PERSONAL: Female. Education: University of Marburg, graduated; Oxford University, Ph.D.
ADDRESSES: Home—London, England. Agent—c/o Author Mail, 374 U.S. Route One, P.O. Box 700, Yarmouth, ME 04096; 3-5 Spafield St., Clarkenwell, London EC1R 4QB, England.
CAREER: Writer, psychologist, and management expert. Director of international consultancy for Norman Broadbent International (executive search company); leadership specialist for Hanover Fox International (executive search company). Lecturer in psychology, National University of Singapore.
Breaking through Culture Shock: What You Need toSucceed in International Business, Nicholas Brealey Publishing (Naperville, IL), 1999.
SIDELIGHTS: Author Elisabeth Marx's work with worldwide executive search firms such as Norman Broadbent International and Hanover Fox International allowed her direct access to the global business environment. As a psychologist and business consultant, she has observed firsthand the difficulties facing businesspeople and executives unprepared for the cultural differences of the international marketplace. In a different culture, even something as subtle as body language, greetings between business associates, or simple gestures can have profoundly different meanings. In her book, Breaking through Culture Shock: What You Need to Succeed in International Business, Marx explains that "the degree to which you are able to adapt to a foreign culture can determine your effectiveness as an international manager," commented an online reviewer for Inc.com. Marx offers an in-depth examination of the causes of culture shock, how it manifests itself in business and personal settings, and how it can be overcome. She advocates using proven stress-coping strategies for dealing with the physical, behavioral, and emotional difficulties of adjusting to another culture—especially when one's career might hinge on making that adjustment.
Marx includes detailed information on the business climate of the United States in relation to the business cultures of France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and China. A number of "honest and entertaining examples" of real-life experiences and mistakes demonstrate the potential for problems and the practical ways of handling them, commented a reviewer in Marketing. Advice on the impact of culture shock on personal and family life offers solutions for both transplanted executives and uprooted family members. Marx calls culture shock "both an occupational hazard and an opportunity," allowing for personal enrichment and the development of "transnational social skills" and a truly "international identity," noted Booklist reviewer David Rouse.
In addition to advising business professionals on how to decrease the effects of culture shock, Marx "also tells them what they need to do to maximize their career development before, during, and after the assignment," remarked Pam Perraud on the Tales from a Small Planet Web site. Breaking through Culture Shock "is a rarity: a scholarly book . . . that is nevertheless a valuable preparation tool for anyone whose career goals will send them abroad," commented the Inc.com reviewer.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Marx, Elisabeth, Breaking through Culture Shock:What You Need to Succeed in International Business, Nicholas Brealey Publishing (Naperville, IL), 1999.
Booklist, May 1, 1999, David Rouse, review of Breaking through Culture Shock: What You Need to Succeed in International Business, p. 1566.
Choice, November, 1999, J. W. Leonard, review of Breaking through Culture Shock, pp. 585-586.
Marketing, July 27, 2000, review of Breaking throughCulture Shock, p. 76.
Inc.com,http://www.inc.com/ (November 5, 1999), review of Breaking through Culture Shock.
Tales from a Small Planet Web site,http://www.talesmag.com/ (July 20, 2004), Pam Perraud, review of Breaking through Culture Shock.*