surely done so! A must read for anyone working in international team regardless if you're a manager or not - because understanding your own culture is the first step to understand others better. Meyer explores 8 dimensions of culture which one encounters in daily business world and differences in which can confuse/surprise/anger you. But as the Russian saying goes - if you've been warned then you've been armed.
Nov 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
Meh. It started off really good but the generalisations got annoying towards the end.
Jake Goretzki
Oct 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
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
Faith Spinks
Dec 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
As someone who is British but with Brazilian cultural influence, who is based in the UK office of an International charity, working with and reporting directly to the US office (with a line manager from Madagascar), while leading teams across Southern Africa, the differences in cultural approaches and attitudes are my daily reality. It's challenging enough at times understanding unspoken assumptions of approach and behaviour in our own culture, but when you try to build team unity across several ...more
Mar 26, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like most business books, the language was simple and direct, so this was a quick read. Unfortunately also like most business books, I found it a bit boring. But that didn't mean it did not have some interesting information to impart, particularly about philosophy.

The author has created a systemic approach to addressing cultural diversity in the global business environment. This is absolutely critical in 2017, yet that approach may at times veer into semantics.

For example, it is very useful to b
Nov 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business-books
Wow. I randomly picked this up at my Danish school library while I was actually looking for a book on designing. This caught my eye and I started to read it immediately.

I loved the writing style and how the anecdotes were presented. It was not too dense, to braggy or boring. I was inspirational, funny and often very informational as well (sometimes even relatable if they wrote about the Dutch). The model that came out of the theory is useful, visually attractive and easy to understand. I appreci
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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
“Trust is like insurance—it’s an investment you need to make up front, before the need arises.” 5 likes
“Multicultural teams need low-context processes.” 3 likes
More quotes…