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Access to Asia: Your Multicultural Guide to Building Trust, Inspiring Respect, and Creating Long-Lasting Business Relationships

Access to Asia: Your Multicultural Guide to Building Trust, Inspiring Respect, and Creating Long-Lasting Business Relationships

Sharon Schweitzer , Liz Alexander (With) , Bob Waisfisz (Foreword by)

ISBN: 978-1-118-91904-0

Apr 2015

400 pages



Create meaningful relationships that translate to better business

Access to Asia presents a deeply insightful framework for today's global business leaders and managers, whether traveling from Toronto to Taipei, Baltimore to Bangalore, or San Francisco to Shanghai. Drawing from her extensive experience and global connections, author Sharon Schweitzer suggests that irrespective of their industry, everyone is essentially in the relationship business. Within Asia, building trust and inspiring respect are vital steps in developing business relationships that transcend basic contractual obligations. Readers will find in-the-trenches advice and stories from 80 regional experts in 10 countries, including China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, and Korea.

  • Discover the unique eight-question framework that provides rich interview material and insight from respected cultural experts
  • Track cultural progress over time and highlight areas in need of improvement with the Self-Awareness Profile
  • Learn the little-known facts, reports, and resources that help establish and strengthen Asian business relationships

Effective cross-cultural communication is mandatory for today's successful global business leaders. For companies and individuals looking to engage more successfully with their counterparts in Asia, Access to Asia showcases the critical people skills that drive global business success.

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Foreword xv

About the Authors xvii

Acknowledgments xix

Introduction xxi

A Journey of Passion xxii

From Etiquette to Intercultural Exchange xxii

A Questioning Framework xxiii

Why These Asian Countries? xxiii

How This Book Is Structured xxiv

Self-Awareness Profiles xxiv

Business Is Relationships xxv

From Theory to Practice xxv

Chapter 1 A Question of Culture 1

Why This? Why Now? 6

Who Are “Americans”? 7

Chapter 2 Exploring Country Cultures 9

Thinking Is Not Universal 11

Relationships Are Dynamic 12

Chapter 3 United States of America 27

Introduction 28

Quiz 28

Country Basics 29

Business Culture, Etiquette, and Customs 34

Eight-Question Framework 43

Cultural Summary 52

Self-Awareness Profile 52

The Journey Continues . . . 53

Chapter 4 Overview of Concepts and Terms 55

Chapter 5 China 67

Introduction 68

Quiz 69

Country Basics 69

Business Culture, Etiquette, and Customs 75

Eight-Question Framework 84

Cultural Summary 93

Self-Awareness Profile 93

Chapter 6 Hong Kong 97

Introduction 98

Quiz 99

Country Basics 99

Business Culture, Etiquette, and Customs 104

Eight-Question Framework 113

Cultural Summary 120

Self-Awareness Profile 121

Chapter 7 India 123

Introduction 124

Quiz 125

Country Basics 125

Business Culture, Etiquette, and Customs 131

Eight-Question Framework 139

Cultural Summary 147

Self-Awareness Profile 147

Chapter 8 Japan 151

Introduction 152

Quiz 153

Country Basics 153

Business Culture, Etiquette, and Customs 159

Eight-Question Framework 167

Cultural Summary 177

Self-Awareness Profile 177

Chapter 9 Malaysia 181

Introduction 182

Quiz 182

Country Basics 183

Business Culture, Etiquette, and Customs 188

Eight-Question Framework 198

Cultural Summary 205

Self-Awareness Profile 206

Chapter 10 Myanmar 209

Introduction 210

Quiz 211

Country Basics 211

Business Culture, Etiquette, and Customs 217

Eight-Question Framework 225

Cultural Summary 233

Self-Awareness Profile 233

Chapter 11 The Philippines 237

Introduction 238

Quiz 239

Country Basics 239

Business Culture, Etiquette, and Customs 245

Eight-Question Framework 252

Cultural Summary 258

Self-Awareness Profile 259

Chapter 12 Singapore 261

Introduction 262

Quiz 262

Country Basics 263

Business Culture, Etiquette, and Customs 269

Eight-Question Framework 276

Cultural Summary 282

Self-Awareness Profile 283

Chapter 13 South Korea 285

Introduction 286

Quiz 287

Country Basics 287

Business Culture, Etiquette, and Customs 293

Eight-Question Framework 303

Cultural Summary 309

Self-Awareness Profile 310

Chapter 14 Taiwan 313

Introduction 314

Quiz 315

Country Basics 315

Business Culture, Etiquette, and Customs 321

Eight-Question Framework 329

Cultural Summary 336

Self-Awareness Profile 336

Chapter 15 Summary 339

Bibliography 343

Books 343

Online Resources 348

Contributors 351

Index 359

Kirkus *starred review*
This outstanding guidebook plies the cultural waters of Asia and offers insider tips for developing successful business relationships.

Intercultural consultant Schweitzer and consultant/author Alexander (# Thought Leadership Tweet, 2012, etc.) have crafted an invaluable reference guide that is comprehensive and fascinating. Using a consistent approach, the authors offer details about 10 countries, including a historical overview, the names of heroes and sports figures, foods, business protocols, etiquette for socializing, and more. Each chapter also has an ingenious “self-awareness profile,” a simple one-to-six scale so the reader can gauge the nuances of certain cultural aspects. The authors map the scale to“the prevailing cultural preference”; in the case of doing business in Japan, for example, the cultural tendency is to be “highly formal” (six on the scale) rather than “very informal” (one on the scale). The ranking provides key intelligence to a businessperson in light of his or her own cultural bias. Interestingly, the authors begin with an overview of the United States of America, both to demonstrate the book’s framework as it relates to the subsequent countries and to offer guidance to readers who might wish to do business in the USA. The remainder of the book covers China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan. The insights offered could only be the result of a deep understanding of each country’s cultural attributes, so to validate the content, the authors wisely called upon numerous country experts, who are acknowledged in the back of the book. Details both broad and specific paint a rich, unique picture of each country. Readers learn, for instance, that in China, “decisions are made as a group rather than individually.” In Japan, “gifts (omiyage, or honorable presents) are a crucial element and expected on almost all business occasions.” In the Philippines, personal hygiene is vital because “Filipinos shower several times a day.”

Beautifully constructed and expertly written in straightforward language; will make it far easier for anyone to navigate the cultural differences of doing business in Asia.