The Culture Map

Erin Meyer

The Culture Map



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Managing a multicultural team efficiently is a big challenge in today’s world. We often don’t even realise the extent of the countless cultural differences that exist from country to country. Erin Meyer, a professor specialising in cultural differences and how they can be overcome to foster collaboration in the workplace, analyses these issues in The Map of Cultures: Decoding How People Think, Lead, and Get Things Done Across Cultures. She provides helpful suggestions and practical examples, and explores the eight subject areas in which cultures tend to differ the most. She also proposes a method for resolving conflict, to enable and empower us to turn obstacles into opportunities.

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Analysis and key concepts


We often make the mistake of thinking that all countries work in the same way


The culture map allows managers to oversee international teams in a way that turns obstacles into opportunities


The skills necessary to be effective communicators are not the same all over the world


In business, it is crucial that we learn how to give constructive criticism


In order to be persuasive, we must learn to adapt our management techniques to the target culture, and remember to be patient and flexible


Some cultures favour egalitarian leadership, while others follow a strict hierarchy


There are two types of decision-making: consensual and top-down


Investing time in building relationships based on trust is an insurance policy for the future


Certain cultures see disagreements as a personal attack, while others simply perceive them as a difference of opinion


Analysing different approaches to planning helps us understand how cultures manage time




Take-home message

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Many useful tips to:

  • Recognise the impact of cultural differences on a globalised business.
  • Discover how to address misunderstandings between different cultures.
  • Learn how to work in a multicultural team.

Erin Meyer is a professor at INSEAD, one of the world’s leading international business schools, and specialises in helping companies and international organisations navigate the complexities of cultural differences in a globalised environment. Over the years, Erin Meyer has lived and worked in Africa, Europe, and the United States, and this has allowed her to analyse communication and business organisation styles across different cultures, and to understand how these differences can be reconciled. In 2021, Erin Meyer was listed for the third time as one of the fifty most influential business writers in the world by Thinkers50.

Publishing house:

Public Affairs