The book is a great resource for any newcomer to the subject(s) at hand. For those of us with actual hands-on experience in dealing with both, German and U.S. culture, the book is very helpful as it solidifies and/or corrects one's own perceptions and impressions. (Andreas Wuerfel)
We used this book in our International Negotiations and Conflict Resolutions class in Cologne, Germany in 2006, taught by Patrick Schmidt, himself. This book was the gem of the course. I don't know if it was too sterotypical, but using this set of common personality types helps in the learning process. I plan on reading the book again to recapture the useful piles of useful information jammed within. (Steven T. Cullen)
I am grateful to Patrick Schmidt for having placed in my hands a copy of the third edition of his book on Understanding American and German Business Cultures: A Manager's Guide to the Cultural Context in which American and German Companies Operate. As is so often the case at SIETAR Congresses, we exchanged some goodies in the hotel lobby in Sofia, and I hope Patrick found mine as good as I found his. While not a new publication, Patrick's book is nonetheless a very solid, simple, and useful expose of the cultural differences between the way we operate when working with each other and why, despite our best efforts we fall short of pleasing each other and fall into annoyances often over what often look like small matters. Whether you are German or USian, you can get a good quick profile of your own culture to the degree that you subscribe to it--and most of us do at some level even when we want to rebel against it. This is not a comprehensive cultural study but a practical one, at the interface of how we work together, our sense of what work is, our work habits. Schmidt addresses the most salient issues in how we communicate at work (and elsewhere, of course). What we understand and how we need to listen to understand as well as to present to each other in a way that we can understand are all dealt with in a matter of fact way with occasional excursions into the historical and psychologically whys. He provides an overview of such things as values, lawsuits and ethics across borders, and a discussion format about for exploring what it takes to be interculturally competent--and all this in less than 100 pages. Appendixed to the manual are brief, incisive case studies from real life with analysis and likely interpretations. Like life itself, this treatment leaves the door open to engagement and learning on the part of those who use it. Updated several times, it shows the author's commitment to continued learning and exploration of the topic. I will find it an immediate resource for class work and training. (George Simons)
This useful guidebook explains the different organizational behaviors between Germany and the United States. Using the comparative method, the reader is able to immediately grasp where the differences are and become conscious of his or her own national uniqueness. Whether German or American, this book will stimulate your understanding of both sides to an increasingly important partnership-equation. Examples are drawn from both the United States and Germany. Interactive case studies and checklists confirm the main points. A reading list guides you to further learning.
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