The Lewis Model: How To Understand Every Culture In The World


Have you ever asked yourself why it might be difficult for you to work in an international team? Here’s why – check the summary of AmCham Vietnam:

“Determining national characteristics is treading a minefield of inaccurate assessment and surprising exception; however, there is such a thing as a national norm. By focusing on the cultural roots of national behavior, both in society and business, we can foresee and calculate with a surprising degree of accuracy how others will react to our plans for them, and we can make certain assumptions as to how they will approach us.”


“The Lewis Model” plots countries in relation to three categories:

Linear-actives — those who plan, schedule, organize, pursue action chains, do one thing at a time. Germany, Switzerland, and the U.S. are in this group.

Multi-actives — those lively, loquacious cultures that do many things at once, planning their priorities not according to a time schedule, but according to the relative thrill or importance that each appointment brings with it. Italy, Latin America and Arab countries are members of this group.

Reactives — those cultures that prioritize courtesy and respect, listening quietly and calmly to their interlocutors and reacting carefully to the other side’s proposals. Vietnam, Japan, China and Korea are in this group.



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