World Wise

World Wise

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Denslow, Lanie 2006
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IN THIS SUMMARY

At the heart of the world economy, business professionals are striving to communicate across different cultural heritages and experiences. However if these professionals do not understand the range of values, attitudes, and definitions of appropriate business behavior, they will find it difficult to build the relationships that are fundamental to all commercial activity. Thus, Lanie Denslow, coauthor (with Allyson Stewart-Allen) of Working with Americans, presents World Wise to help business travelers establish working relationships with businesspeople worldwide, regardless of their backgrounds or locations. The book, a reliable traveling companion for both seasoned professionals and newcomers to the global business scene, offers fundamental insights into the business cultures of a host of countries, as well as the experiences and perspectives of colleagues, customers, partners, and employees in all regions. It notes that, in today's economy, an inward-looking perspective no longer works. Whether individuals stay at home, or travel the world, their businesses are global. Thus, it is necessary for business professionals to recognize that people worldwide will behave in varied and, sometimes, puzzling ways that stem from their unique cultures. Even when individuals expect to encounter differences associated with people from other places, they think it will be a simple matter to adapt. However, as World Wise demonstrates, it is often necessary to relearn the very rules of life, which is not to say that the book is intended to change behavior. Rather, it is offered to expand knowledge by demonstrating how culture makes all the difference when operating in a global economy. In the same vein as Working with Americans (Stewart-Allen and Denslow, 2002), this book's premise is that the many differences in culture, values, etiquette, and so-called common business language around the world, make doing business-as-usual impossible. Thus, the goal of World Wise, like Working with Americans, is to provide "understanding and acceptance so as not to suffer the negative consequences associated with a contradiction of expectations." Given this objective, it is not surprising that much of the material revisits many of the concepts presented in Working with Americans. But, instead of focusing on American culture, as it reveals itself to European business professionals, it compares and contrasts cultures worldwide, analyzes how these contrasts and comparisons inform the global business environment, and translates the analysis into practical advice for dealing with everyday situations.