Friday, April 17, 2020

Recommended Reading: Erin Meyer's The Culture Map

Earlier this week, I (David) argued that exploring cultural differences is a good way to prepare for The United Methodist Church's General Conference, at which people will be coming together across cultures to make collective decisions. I recommended Hofstede Insights' Country Comparison as a way to make such comparisons for the six dimensions of culture examined in the work of Geert and Gert Jan Hofstede.

Hofstede's work is not the only possibility for such comparisons, however. Erin Meyer has written The Culture Map, a book that examines cultural differences among countries on eight dimensions:

* Communicating (low context vs. high context)
* Evaluating (indirect vs. direct negative feedback)
* Persuading (principles first vs. application first)
* Leading (egalitarian vs. hierarchical)
* Deciding (consensual vs. top-down)
* Trusting (task-based vs. relationship-based)
* Disagreeing (confrontational vs. non-confrontational)
* Scheduling (linear vs. flexible time)

These dimensions of cultural differences are all also highly relevant to how various parties will approach the collective decision-making process at General Conference in May.

In addition to her book, Meyer's website has a pay-to-use cultural comparison tool that allows users to select countries and make direct comparisons. While not free, users can purchase one-day access for just $4 USD and longer-term access for more.

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