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When Cultures Collide: Leading Across Cultures

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  443 ratings  ·  33 reviews
Richard Lewis provides a truly global and practical guide to working and communicating across cultures, explaining how our own culture and language affect the ways in which we organise our world, think, feel and respond, before going on to suggest both general and specific ways of making our influence felt across the cultural divide. There are penetrating insights into how ...more
Paperback, Third Edition, 599 pages
Published September 29th 2005 by Nicholas Brealey Publishing (first published 1996)
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Feb 08, 2016 rated it did not like it
Ok guys so I am from Lithuania where racism, homophobia and misogyny is given from one person to another like a mental STD, so my judgement might be a bit off. But even I, with all the tolerance to not properly developed regarding human rights, couldn't stop wondering - HOW THIS BOOK IS VALUED SO HIGHLY FOR SO MANY YEARS?

On one hand I like any kind of classification, and Lewis gives one that is kinda making sense. On the other hand though, he does not back up any claims, so they just throw vario
Jun 13, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2017, nope, non-fiction
I don’t understand how this monstrosity of a racist, classist, Eurocentric, misogynistic book is so highly regarded, as a leader in intercultural competences.

Perhaps, I am being unfair, this book does make the (unintentional) point of what happens when someone coming from a culture that for centuries systemically oppressed, dominated, profited of, demonized, committed genocide and countless other inhumane acts on a large portion of the world writes a book about those peoples' cultures and how t
Aug 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: leadership, own
This book is a useful tool when working with a multi-cultural business environment. Even though it is geared towards business and negotiations, the fundamentals of how cross-cultural communication works and the idiosyncrasies of various nations and cultures(83 in all), would make this a great resource for anyone involved in travel or working with various people groups.
Jun 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Useful in writing your dissertation, but if you really want to get to know other cultures, don’t rely on it ;)
Feb 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business, non-fiction
There are about a billion books that purport to teach you to relate to different cultures. Most of these books approach it from a single vector (Chinese culture for Americans; Indian culture for Brits). Those are often detailed approaches, full of little dos and don'ts that are most relevant. On the other hand, they often read as lists of rules that basically have to be memorized.

When Cultures Collide takes a more systematic approach. Lewis divides world cultures into three main groups: linear-a
Henna Pääkkönen
Jul 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book on intercultural communication, one of my favorite subjects on earth. I ve been lucky to hear Dr Lewis lecture a couple of times too, and for me he is THE guru of intercultural communication. Loved this book!
Ruth Hosty
Jun 30, 2019 rated it liked it
I was mainly interested in this book because of it’s study of cultures interacting with one another and the different thought-processes of people from around the world. For that reason I loved section one.
But section two and it’s focus on business I will admit I skipped.
And finally in section three where it breaks down different behaviors of people in different countries both in and out of business was interesting but some things I completely disagreed with (especially because I knew a few p
Jun 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
A book that should be read alongside other books on cultural differences, as a book on this topic can never ever replace living a culture.
Nonetheless, I like the fact that there a chapter for many countries; and the chapters about the countries where I have lived were rather good. (when read from the perspective "what to do/avoid when traveling somewhere for a (business) trip"; and not "I will now know how living in this country is").
Yet I notice that people who have never lived outside their c
Nov 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: physical-books
I have used this for school but if you are interested in other countries and cultures and how to approach them it's a really useful book. The dictionary in the back let's you find the country you may travel to and describe it in few pages how they use their language, manners, body language etc.
May 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great book about cultures across different countries. A handbook to read before business meetings in abroad to having guests from other countries.
Apr 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Very valuable when working with a multi-cultural team.
Tooza Hasairi
Jun 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
the writer defiantly discarded individualism and took his general characteristics from tv shows and movies maybe
i almost think it's a bit disrespectful to some cultures
Vernes Bisic
Nov 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant insight into how different cultures perceive same things differently.
Apr 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Full Review: When Cultures Collide: Leading Across Cultures Review

I really wanted to read this book after reading an article by the author about how different cultures around the world perceive time very differently.

Is Time Always Money?

While I was growing up in Toronto, Canada (for most of my adulthood), time was a process that went from the past, the present, and into the future.

