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Communicating Across Cultures

Cass Professor of Human Resource Management, Chris Rowley, has been getting to grips with the “ostrich problem” in dealing with almost 100 contributors to his books.

Cass Professor of Human Resource Management, Chris Rowley, has been getting to grips with the “ostrich problem” in dealing with almost 100 contributors to his books.Prof Rowley has dealt with five different co-authors and co-editors across three countries, 83 contributors across 11 countries, and the authors of seven forewords from three countries, and over 10 practitioners.

The books he has written and edited cover 15 economies across the main regions of Asia, covering industries from agriculture to waste management and different organisational types, including the public sector and NGOs.

Prof Rowley said: “In the age of a tsunami of email and the ubiquity of smart phones different people have very different ideas of expected, appropriate and normal response times. Some people ‘ping’ replies immediately - sometimes not very helpfully - while others ‘go to ground’ and use the old excuses of ‘busy with x’ etc.

“The issue is exacerbated when dealing with international colleagues based around the world with different cultural backgrounds and the modern day globalised, outsourced publishers in different time zones.”

Despite the cultural differences, Prof Rowley believes the process has taught him as much about himself – and what he considers ‘normal’ as it does about others.

Prof Rowley said: “It has been an extraordinarily busy period over the last few years since the inception of these books and their final emergence from the myriad processes and numerous different people you deal with around the globe in modern day outsourced publishing. Indeed, all of this went on while continuing with my other publications in academic journals, practitioner magazines and newsletters, editing the leading journal, Asia Pacific Business Review and Series Editor for three book series for different publishers.”

His books are:
Mutual, Cooperative & Employee-Owned Businesses in the Asia Pacific: Diversity, Resilience & Sustainable Growth;
Management in South Korea Revisited;
The Changing Role of the Human Resource Profession in the Asia Pacific Region;
Business Models & People Management in the India IT Industry: From People to Profits;
Ethical and Social Marketing in Asia: Incorporating Fairness Management.

Stephanie Rogers, Publisher of Asian Studies, Routledge, said: “The publication of Business Models and People Management in the Indian IT Industry (co-edited with Ashish Malik) in March 2015 sees another stellar addition to Professor Rowley’s publication list with Routledge which has spanned almost a decade, both as author, editor and series editor.”

And Dr Glyn Jones, publisher at Chandos Elservier publishing, said: “We are honoured to have Chris’ books as part of our Chandos Asian Studies Series. His book on Ethical and Social Marketing in Asia investigates why differing cultures and consumption behaviours require different emphasis in different markets. It is a welcome addition in this important, yet unexplored area.

“In addition, his book on The Changing Role of the Human Resource Profession in the Asia Pacific Region highlights a long and challenging journey in the human resources profession.”

All five of the books have similar and overlapping audiences, but each have a different focus with some having a more practitioner-orientated impact and being more case-study based.

Prof Rowley would like to thank everyone involved in the process, but he said: “Most of all, my warmest thanks go to my understanding wife!”

Books by Chris Rowley

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