Beware the business culture shock

April 2004
Management Services;Apr2004, Vol. 48 Issue 4, p5
Academic Journal
The article warns British companies about business culture shock in other countries. More and more British companies are selling goods abroad, which is great news for the economy but can present serious opportunities for cultural faux pas, according to Lloyds TSB Commercial Finance. The Lloyds TSB Commercial Finance multi-language team has come up with a number of common business etiquette points to help firms who are starting to do business abroad. There is a global view of how Great Britain is perceived and you will be expected to act in a certain way. Italian businesspeople generally prefer to do business with only the most important people in any organization, so if you have any advanced qualifications, make sure you print them on a translated business card. The French, however, love to do business over lunch. It certainly will not be sandwiches in the boardroom and a glass of wine or two is to be expected. Remember that many European countries will carry out business meetings over long lunches, so do not be surprised if there is no-one to take your call long after you have returned to your desk. Appearance can be very important for European business people. And in Germany, business people address each other by their job or academic titles and surnames. A handshake is the most common form of greeting in Germany, but a man waits for a woman to extend her hand before he shakes it and if in mixed company, he shakes a woman's hand before a man's.


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