Cross-Cultural Resources

Indian Culture and Communication

Speaking of India, Bridging the Communication Gap When Working with Indians
Craig Storti
Craig Storti, a leading interculturalist, chooses to write specifically about doing business in India; this book is an obvious pick for anyone needing to communicate with Indians! Storti captures key communication issues which cause project delays and relational tensions when Indians work with Western colleagues. His solid cross-cultural foundation and practical insights when put into practice will go a long way in developing healthy virtual teams in the Indian context.
Being Indian
Pavan K Varma
Foreigners seeking to understand India or Indians wanting to take a look at their own cultural presuppositions should read this book. Although you may not agree with all of Varma’s conclusions, the book offers articulate reasons for India’s emergence as an economic power and examines attitudes and values which have driven it.
What’s This India Business? Offshoring, Outsoucing and the Global Services Revolution
Paul Davies
Davies gives us a practical tool in understanding BPO opportunities in India. He explores a variety of issues related to getting a call center started in India including navigating cultural differences, negotiating, signing contracts, and hiring employees.
The Difficulty of Being Good
Gurcharan Das
Das, Harvard educated and former CEO of Procter and Gamble India, has written extensively about the changes which have taken place in India since the economic reforms of 1991. In a more contemplative mode Das explores ethical struggles encountered by characters of the Hindu epic The Mahabharta. The book is not simply about mythological characters, but about the struggles faced by ordinary people in India today. It offers insight into the ideas that have shaped and continue to shape the Indian mind of the 21st century.
We Are Like That Only
Rama Bijapurkar
As one India’s top thinkers on market strategy and consumer behavior, Bijapurkar presents a fascinating analysis of why some MNCs have been frustrated in India and why others succeed. India is unique and to capitalize on the opportunities which India offers will take a “made for India” business strategy.
Culture Shock! India
Gitanjali Kolanad
This excellent book helps in understanding the nuances of Indian culture. The author, an Indian who has lived half her life abroad, discusses Indian customs and traditions. She gives practical advice for the foreigner on Indian English, the do’s and don’ts of entertaining and doing business in India.
The Argumentative Indian
Amartya Sen
Amartya Sen, winner of the Nobel Prize for Economics, is a brilliant economist with deep insights into India’s cultural roots.  He argues that India has a long history of ideological debate and cannot be seen as monolithic in its approach to life. There are good insights offered into Indian thinking for those willing to engage their mind.
The Great Indian Middle Class
Pavan K. Varma
This examination of the evolution of India’s middle class from Independence gives special attention to their prominence after the economic reforms of 1991. It presents a somewhat controversial evaluation, but makes for interesting reading.
Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch
Arindam Chaudhuri
Although at times it overstates the obvious, this book offers some interesting analysis of current management issues in India. It is worth taking a look at the cultural insights offered in “Theory ‘I’ Management” (India Centric Management Theory).

American Culture and Communication

Americans at Work: A Guide to the Can-Do People
Craig Storti
Craig Storti presents a good overview of the American workplace in terms of the values that drive the workforce, as well as practical advice for learning how to work with Americans. If you are just beginning to work with Americans, this book can help prevent embarrassing moments. If you are an American, it is well worth looking at how others may view you.
Culture Shock! USA
Esther Wanning
Most Americans rarely stop to think about their own culture. This book is worth reading whether you agree with Wanning’s analysis of American culture or not. In addition to practical information for the newcomer to the US, there is an interesting presentation of underlying values which shape or at least influence the lives of most Americans giving the reader a deeper understanding.
American Ways: A Guide for Foreigners in the United States
Gary Althen
Gary Althen’s practical advice for international students comes from over 30 years of experience as an international student advisor. The advice given is especially practical for international students, but any international visiting or working in the US will find the book helpful.
The Nine Nations of North America
Joel Garreau
Although we think of North America as three nations; Mexico, Canada, and the United States; Joel Garreau and his colleagues at the Washington Post began to realize that culturally North America can be divided into nine different nations.  Garreau explores the values which characterize these various regions of the North American continent.

Living Cross-Culturally

The Art of Crossing Cultures
Craig Storti
This is a classic on cultural transition. He not only describes the process of culture shock, but presents models for working through issues and leading to cultural adjustment.
Foreign to Familiar
Sarah A. Lanier
Based upon Lanier’s observation that cultures in warmer climates share common cultural characteristics distinct from those in cold climates, she provides practical illustrations and advice on working and living cross-culturally.  It is a quick and fun read.
Figuring Foreigners Out
Craig Storti
This is a practical guide for understanding not only foreigners, but one’s self.  Storti clearly presents the most important cultural value differences which contribute to misunderstandings.  The exercises in the book guide self discovery as well as understanding of our colleagues from around the world.  Storti’s continuums of various cultural value differences are a helpful tool in locating a specific group’s preference for a cultural value.
The Art of Coming Home
Craig Storti
Expats usually prepare for assignments abroad, but most take it for granted that coming home will be easy.  Caught unaware, coming home is sometimes harder than leaving. This book is a practical guide in preparing sojourners for reentry.
Breaking through Culture Shock
Elisabeth Marx
Anticipating and preparing for culture shock may enable you to avoid it. This is a practical guide, equipping the expat executive to think through and prepare for the kinds of issues he/she will face when moving across cultures.
Third Culture Kids: Growing Up among Worlds
David Pollock and Ruth E. Van Reken
Written from years of experience and interaction with TCKs, it presents engaging illustrations, valuable insights, and practical information for expat parents and their children. It is quickly becoming the classic book on understanding the needs of TCKs and expat families.

