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Traditional African business tended towards the accumulation of power and decision-making in the hands of a few senior managers (usually white), with middle managers waiting in line to move up the corporate ladder over time. Post-apartheid, things have started to change ² especially under the influence of the myriad of MNC¶s which have flocked into the country ² with hierarchies breaking down and younger middle-managers looking to become more proactively involved in decision-making. Despite being a somewhat egalitarian society, business people in South Africa have a lot of respect for senior executives and colleagues who have obtained their position through diligence and perseverance.
The biggest change to have impacted at middle management level over the last few years has been the introduction of a new cadre of black professionals into most companies. This new breed of managers has been enabled to make corporate progress through the use of µaffirmative action¶ programmes In South African companies, decision-making power typically lies with the most senior person at the top of the company. However, in accordance with African culture, final decisions are often made following consultation with subordinates. Africans prefer to do business with those they have met previously. Consequently, formal letters of introduction from a known third party may help you to reach key decision-makers easily and therefore speed up the business process. It is deemed highly offensive to most South Africans if the proper respect for an elder is not shown, especially in more rural areas.
South African Meetings
Meeting styles will differ depending upon who you are dealing with ² a traditional, white-dominated business, a start-up black African company or the subsidiary of a multi-national located in Johannesburg or Cape Town. Africans expect you to have a good idea of the current situation. Show that you have done your research and that you have adapted your policies or ideas to meet the local conditions. Take time in the meeting to try to develop a good relationship with the people you are doing business with as relationships have always formed the basis of good business ² regardless of cultural background. Avoid anything that could be considered a µhard sell¶ approach.
and for this reason. win-win situation where all sides gain something from the deal. South Africans prefer to see a fair. It is much better to be understated and patient with South African contacts as being too assertive will probably alienate people. . Both actions lack the personal approach to a business relationship and therefore may be interpreted as an insult. time is viewed in a in a more formal manner. The overall aim during business negotiations in South Africa is to reach a general consensus. For the majority of white Africans. you can expect black Africans to do things at a slower pace. Don¶t raise your voice or interrupt whilst your South African counterparts are speaking. conversely. The concept of time and the approach taken towards it differs between the white and black cultures living in South Africa. confrontations and aggressive bartering over prices should be avoided. However.
African Teams All Africans are acutely aware of the ethnic and racial divisions and these divisions can make it difficult to build teams which cross these boundaries. . Putting teams together and making them work requires a great deal of sensitivity and local knowledge.
Many of the black cultures stress diplomacy in communication and may not want to disappoint the listener by disagreeing openly or admitting that they don¶t know the answer to a question. Humor is an often used communication device and can be used in almost all situations ² it is very often used as a tension release mechanism. Many white South Africans prefer plain-speaking to an overly diplomatic approach and may confuse subtleness and vagueness with lack of commitment or even untrustworthiness. .African Communication Styles The common business language is English and most people you meet in any international business setting will speak the language ² although often with a strong accent which can be difficult to follow on occasion.
people are addressed using first names in typical business situations. firm handshakes (often quite lengthy) are common and it can be seen as a sign of aloofness if the foreign visitor backs away from this approach. the first name may be preceded by Mr. . Back slapping. or Mrs. although when dealing with a driver or a maid. On the whole. It is also fairly uncommon to use formal titles such as Doctor or Professor in anything other than academic circles.
the progress is slow. A µmacho¶ culture could be said to be pervasive in South Africa and women can expect to be treated with less respect than male colleagues. Female participation at senior management level is extremely low and although some progress towards greater gender equality within the workforce has been made. .Women in Business Traditionally women from all communities within South Africa have played a very minimal role within the business world.
. business-like dresses or suits. it is possible to dress more casually but not too casually. If meeting business contacts on a social basis.African Dress Code Men are advised to wear a collar and tie and women to wear smart.
French Styles of Management and its impact on the International Business .
These colleges champion an intellectual rigour in their students. .French Management Style Most senior management in most French companies were educated at the Grandes Ecoles which are the elite schools of France. which is rarely matched elsewhere in the world.
Management style tends towards the directive. Meetings can often be more for the dissemination of information of decisions previously arrived at than for the open debate of perceived difficulties. Meetings are often chaired by the boss and follow a set agenda as determined by the boss. business lunches are an important part of corporate communication ; of course, be ready to drink wine...
In such formal meetings it would be rare to contradict the boss openly - this will have been done elsewhere, prior to the meeting in more informal lobbying sessions Beginning a meeting 15 minutes later than scheduled so as to wait for those who are late and who expected it to be or "wherever" : most participants are surprised when the meeting starts just on time. Meetings, which take place between peers without the presence of a senior figure, will be more open and less rigid. Open debate will often be seen in such situations and this debate can often become heated - especially when people are defending the validity of their own cherished logic. In such meetings, strong confrontations can often occur which reflect the sense of competition often found just below the surface at peer group levels in large organizations.
y The French do not believe a win-win situation can exist ("if you win, it means I lose") and negotiations are always difficult when people do not try to reach a consensus. y Only written commitments are serious : nothing oral is really binding and lying is no big deal ... y Within the company, the French are less constrained by social codes such as "you must play golf with your boss", or "each of us must give $5 for this charity" etc... and they do not like to mix corporate life and personal life. y The French are much more sentimentally attached and faithful to their company : they like to put corporate relations on a personal basis.
. the Boss is the Boss and management is very authoritarian ("lick up and kick down") The French are highly polychronic : they love to do several things at the same time and they are good at that. . Top-down management : for the French. Within the company.. the French keep the doors closed (open floor offices are not popular). are reluctant to work in a team and information is often distributed selectively.
personal sets of objectives rather than to work in more general team roles The education system fosters a sense of rivalry and competition from an early age. Teams arranged between functional lines for the purpose of promoting one particular project (as found in the USA) are often difficult to implement.French Teams People prefer to have definable. . Teams are often defined as sets of specialists working on single issues for a strong leader. with peers A sense of team working is not encouraged and does not therefore come naturally in later working life. with loyalties being divided between the project team and the 'home base' of the team member.
the drawing of distinction is almost an intellectual goal .French Communication Styles The French admire the logical exposition of well defined ideas The way in which you say something in France is almost as important as what is actually said. .a goal which will help to move the process forward. There is a great love of and respect for elegance in the use of language and the sophisticated presentation of ideas is raised to an art form. A sense of national pride makes it difficult to listen to the language being spoken badly (or even worse to have to read poorly constructed French!) In France.
Written business French is extremely protocolistic and formal with an etiquette which can seem anachronistic in translation. It is important that anything sent in writing is rigorously checked. as the ability to produce correct written language is seen as a sign of intelligence and good education.'it's not logical'. . The French admire the logical exposition of well defined ideas and when listening can be heard making such comments as . which is a good indication that problems lie ahead. with other parties in the conversation joining in and emotions can seem to be running high. During discussions. interruptions will often occur.
Women are gaining an increasingly prominent position in French business life .Women in Business in France The prerequisite for success as a woman is to have achieved a suitable level of education and to have gained entry into a Grand Ecole. .with particularly strong representation in retail and service industries.
French Dress Code One thing that is common is the need to appear well-presented Dress codes vary with position within the company. industrial sector and region in France. The higher the position within a larger organisation. Appearances are important at all times in France . the more formal will be the dress code with formal suit and tie being worn.
German Styles of Management and its impact on the International Business .
. which reflects Germany's nationalistic management methods.Countries around the globe have to adapt to what is known as the "German filter".
German¶s style of Management Germany's rule-oriented. Corporate power structures in Germany are typically more flat than they are tall. German subordinates rarely disobey or openly question orders from higher level authority. That's because German businesses are collections of highly specialized teams. hierarchical focus on task accomplishment as an example of an Eiffel Tower management style. German process of management by consensus .
German employees know what they are supposed to do within an Eiffel Tower culture that is hierarchical. . with orders coming down from the top with very little upward communication. In Germany. jobs are well-defined while assignments are fixed and limited.
appraisal systems. Companies manage their human resources through assessment centers. deploy and reshuffle personnel. training. . These procedures help to ensure that a formal hierarchical and bureaucratic approach work well. development programs and job rotation.Formal German Qualifications German organizations rely heavily on formal qualifications in deciding how to schedule.
Germans Resist Changes Germans have a strong aversion to risk. procedures changed. . Manuals must be rewritten. job descriptions altered. and it's hard to argue with their successes. Germany's superiority complex sometimes leads to an ethnocentric style of management. Germans strongly believe that their processes have been proved superior.Difficulty Handling Organizational Changes When changes need to be made. the German culture is often ill-equipped to handle the complex burdens that a rule-based Eiffel Tower bureaucracy demands. promotions reconsidered and qualifications reassessed.
job security is primary.German Leadership and Motivation Style German leadership and motivation style synthesizes the most pertinent characteristics from Authoritative Theory X. From Theory Y: Since Germans are committed to goals. . From Theory Z: Germans are motivated by a strong commitment to be part of a greater whole in general. In Germany. No threats of punishment are required to ensure task completion. Paternalistic Theory Y and Participative Theory Z. they exercise high self-control. Germans derive self-satisfaction while contributing to their company¶s success. From Theory X: Germans like to be directed. and more specifically to their German organization Through teamwork.
The German style of competition is rigorous but not ruinous. Although companies might compete for the same general market, as Daimler-Benz and BMW do, they generally seek market share rather than market domination. Many compete for a specific niche. German companies despise price competition
GERMAN STYLE OF MANAGEMENT
The German manager concentrates intensely on two objectives: product quality and product service. The watchwords for most German managers and companies are quality, responsiveness, dedication, and follow-up. Most German managers, even at senior levels, know their production lines. They follow production methods closely and know their shop floors intimately. German management is sensitive to government standards, government policies, and government regulations. Virtually all German products are subject to norms--the German Industrial Norms
The German management style is not litigious. Neither the government, the trade unions, nor the business community encourages litigation. Disagreements are often talked out, sometimes over a conference table, sometimes over a beer, and sometimes in a gathering called by a chamber of commerce or an industrial association. Differences are usually settled quietly, often privately. Germany has comparatively few lawyers. With one-third the population and one-third the GDP of the United States, Germany has about onetwentieth the number of lawyers. German managers themselves occasionally speculate that change might come too slowly, but they are not certain whether or how to alter the system and its incentive structures.
Meetings are often large with a designated specialist from each area involved in the matter under discussion. People are expected to contribute to the debate when discussions touch their area of expertise but are not necessarily expected to have an opinion on everything. .German Meetings Germans could be described as a pre-planner who like to attend meetings having done a considerable amount of preparation in order to help them debate their point of view with conviction.
Much is made of the lack of humour in evidence in Germany . which is not the same as arrogance.German Communication Styles Germans put truth and directness before diplomacy. Germans will give a factual rendition of their own capabilities.
.Women in Business in Germany Germany lags behind many other European countries in its progress in the status of women in the organization.
German Dress Code Germans dress smartly for business but do not restrict themselves to the dark blue and dark grey suits. In some of the new technology industries.with jeans being seen as acceptable attire. It is always best to check on dress code before meeting a new company. dress is more casual . It is common for men to wear sports jackets and trousers with a shirt and tie in business situations and for women to wear smart casual clothes. .
. The boss is definitely not expected to perform any seemingly 'menial' tasks such as making coffee for everybody or moving chairs in a meeting room! Boss is the primus inter pares are virtually incomprehensible in a society still dominated by the historical conventions of the caste system.even if everybody knows full well that the instruction is incorrect.Indian Management Style India is an enormously hierarchical society (arguably the most hierarchical in the world). The boss is expected to give explicit instructions which will be followed to the letter .
Trying to introduce a flatter. Managing people in India requires a level of micro-management which many western business people feel extremely uncomfortable with but. more egalitarian approach into a society in which the caste system still flourishes can prove extremely difficult and painful for all concerned. therefore. be a waste of time and resource to spend too much time negotiating at the middle levels of a company if top level approval has not already been given. which is likely to bring the best results. . Most decisions are made at the top of an organisation and it can. Both society and business are extremely hierarchically arranged and many Indians find it extremely difficult to work in a non-hierarchical structure.
however. Traditional Indian companies will. retain more local approaches to meetings and these may cause the international business traveler more concerns. . disconnected issues or where your contact breaks off to answer the phone.Indian Meetings Meeting styles will be heavily dependent upon the type of organisation with which you are engaged in business. Emergent and highly successful hi-tech industries are actively pursuing western-style business methodology and this will result in meetings following familiar patterns with agendas. Meetings with more traditional Indian organisations are likely to seem very informal with the possibility of interruptions where unknown people enter the room and start to converse about other. a chairperson and reasonable time keeping.
meetings may initially evolve around seemingly non-business-focused discussions. Be prepared for meetings to start and finish late and for interruptions to occur on a regular basis. As a heavily relationship-oriented society. Show that you are a person to be taken seriously by engaging in the necessary small talk. . This is an important part of the cycle of business and should not be rushed or dismissed as time wasting. Time is fairly fluid.
If anything goes awry. The team leader takes complete responsibility for the success or failure of a project and needs to be constantly on top of progress and looking out for problems. Once again. as understood in the Anglo-Saxon world is alien to the Indian approach to business. . Team members would not be expected to query the instructions passed down to them and would expect to follow them even when it became apparent that things were going wrong.Indian Teams Team working. A team expects to be given exact and complete instructions by the team-leader or boss and then to follow those instructions exactly. micro-management is the key. the team leader is expected to sort it out personally.
almost perfect English and it would be unusual to meet any business person engaged in international trade who was unable to converse in the language.feeling that to do so would be offensive and lead to difficult ongoing relationships.Indian Communication Styles English is one of the fifteen official languages in India and is the only one which is universally spoken by the educated sections of society. When faced with disagreement. you are likely to encounter vagueness and lack of commitment. Many Indians speak excellent. but it may prove difficult' should be viewed with great suspicion and will probably mean 'No'. . Answers such as. 'We'll try' or 'Yes. Indians find it very difficult to say no .
Do not attempt to force your Indian contacts to be more direct and forthright than they feel comfortable with otherwise you may frighten them away. Do not be over-eager to move things onto an empirical business basis too quickly. rather than any unpalatable truths. . The danger is that you will be told what people think you want to hear. do not be surprised if many meetings begin with questions about your family. As Indians are highly family-oriented.
she must be there for a reason and her instructions will be followed just as diligently as those of a male manager. . as any overt signs of friendship or affection could be misconstrued. It is important that women managers act at all times in a formal manner with male subordinates.Women in Business in India The rank of an individual supersedes any notions of gender inequality which may be inherent in Indian society. If a woman has the position of manager.
Women should wear conservative dresses or trouser suits.Indian Dress Code Men tend to wear smart. . but comfortable and cool clothing. Businessman wears a lightweight suit although ties are not compulsory except in more traditional sectors such as banking and the law.
Japanese Style of Management .
Quality Control Circles (QCCs). Life-time employment. .Pertinent Characteristics of Japanese Management Company-wide union or house union. General preference for inexperienced fresh graduates from schools or colleges. Preference for promotions from within.
Pertinent Characteristics of Japanese Management Training practices ± On-the-job training ± In-house and outside training ± Job rotation Decision making and consultation practices ± Bottom-up communication ± Regular management-labour consultation Settlement of conflict trough negotiations .
Understand Japanese Management ± The Company as the Family Social belonging Life-time employment and loyalty Social status of employees linked to success of company Social role of employment ± company song ± company pin ± Paternalism Emphasis on harmony (suppression of conflict) Seniority system .
Understand Japanese Management ± The Company as the Family Zaibatsu Groups ± ± the financial & industrial conglomerates were outgrowths of family enterprises Scarcity of daily necessities during World War II ± Fostered company-based cooperative activities in the procurement and distribution of goods ± Companies were used by the government to distribute rations .
Understand Japanese Management ± Recruitment and Training Fresh graduates are recruited each spring through company's entrance examinations and interviews ± Well known corporations usually focus on a few high ranking schools and universities Costs and benefits of training internalised within one firm (paternalism / loyalty) ± Continuous training Seniority system facilitates on-the-job training ± Senior workers train junior workers without fear of jeopardizing their own position .
Understand Japanese Management ± Participatory Management Process of decision making not centralized at the top ± Process of broad consultation and consensus System cannot move capable individuals upwards ± Moves authority downward through personal contacts and relationships (of CEO and junior) .
± Explains why talented. sincerity and humaneness .Understand Japanese Management ± Participatory Management Anyone with a stake in the decision will be consulted (hierarchical relationship blurred). able and young employees can be satisfied under the seniority-based system The Father-leader ± Authoritarian ± Able to advance corporate goals through unobtrusive persuasion and conciliation ± Synthesizes group with warmth.
in any case.Japanese Meetings Punctuality is important ² it shows respect for the attendees. As the Japanese are loath to say 'no' or disagree. the merits of your company. Humour will. Japanese food etc. Consensus nature of decision making in Japan Meetings are often preceded by long. Decisions are arrived at through a lengthy consensus-building process. Body language is minimal and it can be very difficult to gauge progress made or the general sentiment of a meeting. as it is an essential element of the relationship-building process. Humour should be avoided during serious business meetings where it will be viewed as out of place. non-business polite conversation which could cover such topics as mutual contacts. probably not be comprehensible Avoid strong eye contact which can be seen as threatening or hostile behaviour. patience is needed. . it can be very difficult to be completely confident that a decision or agreement has been reached. As it is almost impossible to speed up this process.
