The Cultural Dimension of Global Business: 8th Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Cultural Dimension of Global Business

8th Edition

By Gary P. Ferraro, Elizabeth K. Briody


330 pages

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pub: 2017-03-20
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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.


"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

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

About the Authors

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.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / General