Le Management Interculturel de Sylvie Chevrier
Le management interculturel Sylvie Chevrier The book structure This book has been released for the first time in 2003. Le management interculturel features 127 pages containing an introduction (from page 3 to 7), four main chapters (from page 9 to 120), a conclusion (pages 121 and 122), a bibliography (from page 123 to 126) and finally a table of contents at the end of the book (page 127). The book is written in French and can be found in the collection «Que sais-je? at the Presses Universitaires de France editions (known also as Puf). Thesis The goal of the author is to delineate the field of intercultural management and to clarify its content for the reader. Strategies 1. Construction * Introduction The introduction of the book is longer than the conclusion. Indeed and as usual, the introduction must answer to a crucial question: Why do you (the reader) must read this book. Instead of giving a list of reasons to the reader, Sylvie Chevrier uses different techniques.
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For instance, she defines the means of intercultural management in order to catch the reader’s curiosity («Intercultural management consists in building links between people carrying different cultures in order to minimize the negative consequences of the differences for the individuals and the firms and to take advantage of the potential resources that each culture offers» p. 4). After having an overview of what intercultural management is made of, the reader can choose to start reading the whole thesis or not after that the author has shared her outline.
As we will see in the point entitled «Hooks», the author can also find another techniques to convince the reader to follow her throughout this book. * Between Chapters The author splits her work into four chapters, from the roots of the intercultural management to its application. The first chapter called «Notion of culture» (pp 9 to 34) recaps all the different theories written by experts to define what a culture is made of. The second chapter named «Culture and management: from beginnings to systematic surveys» (pp 35 to 62) focuses on the works of Edward Hall and Geert Hofstede and their links with the principles of management.
Then come «The interpretative approaches» (pp 63 to 98) which describe the content of the different intercultural management methods before the author finally explains in the fourth and last chapter «Practices of the intercultural management» (pp 99 to 120) their applications. At the beginning of every chapter, Sylvie Chevrier defines the title and highlights the outline. For the conclusion, she uses links and transitions to give credits to her structure and help the reader to follow her thesis easily. * Within chapters
To stress the logical structure of her thesis, Sylvie Chevrier splits her four main chapters into several subparts and some of them are even divided into small paragraphs (Chapter III «The interpretative approach» Part 1 «Political cultures» Paragraph 1 «Culture considered as a senses system» pp 63 and 64). Every points highlights an important notion of the chapter as every paragraph underlines some essential details necessary to explain a notion in particular. Thanks to the clarity of this method, the author guides step by step the reader throughout her reflection on the intercultural management. * Within paragraphs
The relevance of the chapters’ structure made of paragraphs let the author focus and explain the core of each theory (the paragraph entitled «The fundamental dimensions» recaps the five dimensions defined by Geert Hofstede, themselves written in the third subpart of the second main chapter called «The works of Geert Hofstede»; p. 52) and groups of ideas in order to build page after page a clear and remarkable reasoning by analogy. The reader learns the basis of every fundamental concept, fully described, analyzed and documented by Sylvie Chevrier and understands little by little the progression of the author’s thesis. Conclusion The conclusion, as I said above, is shorter than the conclusion and only aims at bringing a recap of the contents of intercultural management and delineates its field. The reader will also find thoughts, which tell that this kind of management is not an accurate science and researches are still in progress to improve the intercultural managerial strategies («However, knowledge gathered together so far are often rough and the experiences achieved still too rare to see the practices reach maturity. » p. 121).
This could either disappoint the reader who expected a straight answer at the end of the book or invite the reader to follow this topic closely in case of any progress in the existing theories or the creation of a brand new one. * Bibliography The reader throughout the book, as we will see later in the page layout chapter, has referred to numerous footnotes essentially sending the reader to the pages containing the bibliography. This bibliography shows how well did Sylvie Chevrier document her thesis, as the number of books read or used for her researches is important.
This allows also the reader to walk in the author’s footsteps if only he or she wants to dig this topic. Nearly seventy books are listed with all the information needed to find and buy the book, which offers a large range of choice to the most interested and curious readers about the intercultural management. In order to sum up this first chapter, we have seen that Sylvie Chevrier has smartly structured her book from the start to the end to let the reader follow her thesis very easily. Nonetheless, the reader is not only driven by a sound structure but also by the vocabulary and the variety of rhetorical figures employed by the author. . The author’s rhetoric a) Generally speaking * Hooks To begin the introduction, the author plays with the reader and asks him or her a riddle («What is the common point between the leader of a consortium gathering European partners together, the director of an international space mission, a supervisor leading a team made of immigrated workers and a representative in human resources looking for coordinating the evaluation methods of the employees in a corporation? » p. 3) and the answer is obviously the intercultural management.
Thanks to this cheap trick, the topic of the book hogs the limelight. Moreover, the author welcomes the reader into her work. Sylvie Chevrier first introduces her interest for this topic and then includes the reader with the pronoun “we” into the outline of her thesis («In the first chapter, we will (…) In the second chapter, we will show (…)» p. 7). She doesn’t sum up the content of intercultural management alone but she is more discussing about it with the reader, arguing with numerous references to gain his or her approval. * Style and Vocabulary
In paradox with the employ of the pronoun “we”, Sylvie Chevrier uses a lot of long and complex sentences to express with an extreme clarity a specific idea. The style conveys a strong sense of professionalism, as if the reader is grading the author’s thesis. Sylvie Chevrier weighs up every single word and her explanations go straight to the point: every word has his own signification and cannot be replaced by a more or less approximate synonym. This stresses the will of the author to expose an irrefutable demonstration in order to obtain the immediate acquiescence of the reader. * Tone
The author seems to speak to the reader with a very serious tone. As Sylvie Chevrier invites the reader to the reflection, the tone impacts her clean and professional style. For instance, when the author talks directly to the reader, she always uses the imperative tense in order to guide but also to supervise the reading and so the understanding of her thesis («Let’s take the engineers culture. » p. 28). * Clear focus The outlines are present throughout the book to tell to the reader what have been done from the beginning (« (…) share the same core than those introduced in the previous chapter. » p. 3) and what will happen in the next pages. Sylvie Chevrier multiplies the outlines, from the introduction to the small paragraphs, and uses them as maps to help the reader to see where is he or she in the progression of the thesis at nearly any point in the book. b) The use of words * To convey a progression As the author chooses to argue her thesis thanks to reasoning by analogy, she uses a lot of link words to connect every ideas and theories to each other («In other words» pp. 26 and 51, «For instance» pp. 64 and 107, «Thus» pp. 43 and 118, «However» pp. 11 and 91, «Indeed» pp. 18 and 87, etc).
But, Sylvie Chevrier can also compare two approaches in order to explain two visions, both important to clarify a given notion («At the individual level, (…) At the institutional level (…)» p. 69-70). Through this kind of method, she demonstrates to the reader that her examples help in the progression. * To progress with the reader Sylvie Chevrier, as she underlines in her introduction, wants to include the reader and his or her opinion into her analysis. For instance, she asks the reader to take a break to have a look on a particular point (« Let’s stop on this last field, which as we will demonstrate later, interests closely the management. p. 66 «Let’s also add that (…)» p. 108). Through this method, the reader reacts as a person involved in a deep work of researches and takes the time to catch every single notion explained by the author. * To discuss a point of view The author recalls that everyone does not always approve theories created by experts such as Philipe d’Iribarne or Geert Hofstede. In this case, Sylvie Chevrier uses often words such as “if” («If we can discuss (…) and if it appears that (…)» and «If the authors of this interpretative approach (…)» p. 97) but also conditional tense to express concerns about a statement («We could also decline (…)» p. 7 «Cultures analysis would give leeway to national chauvinisms (…)» p. 96). This also allows the author to avoid any disagreement with the reader’s point of view. The author’s rhetoric considerably influences the mood of the reader and helps him or her to focus on the thesis. However, visual tools as the page layout can also play a role. 3. Page layout * Indents The use of indents to begin every paragraph aims at underlining both the structure and the argument. In the reasoning, Sylvie Chevrier places importance to the analogical aspect of her demonstration and employs indents to announces every important argument.
This technique also gives the chance to reader to follow comfortably the thesis of the author and clearly spots the main points of the book. * References Sylvie Chevrier backs her arguments with a lot of documents and references. When a famous theorist is quoted to emphasize the relevancy of an argument, the author immediately put at the end of the quote the name of the person, the year when these words have been said or written and sometimes also the number of the page into round brackets («(Ortigues, 1993, p. 14)» p. 4, «(d’Iribarne, Henry, Segal, Chevrier, Globokar, 1998)» p. 86). * Footnotes As for the references, Sylvie Chevrier uses numerous footnotes to ask the reader to refer to the bibliography at the end of the book (« M. Weber, The Protestant Ethic and The Spirit of Capitalism, Paris, Plon, 1964 (French version), foreword» p. 37) or gives a quick explanation about the context for instance (« See General Electric CEO’s statement on the efficiency of a good stock options plan to solve the cultural differencies issues during international mergers (Les Echos, 24th October 2004)» p. 00). Conclusion Le management interculturel is sometimes complex to read but highly technical and accurate on the topic. Throughout the book, Sylvie Chevrier sums up, in the presence of the reader, all the theories made by the greatest minds and link them thanks to a clever reasoning by analogy to finally delineate the field of the intercultural management and clarify its wide content. Word count: 2010