Shop now Shop now Shop now See more Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now DIYED Shop now Shop Fire Shop now Shop now Shop now

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
26
3.8 out of 5 stars
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
At least a decade ago I read Mind Your Manners: Managing Business Culture in a Global Europe and was fascinated by the insights into cultural differences in business and how important it was to factor culture into business communications and operations. I was therefore keen to learn new insights in this more recent publication. In a world of increasing globalisation the authors argue that a key obstacle to success is the inability to understand the different world view of customer and partners and that this is increasingly important in a service based economy. If we are the fish in the water, we don't 'see' the water that is our own culture and do not understand that others are swimming in a different water. They argue that national traits can explain the rise and fall of companies such as Nokia and Austin Motors.

There are a number of sweeping generalisations but this is an interesting read and may help if you work with other nationalists and cultures.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
TOP 100 REVIEWERon 22 October 2013
Kai Hammerich and Richard Lewis have selected and rigorously explored a subject of great interest to me: the dynamics of interaction between and among cultural values that are sometimes incompatible or at least resistant to compromise, accommodation, and consensus. Cultural differences almost inevitably result in cultural confrontations. They help to explain why many (if not most) mergers and acquisitions either fail or fall far short of original expectations. They also help to explain civil wars, tribal feuds, and dysfunctional families.

In this volume, Hammerich and Lewis focus on these specific phenomena:

o How values, beliefs, and assumptions are embedded in an organization by its founder(s) and leaders
o The "Lewis Model" that triangulates national cultures (i.e. linear-active, multi-active, and reactive national)
o The defining traits of key nations (e.g. France, Italy, Great Britain, and USA)
o The "Cultural Dynamics Model" ® and the concept of a cultural dynamic
o Lifecycle periods (e.g. organizational, such as those discussed by Ichak Adizes in Corporate Lifecycles: How and Why Corporations Grow and Die and What to Do About It)
o The growth period during which companies expand the nature and extent of their operations
o The maturity period with its phases of efficiency, scale, and in some instances consolidation
o "Whither the West" in terms of the impact of what Tom Friedman characterizes as a "flat world" has on western nations as they compete globally
o An existential crisis whose details are best revealed within the narrative, in context

How can business leaders "see the water that surrounds them," water that may be red with ferocious competition, white with uncertainty, or blue (as W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne suggest) with opportunity? Hammerich and Lewis recommend a five-step framework:

1. Determine the main dimensions of the [given] company's strategy and cultural alignment using the Cultural Dynamics Model ®
2. Classify the national type that reflects the embedded national values using the Lewis model
3. Identify where the company is in its lifecycle
4. Establish how national culture may have enabled and/or derailed success at the most recent transformation point and could impact the organization at the next
5. Diagnose signs of a potential crisis that could accentuate a cultural dynamic and create a life-threatening situation for the company

Hammerich and Lewis explain how to prepare for, implement, and then sustain -- rather than complete -- a process of constant adjustment, one prescribed by Charles Darwin more than 150 years ago: "It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change." It was true then and is even truer now when change is the only constant and it occurs faster and with greater impact than at any prior time that I can recall.

Confident that the world will become multicultural but one in which differences are respected and diversity is appreciated. Kai Hammerich and Richard Lewis conclude, "Organizational culture is the result of all the decisions made and actions taken in an organization over time. Culture is behaviour and behaviour defines culture. Culture is man-made and therefore can be directed by man. Thus, whichever direction the world takes, we can only point the finger in one direction -- toward ourselves. And herein lies our biggest opportunity!"
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 29 September 2013
Excellent and inspirational book on how national culture in powerful, yet often invisible ways, can accelerate or or derail corporate strategy execution.

The book uses the Lewis model (from Richard D Lewis' book: When Cultures Collide) to define and describe national types and their uniqueness, complemented by the new Cultural Dynamic model.

The two authors, who come from very different and diverse background, use their two models to explain how national and business cultural influencers impact work and management practices over the business cycle - and through this the effectiveness of strategy execution.

This book confirms the simple truism that "Culture eats strategy for lunch".

The many cases of global corporations such as Sony, Samsung, P&G, GM, Walmart, Nokia and Toyota, are clearly extensively researched.

While the topic of corporate is prone to stereotyping and cliches, the authors manage to convincingly present a new line of thinking in each case to explain how the national culture profoundly impacted the success of these companies - yet, often without the management or board noticing the critical enabling or derailing cultural dynamics.

However, the book is also practical and suggests how Western companies can more effectively deal with other cultures, and how companies can improve their response to the inevitable corporate crises and how each nation face their own unique challenges from globalisation.

Fish Can't See Water: How National Culture Can Make or Break Your Corporate Strategy
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon 12 January 2015
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I approached this book with some degree of apprehension as the title sounded rather like one of those pointless pearls of wisdom that well-meaning, but ultimately clueless, training gurus come out with as though it was the teachings of Confucius. However, I was very pleasantly surprised to discover a very easy to read and clearly well founded book on the nature of workplace culture and how problems arise, can be avoided and resolved. Yes, there is a bit of pseudo-Confucius babble but for the most part it is very readable and rings true regarding strife within my own workplace. The book puts workplace culture within the context of a country's culture and if a business is to be successful it must ultimately adapt to the culture of that country and I found that particularly relevant in my situation.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 24 May 2014
Authors Kai Hammerich and Richard Lewis have teamed to produce an illuminating examination of the profound impact national cultures have on corporations as they expand their work force and customer base beyond their borders. As an American educated in the U.S., I particularly appreciate that this book is written from a non-American perspective. Business writing seems to be dominated by Americans and in this day we need more analysis and advice from those whose professional lives and expertise emanate from outside the United States. The conceptual framework and case studies in this book combine for a compelling discussion of strategic planning in a world where multinational companies succeed or fail based upon their ability to acknowledge and respond to the clash between cultural roots and global growth. An excellent book.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon 1 January 2014
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This book may not stack up to academic scrutiny in terms of the authors' typology of national culture (trying to squeeze all national cultures into three core types is a bit of an ask) but what it does achieve is a simplicity that will appeal to managers and practitioners. The author's deserve credit for communicating potentially complex ideas in a straightforward manner. Hofstede remains the benchmark but there needs to be more debate on an increasingly important topic in today's globalised economy. In that sense the book brings something meaningful to the table. However I did feel the originality of the approach was overhyped at times.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 5 January 2014
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a fascinating book that was more engaging than I expected. Well paced and written, it explores how to understand and utilise different cultures in the international business arena to everyone's benefit. Sounds obvious I know, but it's amazing how particularly UK/N American businesses don't fully consider such important basics.

The principles also, although aimed it seems through the examples at large corporate interests, are as applicable to small businesses venturing overseas too. A decent enough handbook and worth a look.
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 11 January 2014
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This was okay. Probably better than most business books but I felt it was just a bit too broad and exaggerated. I felt that most people could figure out most of it themselves by speaking to people from countries they are moving to, investing in or maybe just some basic internet research.
It was quite well written and I did find some of the content to be quite useful and genuinely insightful.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon 29 December 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
It's the first time I have read something like this. I have considered that, the various cultures could affect a company differently, but I have never critically thought about the impact of culture on multinational Organisations to the extent culture can seriously (positive/ negative) impact an organisation. Reading this book has opened my eyes and in a way it served as a reminder of what I have seen having worked on two diverse continents, Africa and Europe, believe me, the differences are huge.

The studies into large multinationals such as Toyota, Sony, Nokia, Samsung, Microsoft helped me understand the whole argument. Also the Author looked at dominant traits in different peoples, such as Great Britain, The US, Italy, Brazilians, Germans and so on; pointing out traits that may derail strategy, those that could be tapped or exploited.

I had to read this book, as I found it strange that 'Fish could not see water'! Well, I went through the preface, and saw that I needed to read it. A great book on cultural impact on strategy.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 28 September 2013
A unique insight to the strategic importance of corporate culture and why it should be exploited by corporates who operates internationally, and/or, by fund-managers who are seeking alternative avenues to predict the performance of corporates.

Further, the book implicitly provides a roadmap of cultural factors, that can impact financial performance and outlook, hence it allows "outsiders" to gain a better understanding of corporates ability to execute their strategic targets.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Sponsored Links

  (What is this?)