National culture, through its influence on corporate culture, has a powerful but often invisible impact on the success of global companies.

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Management and the board are often, if not always, blind to their own culture – fish can’t see water – and may not realise derailing cultural dynamics, in time leading to under-performance or, in the worst case, financial disaster. The message of this book is simple: national culture, through its influence on corporate culture, has a powerful but often invisible impact on the success of global companies. What’s more, the very same national traits that accelerate growth at one stage of the corporate life cycle may derail that growth at a different stage or when an inevitable crisis hit.

With real case studies from companies in Asia, Europe and the United States, such as: Toyota, Austin Motor Company (later British Leyland), Samsung, Sony, Nokia and P&G, this book offers a truly global approach to organistional culture. Hammerich and Lewis provide a new conceptual framework with vital tools for analysing corporate culture and diagnosing the dynamics that drive the success and failure of global companies.

Fish Can’t See Water:

Stephen Elop, President and CEO of Nokia Corporation.

“Being in the unique position of having met and worked with both Richard and Kai, I have come to value their unique insight into the interplay of national and corporate cultures. Ineed, this insight has been useful as Nokia has pursued its own cultural transformation, building on its strengths while also needing to challenge some historic patterns on an accelerated basis. As a global and yet distictly Finnish company, Nokia’s strength is derived from its roots, as well as its willingsness to draw upon the unique elements of the many cultures of its people around the world.”

Wilbert J.M. Buiter, former Chief HR Officer at Philips Communications, NCR and ING Group.

“This great book is an invaluable resource and a superb toolkit for all Executives and HR professionals leading or supervising international businesses and teams. Culture matters more than ever and is a unique source of sustainable competitive differentiation. A maverick piece of work from Kai and Richard with absolute word-class insights!.”

Steven J. DeKrey, Ph.D., President and CEO of the Asian Institute of Management; Former Graduate Dean at The HKUST Business School, Asia’s leading MBA school

“Finally a book that addresses the unique competitive edge of all entities: culture. While culture can work in negative and positive ways, understanding its impact on an organization’s goals and doing something about it is the job of all leaders. Thanks to Richard Lewis and Kai Hammerich we now have the tools to do just that. This book is a must read for any global leader who works across national, economic and cultural boundaries.”

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