Dr. Gannon's Book Reviews

EXCERPT FROM BOOK REVIEW OF MARTIN J. GANNON AND KAREN N. NEWMAN (Eds.), HANDBOOK OF CROSS-CULTURAL MANAGEMENT. OXFORD, ENGLAND: BLACKWELL PUBLISHERS, 2002.

“This volume, a collection of invited chapters, is a most welcome addition to the books written within the field of cross-cultural organization and management studies. Organized and presented as a handbook it signals and reflects the maturity of this relatively young discipline….a huge congratulations to Martin Gannon and Karen Newman is in order for their pioneering work; it must have involved a great deal of hard work, dedication, and perseverance.” From the Journal of International Business Studies, the official journal of the Academy of International Business, June, 2003.

EXCERPTS FROM BOOK REVIEWS OF THE SECOND EDITION OF MARTIN J. GANNON AND ASSOCIATES, UNDERSTANDING GLOBAL CULTURES: METAPHORICAL JOURNEYS THROUGH 23 NATIONS. THOUSAND OAKS, CA.: SAGE PUBLICATIONS, 2001.

Amazon.com review of the second edition, Martin J. Gannon, Understanding Global Cultures: Metaphorical Journeys through 23 Nations, 2nd ed., Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, CA, 2001.

Best Bet, August 23, 2001

Reviewer: Professor Joyce Osland from the University of Portland, Portland, Oregon

“Gannon and his associates have written a delightful, must-read book for people who work across cultures. The cultural descriptions are easy to remember and provide much greater depth than most treatments of culture. The book provides many new insights, even for people who know these cultures well, and is very good at explaining why other cultures behave as they do. Gannon's book is so well-written and interesting that my MBA students complain that they have difficulty wrestling the book away from other family members who pick it up and get hooked. If someone asked me to recommend just one book to read on culture, Understanding Global Cultures would get my vote.”

Decision Line asked Feature Editor Andrew Ruppel to review four books for a special book review titled “Information + Insight = Understanding.” Ruppel was particularly negative about one book that purportedly profiled and explained behavior in the United States. He then indicated that the reader could learn more from reading the chapter on the United States (American Football) in Gannon’s book than reading this entire book. He praised the Gannon book as highly readable. See Andrew Ruppel’s review in Decision Line, May 2001, Vol. 32, No. 3, pp. 18-20.

From Thunderbird International Business Review, September-October, 2002, pp. 685-689. “In summary, this is a significant book that should prove to be interesting reading for a multitude of audiences, including scholars, practitioners, students, expatriates, travelers, and those who are simply interested in culture as a fascinating aspect of the world we live in….This book is also an ideal reference tool, since the metaphors are easy to remember yet rich in contextual value, and are presented in a logical structure for quick consultation. Overall, this book is enormously appealing, genuinely useful, and a worthy addition to any collection.”

EXCERPTS FROM REVIEWS OF MARTIN J. GANNON AND ASSOCIATES, ,em>UNDERSTANDING GLOBAL CULTURES: METAPHORICAL JOURNEYS THROUGH 17 COUNTRIES. THOUSAND OAKS, CA: SAGE PUBLICATIONS, 1994.

From Personnel Psychology, Summer, 1995. "Martin Gannon uses metaphors in order to understand, describe, and compare national cultures around the globe. ..What I find especially appealing about this book and research is Gannon's creativity. He goes against the grain in writing a book based on a qualitative research protocol. This is a valuable contribution to the literature as well as being a good read, entertaining, and informative...I verified the accuracy of a number of these portrayals by having colleagues, friends, or students read particular chapters on their native countries. ...This book reinforces the idea that one should expect differences in human behavior when crossing borders. Who should read this book? First, my MBA students. I believe that they will enjoy the book as much as I did. In addition, those involved in different facets of international business will find this to be a valuable book. As an aside, my family and I just returned from a semester in Shanghai, China, where my wife and I taught at a Chinese university. Although I prepared extensively for this trip, I really wish that I had read the chapter on the Chinese family altar before my trip. Don't get me wrong, reading these 15 pages on the Chinese would not have made me an expert, but the use of the metaphor would have provided me with a useful conceptual framework. Even tourists will find these cultural profiles to be useful. This is a book that deserves a wide audience and Gannon is to be applauded for his innovative and entertaining perspective on world cultures."

