Beautifully constructed and expertly written in straightforward language; will make it far easier for anyone to navigate the...

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ACCESS TO ASIA

YOUR MULTICULTURAL GUIDE TO BUILDING TRUST, INSPIRING RESPECT, AND CREATING LONG LASTING BUSINESS RELATIONSHIPS

This outstanding guidebook plies the cultural waters of Asia and offers insider tips for developing successful business relationships.

Intercultural consultant Schweitzer and consultant/author Alexander (# Thought Leadership Tweet, 2012, etc.) have crafted an invaluable reference guide that is comprehensive and fascinating. Using a consistent approach, the authors offer details about 10 countries, including a historical overview, the names of heroes and sports figures, foods, business protocols, etiquette for socializing, and more. Each chapter also has an ingenious “self-awareness profile,” a simple one-to-six scale so the reader can gauge the nuances of certain cultural aspects. The authors map the scale to “the prevailing cultural preference”; in the case of doing business in Japan, for example, the cultural tendency is to be “highly formal” (six on the scale) rather than “very informal” (one on the scale). The ranking provides key intelligence to a businessperson in light of his or her own cultural bias. Interestingly, the authors begin with an overview of the United States of America, both to demonstrate the book’s framework as it relates to the subsequent countries and to offer guidance to readers who might wish to do business in the USA. The remainder of the book covers China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan. The insights offered could only be the result of a deep understanding of each country’s cultural attributes, so to validate the content, the authors wisely called upon numerous country experts, who are acknowledged in the back of the book. Details both broad and specific paint a rich, unique picture of each country. Readers learn, for instance, that in China, “decisions are made as a group rather than individually.” In Japan, “gifts (omiyage, or honorable presents) are a crucial element and expected on almost all business occasions.” In the Philippines, personal hygiene is vital because “Filipinos shower several times a day.”

Beautifully constructed and expertly written in straightforward language; will make it far easier for anyone to navigate the cultural differences of doing business in Asia.

Pub Date: April 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-1118919019

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Wiley

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our...

THINKING, FAST AND SLOW

A psychologist and Nobel Prize winner summarizes and synthesizes the recent decades of research on intuition and systematic thinking.

The author of several scholarly texts, Kahneman (Emeritus Psychology and Public Affairs/Princeton Univ.) now offers general readers not just the findings of psychological research but also a better understanding of how research questions arise and how scholars systematically frame and answer them. He begins with the distinction between System 1 and System 2 mental operations, the former referring to quick, automatic thought, the latter to more effortful, overt thinking. We rely heavily, writes, on System 1, resorting to the higher-energy System 2 only when we need or want to. Kahneman continually refers to System 2 as “lazy”: We don’t want to think rigorously about something. The author then explores the nuances of our two-system minds, showing how they perform in various situations. Psychological experiments have repeatedly revealed that our intuitions are generally wrong, that our assessments are based on biases and that our System 1 hates doubt and despises ambiguity. Kahneman largely avoids jargon; when he does use some (“heuristics,” for example), he argues that such terms really ought to join our everyday vocabulary. He reviews many fundamental concepts in psychology and statistics (regression to the mean, the narrative fallacy, the optimistic bias), showing how they relate to his overall concerns about how we think and why we make the decisions that we do. Some of the later chapters (dealing with risk-taking and statistics and probabilities) are denser than others (some readers may resent such demands on System 2!), but the passages that deal with the economic and political implications of the research are gripping.

Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our minds.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-374-27563-1

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

GOOD ECONOMICS FOR HARD TIMES

“Quality of life means more than just consumption”: Two MIT economists urge that a smarter, more politically aware economics be brought to bear on social issues.

It’s no secret, write Banerjee and Duflo (co-authors: Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way To Fight Global Poverty, 2011), that “we seem to have fallen on hard times.” Immigration, trade, inequality, and taxation problems present themselves daily, and they seem to be intractable. Economics can be put to use in figuring out these big-issue questions. Data can be adduced, for example, to answer the question of whether immigration tends to suppress wages. The answer: “There is no evidence low-skilled migration to rich countries drives wage and employment down for the natives.” In fact, it opens up opportunities for those natives by freeing them to look for better work. The problem becomes thornier when it comes to the matter of free trade; as the authors observe, “left-behind people live in left-behind places,” which explains why regional poverty descended on Appalachia when so many manufacturing jobs left for China in the age of globalism, leaving behind not just left-behind people but also people ripe for exploitation by nationalist politicians. The authors add, interestingly, that the same thing occurred in parts of Germany, Spain, and Norway that fell victim to the “China shock.” In what they call a “slightly technical aside,” they build a case for addressing trade issues not with trade wars but with consumption taxes: “It makes no sense to ask agricultural workers to lose their jobs just so steelworkers can keep theirs, which is what tariffs accomplish.” Policymakers might want to consider such counsel, especially when it is coupled with the observation that free trade benefits workers in poor countries but punishes workers in rich ones.

Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-61039-950-0

Page Count: 432

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: Aug. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019

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