More and more careers today involve interacting with other cultures. No longer limited to the ranks of top management, this cross-cultural contact is affecting workers of all levels. From the technician on the factory floor to the customer service representative to the CEO, all of us can be in direct daily contact with someone from another culture, and this could create conflict. Author Gwyneth Olofsson takes on these work-related intercultural issues and offers practical advice in her book, When in Rome or Rio or Riyadh - Cultural Q&As for Successful Business Behavior Around the World.
Drawing on 16 years of cultural training and business consulting, Olofsson has collected the cultural questions her students and business trainees have asked most and compiled them in brief, to-the-point letters and answers. Largely drawn from her column in Volvo_s magazine, Global, she shares answers to burning questions on topics best related to the 33 countries with the largest gross domestic product_those where businesspeople are most likely to be.
Olofsson uses each specific cultural question as a springboard to explore cultural commonalities and differences. She also provides _Global Warnings_ for topics that are particularly sensitive in certain cultures. After each section of the book, she provides the fundamental cultural characteristics of each of these countries and points out the similarities among them. When in Rome or Rio or Riyadh is a compelling, easy-to-use guide for anyone who wants to avoid being blindsided by a cultural misstep.
"As always, Gwyneth Olofsson gives her guidance on how to behave, dress, speak or write in a way everyone can understand. When in Rome or Rio or Riyadh, will come in handy every time you go on a business trip abroad, wherever your destination happens to be. Business people everywhere should have this book in their possession."
-Christina Eide, Vice President, Volvo Information Technology AB
"At last, a truly practical guide for the international business executive on how to survive and prosper in different cultures! This book should be in the 'essentials' kit of all who travel for work, or for pleasure."
-Michael Pitfield, Director of International Business, Henley Management College
"When in Rome or Rio or Riyadh... takes a fresh new approach to the essential work of building intercultural awareness, sensitivity and skills. With her creative use of letters from thirty-three different countries, author Gywneth Olofsson brings to the reader an astonishing array of cross-cultural conundrums, which she solves with clarity, insight and humor. Where intercultural works have in the past tended either to resemble travel guides or, at the other extreme, ponderous academic treatises, Ms. Olofsson's book promises the reader an illuminating, highly readable journey into the world of cross-cultural interactions that is at once informative and wonderfully entertaining."
-Charles Bergman, Director, Asia-Pacific Meridian Resources Associates
"When in Rome or Rio or Riyadh_ is a most useful book for business travelers in the 21st Century. It gives many useful tips, thanks to which I now understand (possibly too late) some of the mistakes I have made in the past."
-Philippe Divry, Senior Vice-President Renault VI Powertrain Division
"When in Rome_ is a winning combination of very useful practical advice and extremely valuable cultural insights. The letters format is very engaging. And Ms. Olofsson turns out to be a fine, amusing writer; you end up reading more than you meant to, just to linger in her company."
-Craig Storti, Director, Communicating Across Cultures and author, Art of Crossing Cultures, Cross-Cultural Dialogues, Figuring Foreigners Out and Speaking of India
"I read When in Rome or Rio or Riyadh with my daughter, and despite the fact that she is a university student and I'm a managing director, we both appreciated the true value of this book. As the number of people who work and travel internationally is increasing rapidly, we all need a book like this, well-structured, down-to-earth and helpful."
-Pavel Baranov, Managing Director VSM Group, Moscow
"Ms Olofsson's experience as a language and intercultural consultant shines through the pages. With a combination of humor, honesty and an ability to understand some of the more idiosyncratic features of different national cultures, she has provided a text which should become essential reading for anyone hoping to do business abroad, and indeed anyone seeking to understand better people from other cultures."
-Mel Read, MEP European Parliament, East Midlands, UK
"When in Rome or Rio or Riyadh, is a delightful book to read. It combines deep insights into common everyday cross-cultural experiences with an engaging, almost visceral, style of narration. Though it offers practical tips in Q&A format, it is not just another cultural etiquette book; reading this book is like taking a perceptive journey, flitting across more than thirty countries. Ms. Olofsson has succeeded in giving a new depth and meaning to those day-to-day points of contact to a new culture. e.g., names, making conversation, working day, table talk, relating, etc." which form the crux of cross-cultural experience and interaction."
-Dr. Madhukar Shukla Professor of OB & Strategic Management Xavier Labour Relations Institute, Jamshedpur, India