From the Journal of International Business Studies, 1994. "The approach is fascinating and has the potential to help move the field of international management in interesting directions....presents a very interesting approach to interpreting and learning about cultures, an alternative that offers great potential. In its encouragement of management and researchers to think in terms of metaphors, to make conceptual leaps and explore them, the book is thought-provoking and significant."

From The Wall Street Journal, 1994. "Mr. Gannon prescribes the study of metaphors that capture the values and attitudes of others cultures, as football does for Americans. In China, for example, an American businessman should visualize a family altar to get in touch with the Chinese sense of connection with venerated ancestors."

From International Business, 1994. "His metaphors serve as a mnemonic device for businesspeople and students who are or want to be players in the global economy. Though Mr. Gannon's work provides more background and explanation than a business traveler may have time for (351 pages), remembering his metaphors may be more valuable than ROYGBIV."

From the GLOBE e-mail network linking researchers in cross-cultural behavior in 70 countries, June 13, 1994. "His metaphorical journey through Spain via the bullfight prompted me to attend one a month ago after refusing to go for the past seventeen years. Fascinating! He journeys through sixteen other countries in similar fashion."

From Trade and Culture Magazine, 1994. "In this unique, highly readable book, University of Maryland business professor Martin Gannon offers an unusual way to gain understanding about the cultural mind-set of various nations. Most books on cultural awareness are preoccupied with what behavior to avoid, if one is fearful of insulting a host or jeopardizing a business deal. In contrast, Gannon's book identifies one phenomenon or activity in 17 nations and develops each into a metaphor that explains the character of the people to which it relates. For example, he uses the stuga, or Swedish summer home, to discuss Swedes' individualism and love of nature."

From World Psychology, 1995. “”Indeed, while Gannon’s book will be of interest to ethnologists and others who seek to make cultural comparisons, its principal justification seems to be for planners of multinational ventures and businessmen traveling abroad, for whom the succinct images offered of each nation might be heuristic for understanding their encounters with citizens of the countries visited....On the whole, this is an impressive and highly readable work that will be of value to travelers and managers seeking to organize their experience of a new culture.”

From The Executive, 1994. "His qualitative research supplements the more traditional dimensions approach to understanding global cultures. The metaphorical journeys should prove insightful for professionals doing business in these countries for increased sensitivity to cross-cultural issues. The book also has merit as either required or suggested reading in a graduate seminar in cross-cultural management or international business programs."

From The Academy of Management Review, 1996. “Gannon develops the metaphor as a new and creative approach to understanding cultures. In his use of metaphors, Gannon has bravely offered another lens through which scholars can observe and understand cultures. Gannon’s writing style is immensely engaging and interesting. Students and faculty alike will thoroughly enjoy reading the book and will find its insights intriguing and, for the most part, enlightening. Gannon expertly weaves disparate cultural threads together into a colorful and durable fabric.”

From the prepublication reviews (1993). "I read Martin Gannon's Understanding Global Cultures with delight. He is breaking new ground with the metaphor approach. It carves a new place on the world culture bookshelf."

BOOK REVIEWS OF STEPHEN J. CARROLL AND MARTIN J. GANNON’S ETHICAL DIMENSIONS OF INTERNATIONAL MANAGEMENT. THOUSAND OAKS, CA: SAGE PUBLICATIONS, 1997.

From Choice, 1997. “Well-known authors/consultants Stephen J. Carroll and Martin J. Gannon offer a framework that addresses a common dilemma faced by international managers: how to make ethical decisions in other cultures. They provide a model of culture and ethical managerial behavior as a basis for understanding complex relationships and support it with numerous short cases and examples and an in-depth review of relevant literature, including studies from a rather large number of countries. An excellent list of references is provided. Highly recommended.”

From Business Line, 1997. “Examining the relationship of national-cultural differences to ethical behavior, this book helps the reader understand the subtleties and nuances of ethical practices across nations. This innovative work uses short vignettes to illustrate each of these points while comparing and analyzing the primary influences on ethical behavior such as parenting, education, law, organizational cultures and human resource management.”

From Business & The Contemporary World, 1997. “Ethical dimensions of International Management fills a critical void in the field of comparative and international business and management....Differences in laws, human resource management practices, and organizational cultures of different nations are described in terms of their societal and cultural underpinnings....The model of culture and ethical behaviors described in chapter 1 should be helpful in organizing future ideas and empirical research in this complex area of inquiry....All in all, this book is a stimulating and welcome addition to a scholar’s bookshelf. We are delighted with its overall organization and heartily recommend it to our colleagues and students.”

