4/1 – Kai Hammerich and Richard D. Lewis Fish Can’t See Water: How National Cultures can Make or Break Your Corporate Strategy.

April- June 2014 / Leadership Emerging

Hammerich, Kai and Richard D. Lewis Fish Can’t See Water: How National Cultures can Make or Break Your Corporate Strategy. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Chichester, UK 297pp. .

David C. Wigglesworth

Fish-Cant-See-Water

David Wigglesworth

David Wigglesworth

This book seems to be an amalgam in which the authors have great difficulty in making the parts stick together. The parts that deal with culture appear to have been extracted from Lewis’s When Cultures Collide and focus on his theory of reactive cultures, whilst the parts that talk about corporate strategy are somewhat dated.  Using the Austin motor company as a sort of case study and not mentioning that the company later went out of business makes one think that this section came out of one of the author’s file cabinets.

For the novice, there is a lot of valuable information about different countries’ cultures though this information could be found more readily in other texts and the absence of any discussion of India seems something more than neglectful.

There are a number of interesting studies of corporations but these are  a lot of iteration of sameness in them.

I think that managers and leaders in international corporate setting are aware of the foibles of relying on their national culture in today’s business environments and that this book, other than providing specific country cultural data would be of little value to them.

David C. Wigglesworth

 

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