Multicultural Teams and Organizational Culture

International Dimensions of Organizational Behavior
Nancy Adler
Adler is a university professor with a great deal of practical experience.  Although the book’s title sounds academic, it is extremely helpful in understanding and processing issues that organizations grapple with day in and day out.  Two excellent chapters:  Creating Cultural Synergies and Managing Multi-cultural teams.
Riding the Waves of Culture
Fons Trompenaars and Charles Hampden-Turner
The book encourages readers to consider their own cultural presuppositions before going cross-cultural. It presents seven dimensions of cultural contrast and, through practical illustrations, shows how these differences impact cross-cultural management.
Leading with Cultural Intelligence
David Livermore
Livermore presents a very practical road map to move beyond simply understanding cultural concepts and knowledge to successful cross-cultural engagement and productivity.
Cultures and Organizations, Software of the Mind
Geert Hofstede
Drawing from decades of research, Hofstede presents basic cultural dimensions observed while studying IBM employees throughout the world. This book is a standard reference in cross-cultural
business consulting.
Leading Virtual Teams, Expert Solutions to Everyday Challenges
Harvard Business Press
This short primer on leading virtual teams provides a check list of the basics which should be in place for a virtual team to function effectively.   New to virtual teams?  This book will help get you
up to speed.
Developing the Global Organization
Robert Moran, Philip R. Harris, William G. Stripp
This is one of the best researched and exhaustive books dealing with core organizational and management issues for multi-national companies working cross-culturally. It has an academic feel to it, but will positively influence organizations willing to make use of the concepts and tools presented.
Ethics Incorporated: Top Priority and Bottom Line
Dipankar Gupta
Gupta presents a compelling case that in the long run an ethical business or organization will prosper whether in the US or India.  Gupta, a professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi, offers practical advice which has particular relevance for MCNs doing business in India.
Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High
Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler
Knowing how to breach topics which may result in conflict presents a threatening scenario for the most seasoned managers. This book stresses the importance of “high-impact conversations” and presents language tools which enable us to effectively communicate “when stakes are high.”
Conflict Mediation across Cultures
David W. Augsburger
This book presents the various ways in which conflict develops across cultures and provides pathways to resolve
intercultural conflict.
When Cultures Collide
Richard Lewis
Apart from presenting new insights into cultural diversity and leadership, Lewis provides a great resource for country specific cultural factors.   He surveys much of the world by country or region to give a good overview of cultural values, leadership styles, motivational factors and communication patterns.
The Lexus and the Olive Tree
Thomas L. FriedmanFriedman explores globalization, its impact on countries around the world and the reasons it will continue to evolve and be a powerful force in the 21st century.  His insightful illustrations make the book a fascinating read.

Exploring Indian History

History of India for Children Vol. 1
Roshen Dalal
Rather than wading through an exhaustive volume on Indian history, sometimes an overview will work just as well.  Although written for children, this history book enables readers to develop a framework upon which to build a comprehensive understanding of India’s vast and fascinating history.
India: A History
John Keay
This comprehensive, detailed history of India spans a time frame from India’s ancient Dravidian Civilization to the 1990s.
Stanley Wolpert
A nice thing about this book is that it not only gives a good overview of Indian history but also of Indian people, religion, society, polity and culture and helps to build context for the newcomer to India. Understanding the context of your Indian co-workers will go a long way toward your cultural adjustment in India.
The Story of My Experiments with Truth
M.K. Gandhi
This autobiography of India’s founding father not only gives insights into the mind of a great historical figure, but presents the reader with a significant amount of cultural background for understanding the backdrop to many contemporary issues.
The Discovery of India
Jawaharlal Nehru
Written while in prison during India’s fight for independence, Nehru, who later became Indian’s first Prime Minister, gives an understanding of India’s intellectual history. It was recommended by our Hindi teacher as a good way to get to know India.
Freedom at Midnight
Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre
The authors recreate the mighty spectacle of a nation born in flames, the thundering roar of surging masses, and the riveting drama of the spiritual prophet who gave his life to redeem his people from the madness of violence. It helps in understanding the events of Independence, a part of India’s history that still marks who the Indian is and what he thinks.
From Midnight to the Millennium
Shashi Tharoor
Tharoor gives a good window on current issues in India as he reminisces about his experiences since India’s Independence. The book gives a good perspective from a prominent Indian serving as the assistant to the Secretary General of the UN.
The Idea of India
Sunil Khilnani
Khilnani presents a portrait of contemporary India with its paradoxes and ironies. He attempts to “identify, unravel and explain many of the complexities of modern India.”
Indian Business Communication Consulting