The Cultural Dimension of Global Business  book cover
8th Edition

The Cultural Dimension of Global Business

ISBN 9781138202290
Published March 17, 2017 by Routledge
354 Pages

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Book Description

Now in its eighth edition, The Cultural Dimension of Global Business continues to provide an essential foundation for understanding the impact of culture on global business and global business on culture. The highly experienced authors demonstrate how the theory and insights of cultural anthropology can positively influence the conduct of global business, examining a range of issues that individuals and organizations face as they work globally and across cultures. The cross-cultural scenarios presented in each chapter allow students of business, management, and anthropology alike to explore cultural difference while gaining valuable practice in thinking through a variety of complex and thorny cultural issues.

The fully updated eighth edition offers:
• an expanded focus on organizational activities, with two new chapters that provide greater insight into organizational culture and change, and customer engagement;
• fresh case study material with a range of examples drawn from around the world;
• further resources via a companion website, including a fully updated Instructor’s Manual and new interactive quiz questions for students.

Table of Contents


1. Cultural anthropology and global business
Introduction: global connections
The perspective of cultural anthropology
Cultural anthropology and business
Anthropology’s major concept: culture
Cultural differences in business: challenges and opportunities
Cross-cultural scenarios

2. Lenses for understanding culture and cultural differences
Contrasting values
Cross-cultural scenarios

3. Communicating across cultures: the nonverbal dimension
The nature of nonverbal communication
Business introductions
Interactions among businesspeople
Cross-cultural scenarios

4. Communicating across cultures: language
The ideal of linguistic proficiency in global business
Linguistic diversity
Language and culture
Language mirrors cultural values
Language and social context
Additional complicating factors
Information and communication technologies
Cross-cultural scenarios

5. Negotiating across cultures
The nature of cross-cultural negotiation
Where to negotiate,
Effective strategies for international negotiators
The use of interpreters
The global negotiator
Cross-cultural scenarios

6. Partnering across cultures
Partnership basics
Meetings as opportunities for collaboration
Decision making models to advance the partnership work
Partnering relationships and problem solving
Cross-cultural scenarios

7. Cultural transformation
Definition of cultural transformation
Change unfolding
Critical attributes of planned cultural transformation
Business approach to change
Anthropological approach to change
Applying the planned cultural transformation process to health care
Cross-cultural scenarios

8. Consumers
Consumer or customer: what’s the difference?
An anthropological approach to understanding consumers
Interface between organizations and consumers
A holistic approach to consumer research
Collaborative approaches
Brand meaning and advertising
Cross-cultural scenarios

9. Global leadership
Globally oriented firms
Creating a globally oriented workforce
The evolving profile of the expatriate assignment
Competencies for global leaders
Selection for an expatriate assignment
Cross-cultural scenarios

10. Expatriate assignment
The expatriate experience
Global strategy reimagined
Cross-cultural scenarios

Appendix A: cross-cultural scenario discussions

Appendix B: locating relevant cultural information
The traditional anthropological approach
Documentary sources useful in developing a cultural profile
Human resources for culture-specific information
The search for cultural information upon arrival





Companion Website content:

Student Resources
Sumary of learning objective
100 Quiz Questions

Instructor's Resources
Fully revised 40 page Instructor's manual

View More



Gary P. Ferraro is Professor Emeritus in Anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA. His expertise includes applied anthropology and intercultural communication.

Elizabeth K. Briody is a cultural anthropologist with 30 years of experience of cultural change efforts. She is a leading expert on the culture of organizations and the founder and principal of Cultural Keys, USA, an organization dedicated to helping companies diagnose and solve cultural issues.


"Chock full of real world examples and practical tips born of decades of research, The Cultural Dimension of Global Business lays out in readable prose the concepts and generalizations that help us make sense of the cultural differences business people confront in their daily lives. From the deep insult of showing the sole of one’s foot in Cairo to expatriate culture shock, Ferraro and Briody take us on a global tour of culture as it impacts business.  This book is sure to find a home in both the businessman’s briefcase and the college student’s backpack."
Gregory P. Urban, Department of Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania, USA

"The Cultural Dimension of Global Business is an essential pedagogical tool for instructors in anthropology, sociology and especially in business schools, that deal with variations of human activities in commercial enterprises cross-culturally. The authors offer theory, best practice advice, and clever insights in a wide range of topics, from dealing with contrasting value systems and non-verbal cues, to appropriate ways of using email and text messages in and out of business dealings. This should be required reading for students and business leaders across the spectrum of classrooms and boardrooms."
Timothy de Waal Malefyt, Gabelli School of Business, Fordham University, USA

"This book is a classic that gets better with each new edition. Written by two anthropologists well respected in the field, it provides a comprehensive discussion of culture as it relates to business. They discuss culture in the context of verbal and nonverbal language, values, leadership, negotiation, partnership and more. The new chapters on organizational change and consumer behavior are welcome additions. The book is essential reading for anyone negotiating the cultural dynamics of business locally or globally and is well organized for classroom use."
Ann Jordan, Department of Anthropology, University of North Texas, USA

"Any book that reaches its eighth edition must be responding successfully to reader needs. The Cultural Dimension of Global Business identifies both the pitfalls and challenges of working in a rapidly changing world economy, while simultaneously acting as an informed guide for how to become a successful player in the twenty-first century. New chapters on consumers and cultural transformation make clear the relevance of connections between a firm and its customers. As you would expect of a book rooted in business anthropology, it’s all here – the evidence, the stories, the analyses and, most importantly, the strategies needed to work effectively within any kind of business culture, wherever you may be. A must for those interested in a long-term career in transnational business."
Brian Moeran, School of Modern Languages and Cultures, University of Hong Kong, HK

"Few books maintain their appeal over time. And even fewer become 'classics'. The Cultural Dimension of Global Business is one of those. It remains a 'must read' for any practitioner or scholar of business. Now in its eighth Edition, a testament to its value proposition, this book stands above other similar titles for several reasons. First is the authoritative and in-depth treatment of culture and its implications for business by the authors – two accomplished anthropologists. This new edition preserves its coverage of fundamental understanding of how culture impacts business, but provides new context, cases, and applications. Business practitioners will find the chapters on negotiations, cross-cultural partnering, and cultural transformation especially valuable. I also found the treatment of globally oriented workforce, leadership and organizations to be especially worthwhile."
S. Tamer Cavusgil, J. Mack Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University, USA

"I would highly recommend the eighth edition of The Cultural Dimension of Global Business for anyone teaching – or interested in – international business, organisational behaviour and human resources, and marketing. The book wears its solid scholarly grounding in classic cultural and business literature lightly, using current examples and thought-provoking questions to engage its readers, and the authors cover a wide scope of material without talking down to students. I will definitely be including this textbook in teaching undergraduates and postgraduates across a variety of courses at Oxford."
Kate Blackmon, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, UK