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In cross-cultural settings, the author suggests it is not enough to know that behavior differs across cultures, but also how differences in values drive behaviors. To truly understand the differences among cultures, one must understand their origins, how they emerged on the world stage and the various economic, political, physical, social, and religious forces that shaped them. This is a unique book in that it traces the antecedents of people's behavior and shows readers why cultures differ and includes suggestions for adjusting to these differences. Engrossing and revealing, Scarborough's book will be essential for corporate management and others involved in international commerce, but also for their counterparts in the public sector, who also understand why it is necessary to get along with people from other cultures in the pursuit of mutually beneficial goals.
Scarborough says, There may be no greater, more significant void in the knowledge of educated adults than cross-cultural understanding. My book advances that understanding by explaining the reasons why behavior, attitudes, beliefs, and values differ across specific cultures. Its premise is that people who interact with others with different cultural backgrounds, whether in international or culturally diverse domestic settings, are much better prepared if they understand the reasons why people act, talk, think and feel as they do. Instead of being left with just lessons on behavior, to be learned by rote, readers will be able to rely on a substantive understanding of the cultures and societies in which they find themselves, as well as their own good common sense, and in this way work more productively and harmoniously with their counterparts abroad.