Management Across Cultures: Challenges and Strategies

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Management practices and processes frequently differ across national and regional boundaries. What may be acceptable managerial behaviour in one culture may be counterproductive or even unacceptable in another. As managers increasingly find themselves working across cultures, the need to understand these differences has become increasingly important. This book examines why these differences exist and how global managers can develop strategies and tactics to deal with them. The text draws on recent research in anthropology, psychology, and management, to explain the cultural and psychological underpinnings that shape managerial attitudes and behaviours, whilst introducing a learning model to guide in the intellectual and practical development of managers seeking enhanced global expertise. It offers user-friendly conceptual models to guide understanding and exploration of topics and summarizes and integrates the lessons learned in each chapter in applications-oriented 'Manager's Notebooks'. A companion website featuring comprehensive chapter-by-chapter PPT slides is available at
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Richard Steers and his colleagues provide a comprehensive and useful analysis of the many areas where culture shapes and influences managerial behaviors and practices. The book should be an excellent resource for global managers who have to navigate their way through different countries and cultures.”
Andrew Inkpen, J. Kenneth and Jeannette Seward Chair in Global Strategy and Professor of Management, Thunderbird School of Global Management

“Unlike other books in this field, this work digs deeper into the underlying reasons for global differences, and this information can help managers be more effective in their work. Another of the book’s strengths is the authors’ inclusion of recent research on cultural anthropology, psychology, and management, which provides a much broader framework for understanding. Highly recommended.”
– G. Klinefelter, Argosy University, Choice

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521734974
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 3/31/2010
  • Pages: 458
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard M. Steers is Professor of Organization and Management in the Lundquist College of Business, University of Oregon.

Carlos J. Sanchez-Runde is Professor of People Management at IESE Business School, Barcelona.

Luciara Nardon is Assistant Professor of Management at the Sprott School of Business, Carleton University, Canada.

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Table of Contents

List of exhibits viii

Preface xiii

1 Global realities and management challenges 1

Globalization, change, and competitiveness 3

The new global realities 12

Challenges facing global managers 17

2 Developing global management skills 24

Traditional views of management 26

Global managers: variety of the species 28

Rethinking managerial roles 35

Rethinking managerial skills 36

Manager's Notebook: Developing global management skills 39

3 Culture, values, and worldviews 45

Culture, socialization, and normative behavior 49

Core cultural dimensions: a starting point 55

Regional trends and cultural differences 64

Digging deeper: cultural complexities and contradictions 66

Manager's Notebook: Culture, values, and worldviews 76

4 Inside the managerial mind: culture, cognition, and action 85

Culture, cognition, and managerial action: a model 88

Patterns of managerial thinking 91

The geography of thought 96

Culture and the managerial role 102

Management patterns across cultures 106

Are management patterns converging? 115

Manager's Notebook: Inside the managerial mind 118

5 Inside the organizational mind: stakeholders, strategies, and decision making 126

Stakeholders and strategic choice: a model 128

The strategy-structure nexus 134

Organizational decision making: a model 137

Decision strategies across cultures 139

Manager's Notebook: Inside the organizational mind 149

6 Organizing frameworks: a comparative assessment 155

Culture and organization design: a model 157

US corporations 159

Japanese kaisha and keiretsu 165

Chinese gong-si 175

German konzern 181

Mexican grupo 186

Manager's Notebook: Organizing frameworks 193

7 Communication across cultures 199

Eye of the beholder 201

Culture and communication: a model 202

Language, logic, and communication 204

Lingua franca and message comprehension 210

Cross-cultural communication strategies 214

Communication on the fly 228

Manager's Notebook: Communication across cultures 232

8 Leadership and global teams 241

The meaning of leadership 245

GLOBE leadership study 253

Culture and leadership: a model 256

Global teams 261

Working with global teams 262

Manager's Notebook: Leadership and global teams 270

9 Culture, work, and motivation 279

The world of work 284

Work and leisure 290

Culture, motivation, and work behavior: a model 292

Culture and the psychology of work 295

Incentives and rewards across cultures 299

Manager's Notebook: Culture, work, and motivation 310

10 Negotiation and global partnerships 317

Seeking common cause 321

Culture and negotiation: a model 328

The negotiation process: strategies, concessions, and contracts 330

Negotiation patterns across cultures 337

Building global partnerships 342

Managing global partnerships 346

Manager's Notebook: Negotiation and global partnerships 350

11 Managing in an imperfect world 363

Rules of the game 364

Bases of cross-cultural conflicts 367

Ethics, laws, and social control: a model 373

Ethical conflicts and challenges 374

Institutional conflicts and challenges 384

Manager's Notebook: Managing in an imperfect world 395

12 Epilogue: the journey continues 404

Learning from the past 405

Looking to the future 407

Appendix A Models of national cultures 411

Appendix B OECD guidelines for global managers 421

Index 430

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