EXCERPTS FROM BOOK REVIEWS, PATRICK C. FLOOD, MARTIN J. GANNON, JAAP PAAUWE, AND ASSOCIATES, MANAGING WITHOUT TRADITIONAL METHODS: INTERNATIONAL INNOVATIONS IN HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT. READING, MA AND WOKINGHAM, ENGLAND: ADDISON- WESLEY PUBLISHING CO., 1996.

From Personnel Psychology, 1997. “The impetus for this book lies in the dramatic and far-reaching changes occurring in the management of organizations worldwide. The spate of downsizing, de-layering, de-industrialization, and de-emphasis is on the traditional organizational hierarchy has largely dried up that formerly huge reservoir of acceptable human resource practices. At the same time new practices are bubbling up everywhere....we find that the authors (both American and European academics) have made a serious attempt to organize their ideas around the central theme that people are the critical factor for the future of management in the highly competitive, rapidly change world market (i.e., human resources)....I found that the “managing without” framework was an innovative way of dealing with the complex issues arising from the current business emphases upon cost containment, flexibility, quality, and global competitiveness. If there was one underlying current, it was that strategic human resource management is necessary to tie everything together....I would recommend this book to both academics and practitioners who are seriously thinking about the future, in particular how human resource management will look in the 21st century (and that should be most of us).”

From International Review of Administrative Sciences, 1996. “Three major theories are developed throughout the book: agency theory, transaction cost economics and the resource base theory of the firm. In the final chapter the authors emphasize that there is no effective substitute for human resources. On this basis they refine the resource base theory of the firm into a human resource base theory or model. Managers and personnel professionals will find that this volume introduces innovative ideas in the human resource management field.”

BOOK REVIEWS OF KEN G. SMITH, CURTIS GRIMM, AND MARTIN J. GANNON’S DYNAMICS OF COMPETITIVE STRATEGY. THOUSAND OAKS, CA: SAGE PUBLICATIONS, 1992.

From Administrative Science Quarterly, 1994. “This book compiles and synthesizes seven years of empirical research on competitive interaction and the dynamics of competitive strategy by a group of strategy scholars at the University of Maryland....The research focused on “competitive interactions” as the unit of analysis. The theoretical framework was based on communication-information theory. In this framework, an actor (firm) takes specific competitive actions (e.g., a price cut). A communication channel (e.g., a common customer) connects the competitive action taker and the responder(s). The responders(s) engages in a specific competitive response (e.g., a counter price), which has potential effects on the action taker. Competitive actions and responses affect and are affected by the industry’s competitive environment....Recently, Porter (1991) has called for a more dynamic theory of strategy. This book has in some ways anticipated Porter’s call. Few previous empirical studies in strategy has made competitive interaction the unit of analysis, and even fewer have tried to measure it. This is an important contribution. Porter (1991) has also identified several unresolved issues to guide research toward a dynamic theory of strategy. The research reported in this book has addressed some of these....Organization theorists would add that at this stage of development, process rather than variance research (Mohn, 1982) may be necessary to advance our understanding of the evolution of interplays of industry-level sources of competitive advantage, firm-level sources of distinctive competence, and competitive strategy (e.g., Burgelman, 1994). In view of this, the publication of Dynamics of Competitive Strategy serves a useful purpose. It competently illustrates what is achievable with the traditional research approach in strategic management and thereby challenges other approaches to show what additional and deeper insight they can provide.”

From Academy of Management Review, 1994. “This is a provoking book about an important but underresearched subject: the timing of competitive moves.... The authors’ major point, that the time dimension has been overlooked, is correct. The structural paradigm has helped us understand much about firms and their interactions, and even, as in Chandler’s work, about their sequence. Game theory....may offer more. But in no research do we presently have a satisfactory treatment of the speed and timing of these crucial competitive interactions....The real value of Dynamics of Competitive Strategy lies in its dedication to its topic and courageous attempt to investigate empirically the time structures of competitive interaction....it is a serious attempt to do something novel and important. As such, it is of real interest to those strategy researchers who seek a more realistic and dynamic framework than that presently offered by the IO tradition....If our theory is to survive and have meaning for managers, it will be because we discover how our world is unlike the economist’s.”