Table of Contents

when in rome or rio or riyadh...cultural q&as for successful business behavior around the world
When in Rome or Rio or Riyadh...Cultural Q&As for Successful Business Behavior Around the World
by Gwyneth Olofsson   ISBN:1931930066
Intercultural Press © 2004 (326 pages)

The author of this text coaches the business traveler on important cultural issues that can easily go awry: getting acquainted, making a good impression, eating and drinking together, discussing ethics and politics in the workplace, and much more.

Table of Contents
When in Rome or Rio or Riyadh ...Cultural Q&As for Successful Business Behavior around the World
Country-by-Country Contents
Part I - The First Steps
Chapter 1 - Getting Acquainted
Chapter 2 - Making a Good Impression
Chapter 3 - Eating and Drinking Together
Part II - Understanding Each Other
Chapter 4 - Communication and Language
Chapter 5 - Time
Part III - Working Together
Chapter 6 - Personal Profiles
Chapter 7 - Our Roles and Relationships
Chapter 8 - Work in a Wider Perspective
List of Sidebars

Back Cover

For nearly twenty years, Gwyneth Olofsson has been helping people avoid the cultural gaffes that plague travelers to new cultures. Over the years , her colleagues and acquaintances have come to her for advice about living and working in a wide variety of new situations. Her answers ”in letters and e- mails ”are now an essential guide for businesspeople and professionals working outside their own culture. She coaches the business traveler on important cultural issues, many that can easily go awry: getting acquainted, making a good impression , eating and drinking together, understanding diverse rules of time, discussing ethics and politics in the workplace, and many, many more.

When in Rome or Rio or Riyadh is a sweeping, comprehensive guide for conducting business in the world s largest economies, from Australia to Venezuela, from India to Turkey, from Hong Kong to Mexico, and every major economy in between. With thoughtfulness and candor, humor and compassion, Gwyneth Olofsson elevates the cross-cultural experience to its best.

About the Author

Gwyneth Olofsson is owner of Communico, an international training and consulting company based in Sweden, where her clients include the Volvo Group and Schlumberger-Sema. Author of a guide to English for Swedish speakers , Everyone Makes Mistakes , Olofsson also writes a regular column for Volvo s in-house magazine, Global . Raised and educated in England, Olofsson now lives in G eborg.

When in Rome or Rio or Riyadh ...Cultural Q&As for Successful Business Behavior around the World

Gwyneth Olofsson

To Richard, Lizzy, and to all my students, past and present.

First published by Intercultural Press, a Nicholas Brealey Company, in 2004.

Intercultural Press, Inc.
PO Box 700
Yarmouth, Maine 04096 USA
Tel: 207-846-5168
Fax: 207-846-5181

Nicholas Brealey Publishing
3-5 Spafield Street
London, EC1R 4QB, UK
Tel: +44-(0)-207-239-0360
Fax: +44-(0)-207-239-0370

2004 by Gwyneth Olofsson

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission from the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.

Printed in the United States of America

08 07 06 05 04 1 2 3 4 5

ISBN: 1-931930-06-6

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Olofsson, Gwyneth.
When in Rome or Rio or Riyadh ” : culture q&as for successful business behavior around the world / Gwyneth Olofsson. ” 1st ed.
p. cm.

Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 1-931930-06-61.
Business travel ”Guidebooks. I. Title.

G156.5B86O46 2004
395.5'2 ”dc22 2004013522


The basis of this book lies in the questions, observations, and stories of many people I have met during the course of my work. It was their experiences of, and their questions about, encountering other cultures that first inspired me to delve into the fascinating area of inter-culturalism, a process which, many years later, led to my writing this book. In particular I d like to thank my students at Volvo IT and SchlumbergerSema who shared their intercultural experiences with me. They provided the ideas and raw materials for much of the book, and I am very grateful to them.

Way back in the last century when I first started writing on intercultural subjects, Monica Rossing, the former editor of the Volvo Group s staff magazine, Global , was unfailingly supportive. Her successor, Susanne Hanssen, has been similarly positive and encouraging and has generously allowed me to use in this book some material that has already appeared in the magazine. I d also like to thank Anna Cederberg Gerdrup of the Wilson Logistics Group s Network News, and Anne-Cathrine Hartmann of Eka Chemicals Eka Echo magazine, who have also given their permission for the use of articles I ve written for their publications .

Writing When in Rome or Rio or Riyadh . . . has been a long process and different people have helped me at different stages. Nicholas Brealey set my feet on the right track when this book was a confusing jumble of letters and comments, and Charlie Bergman of Meridian Associates gave me much encouragement and good advice when it was most needed.

Meridian Associates also provided me with access to its wonderful GlobeSmart Internet tool.

I ve also learned an enormous amount from two other excellent Internet sources, Intercultural Insights and the Delta Intercultural Academy s DialogIn. I m afraid I have been only a passive member of both groups (as every spare minute of my time has been spent writing this book), but I d like to thank the organizers and the contributors to these very different but fascinating sites. They have provided me with both information and inspiration.

Once I d submitted the manuscript to Intercultural Press, Toby Frank s warmth and good sense provided me with the necessary guidance and inspiration to complete the book. I have learned an enormous amount from Judy Carl-Hendrick, the managing editor, who combines high standards of professionalism with a deep knowledge of the subject.

The last stages in the preparation of the manuscript involved a number of people. I d like to thank Andrew Robinson for checking some particularly awkward facts; Douglas Lipp for his comments on Japan; Aslam Khan for some information on Islam; and my niece, Sarah Hogg, for information about France and Spain, as well as some suggestions about useful reading. The parents, staff, and children of the International School of the Gothenburg Region have been a real source of information about countries ranging from Ghana to Pakistan, from the U.S. to South Korea, and just about everywhere in between. Finally, Joan Holmedal has saved me many hours work in front of the computer, by ensuring that my commas, colons, and so forth are in the right place.

When in Rome or Rio or Riyadh . . . took a long time to write, and as I worked on it I let the dust gather in the corners of my home, didn t read a single novel , and neglected my friends . It s the last sacrifice on this list I regret the most. I d like to thank my remaining friends, and my family in Sweden and England, for their support during the years it took me to finish this book. I hope you enjoy reading it!

Gwyneth Olofsson