Not Getting Asia
Patronizing stereotypes can subvert entire business strategies.
A newly published book, The Asian Mystique, argues that Westerners bring a whole set of illusions and expectations€¦quot;and therefore subconscious assumptions€¦quot;to their interactions with Asia, based on the West’s historical contacts with the region and Hollywood’s portrayal of it. Chief Executive spoke with the author, Sheridan Prasso, about the implications for business. Here are excerpts from the conversation:
What are the biggest misconceptions that American CEOs bring to doing business in Asia?
What kind of mistakes does that lead to, exactly?
Where do we get these ideas?
Oh, come on. Everybody knows that the samurai were tough guys.
But that’s the movies. Aren’t CEOs who have been doing business in Asia sophisticated enough to know better?
So what should CEOs take from this?
The Asian Mystique (Public Affairs Press, 2005) by Sheridan Prasso