As well, because of American capitalism, 'time is money' - hence using time efficiently and effectively is very impo
Roberta Botta
Un libro davvero interessante che ci mette davanti a culture diverse e ai pregiudizi del mondo intero.
Derrick Trimble
Sep 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Any person conducting international business
Eye opening exposure into the mechanics of how people from diverse international cultures approach communication, leadership, management, negotiations, and cultural sensitivity. Being an American, I'd strongly recommend this read for every American business person conducting or planning to conduct business on an internatonal stage.

Heavily favouring an European, Asian, and American business orientation, When Cultures Collide is a great reference for conducting business in these regions. Many othe
Ayman Al Hasaar
Jul 08, 2016 rated it liked it
The book should not be a conclusive read if one was to target understanding one culture. It does cover a wide spectrum of cultures (though not the biggest continent in the world- Africa!) but one may need to dig deeper if they are experiencing a certain culture.

Otherwise, it is too instructional, and not giving the full picture of the mentality of certain people. It is also generalizing.

As a book on globalization, it fails to address a decent world population that already have cultural collide
Kim Leandersson
Sep 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Good book as it gives a good overview of this interesting and complex topic. First part of the book explains a bit of theory about the topic and also dives into history to explain some behaviors. The second part is more like a encyclopedia where it goes through country for country, explains it special treats and how you can counter them for best result. Definitely a recommended read for anyone who deal with multicultural teams or who works in an international environment.
Mar 15, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: have-e-book
This book consistes of two parts: an overview of styles in outlook, for instance between linear-active, reactive and multi-active. In short, how people from different cultures can vary. The second part is a global overview of a lot of individual countries and their national characters. With tips how to handle them. Interesting stuff, though at the moment I have too little information to judge the accuracy of his statements, but he seems knowledgable. I would have loved more anecdotes though.
Antonio Gallo
Un libro che posseggo dal 1997, quasi venti anni. Si sono susseguite diverse edizioni, le culture continuano a scontrarsi e non sembra che le cose siano destinate a cambiare. Quando il libro uscì non c'era ancora la globalizzazione, Internet era alle origini, il mondo non era ancora diventato "liquido". Devo procurarmi la nuova edizione e vedere come le cose si sono evolute. Ma ne vale poi la pena? Non credete che le cose vanno sempre allo stesso modo ... ma in maniera diversa?
Oct 19, 2008 rated it liked it
part of negotiations class
Apr 01, 2014 marked it as to-read
Shelves: culture
From Business Insider article: ...more
Annemieke Windt
Mar 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
useful for a course I'm teaching.
Feb 15, 2012 rated it really liked it

It's a book to leave on your night table and get back to often. Must read if you work in a global job.
Jul 27, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall a good read, very informative
Catalina Gardescu
Jul 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
If you work in an international community this is a bible. I will keep it by my side to check back with as I work with people from various nationalities
Angelina Souren
Nov 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Excellent book! Was recommended to me by the late Pinkney C. Froneberger III. We met during a workshop on cultural differences at Berenschot in Utrecht.
Amr Handy
Dec 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A must have
Apr 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A great tool when dealing with different cultures. A great storyteller. 600 pages delivering the essential message: "The others are not aliens."
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Richard Donald Lewis was born at Slack Farm, Billinge, in 1930. The author of several books on educational subjects, he holds a degree in Modern Languages and is one of Britain’s foremost linguists. He founded the Berlitz schools in East Asia, Portugal and Finland and spent several years in Japan, where he was personal tutor to Empress Michiko and five other members of the Japanese Imperial family ...more

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November is the time for aspiring writers to get serious about writing that book! It's National Novel Writing Month, the annual event designed to...
65 likes · 14 comments
“For a German and a Finn, the truth is the truth. In Japan and Britain it is all right if it doesn’t rock the boat. In China there is no absolute truth. In Italy it is negotiable.” 4 likes
“Whatever the culture, there’s a tongue in our head. Some use it, some hold it, some bite it. For the French it is a rapier, thrusting in attack; the English, using it defensively, mumble a vague, confusing reply; for Italians and Spaniards it is an instrument of eloquence; Finns and East Asians throw you with constructive silence. Silence is a form of speech, so don’t interrupt it!” 2 likes
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