Culturally Tuning Change Management



Book Title:  Culturally Tuning Change Management
Author:  Risto Gladden
Publisher:  Auerbach Publications
List Price:  Paperback $54.95, Hardback $94.95, eBook $56.21
Format: Hardcover, 196 pages
Publication Date: June 2021
ISBN: 9781032094649
Reviewer: Cecily Austin, PMP
Review Date: May 2022



Gladden starts his first sentence by asking the reader two questions. “What is change?” “What is culture?” (Gladden, p.1, 2021) He then leads into how an individual’s assumptions and biases may influence his/her/its perspectives.

Equipped with this knowledge, he then challenges project and change management professionals to be open to understanding how cultural differences may play in whether global change management can be instituted effectively or ineffectively within industries.  He concludes by telling the reader that the book will provide strategies for incorporating effective change by being multiculturally aware. (Gladden, p.2, 2021)

Overview of Book’s Structure

Culturally Tuning Change Management is partitioned into a dedication, a preface, acknowledgements, and the author’s bio. It is sectioned into two parts. Part One, Change, Culture and Perspective, has three chapters, “Change Management is Essential… and Sometimes Messy, Title Culture and Cultural Dimensions and the West and the Rest”.

The second part is entitled, “Culturally Tuning Change Management: Putting Cultural Research into Practice” and has eight chapters, “Adapting to Cultural Differences in Leadership Behaviors and Decision Making, Getting it Right When Communicating Across Cultures, Influence of Culture on Group Communication, Performance, and Motivation, Influence of Cultural Dimensions on Learning and Knowledge Transmission, Understanding Resistance to Change Across Cultures, Culture’s Influence Vary by Context, Key Competencies for Leading and Managing Change Across Cultures and the Conclusion”.

Each chapter contains tables and figures. Chapter two introduces the Hofstede and GLOBE (Global Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness) Model which is referenced throughout the book. Another acronym, WEIRD (Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich and Democratic) is introduced in chapter three and is utilized throughout the book. Each subsection starts with a thought-provoking question and wraps up with key points and references.

Part one, Change, Culture and Perspective, begins with the quote, ”We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are.” and challenges the reader to think how change is affected by culture and provides thought-provoking statistics. Chapter one, Change Management is Essential… and Sometimes Messy, and opens with the quote, “Nothing stays the same in the business world, and sometimes employees have a hard time with that.” – Peter Economy, and illustrates the impact that people and culture have on change management and wraps up with key points and references.

Chapter two, Title Culture and Cultural Dimensions, opens with the quote, “Determining national characteristics is treading a minefield of inaccurate assessment and surprising exception. There is, however, such a thing as a national norm.” – Richard Lewis, and provides a deep dive into the Hofstede Model and GLOBE with clear definitions, tables, figures, grids and examples of power distance, individualism/collectivism, uncertainty avoidance, masculinity/feminism, long and short-term orientation and indulgence/restraint.


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How to cite this book review: Austin, C. (2022). Culturally Tuning Change Management, book review, PM World Journal, Vol. XI, Issue VII, July. Available online at: https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/pmwj119-Jul2022-Austin-Culturally-Tuning-Change-Management-book-review.pdf

About the Reviewer

Cecily Austin

Maryland, USA


Cecily Austin is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP©), Agile Certified Practitioner, and data analytics expert with 30+ years of experience. She is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy and Old Dominion University who prides herself in her ability to identify data patterns and measure key performance indicators against benchmarks. She has spent her career working in multicultural environments, and her experience in both the private and federal sectors enables her to engage stakeholders to produce successful results by leveraging customer-centric approaches. Cecily can be contacted at cecilyaustin0817@gmail.com

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