Business Cards It is important. when doing business in Japan. as this would show disrespect. Gifts should not be too lavish but should always be of good quality. Do not write on it or leave it behind. . Avoid giving gifts in quantities of four or nine as these are unlucky numbers. Gifts should always be wrapped. place the cards carefully on the table in front of you with the senior personal card on the top. Cards are presented at an early stage in a formal manner. It is important to take a number of small gifts to Japan to distribute to new and existing contacts. Anything sharp could signify the desire to end a relationship. Present and receive the card with two hands. is always an appreciated gift. that you have a plentiful supply of business cards ² with information printed on the back in Japanese. Gift Giving Gift giving is an endemic part of Japanese business life and should not be confused with notions of bribery and corruption. During the meeting. (Present your card Japanese side up. Alcohol.) Treat your Japanese contact card with respect ² the card is the man. especially good single malt whiskey.
it is important to accept. When using chop-sticks. It is customary to remove your shoes when entering. never point them at anybody and do not leave them sticking into your rice. When not in use. It is considered polite to leave some food on your plate (or in the bowl) at the end of the meal to show that you have eaten a sufficiency. rest your chop-sticks on the holder which will be provided on the table. . Business meals form an integral part of commercial life in Japan If you are invited out for lunch or dinner (rarely breakfast).
which amongst other things means that people must be seen to be modest and humble. It is also important that group members maintain 'face' in front of other group members. The consensus-building process or Nemawashi determines that agreement is sought before a formal meeting in order to avoid any direct confrontation.Japanese Teams they are naturally group-oriented which underlies the need for a truly consensus approach to issues. Self-promotion in the western sense is seen as childish and embarrassing behaviour. .
It is probably best to say that everything should be questioned in order to ensure that clear understanding has been achieved.Japanese Communication Styles Japanese communications are epitomised by subtlety and nuance. Much of what is said by English speaking businessmen in cross-national meetings is simply not understood ² or more worryingly misunderstood. There is often a huge distance between the expressed tatemae and the felt honne ² they can often even be contradictory. Levels of English in Japan are at best very patchy. Check back several times for clarification of anything that remains unclear. . making it difficult for the untrained observer to read. Japanese body language is very minimal. where how one appears and what one publicly states (tatemae) and what one really thinks (honne) are often poles apart.
Women in Business in Japan Women are largely expected to perform lower grade tasks and to leave employment upon marriage or the birth of children. Western women working in Japan will probably only encounter difficulties when trying to manage Japanese male colleagues .
The business dark suit. business dress should be restrained and formal ± women do not commonly wear trousers in business in Japan. For women. Accessories should be up market but not ostentatious. it is probably safest to maintain a conservative approach. The climate in Japan is very varied through the seasons. so take appropriate wear for the season ± overcoats/raincoats may be needed in the winter. shirt and tie is very much the norm in Japanese mainstream business and although other colours are seen more often nowadays than in the past. .Japanese Dress Code Appearance is vitally important in Japan and people are often judged on the way they are dressed.
Social differences are manifested locally through benevolent. . and even take care of the personal needs of workers and their families.South (Latin) American Style of Management Latin American business model is a hybrid of globalization and the region¶s historic traditions. Latin American firms are managed like a family. Traditions are characterized by large social gaps and a widespread collectivism that has various manifestations. The senior executive has the personal obligation to protect subordinates. paternalistic leadership.
. and to accept that this authority leads to behavior that avoids conflict and confrontation with one¶s superiors. Latin Americans value status within a hierarchy because it indicates social distance between the higher-up and his subordinates. Latin American companies try to eliminate the existing power distance between directors and subordinates by creating committees that symbolize the egalitarian spirit among all members of the organization. Behaving any other way would be interpreted as an offense against one¶s superiors and colleagues. Latin Americans prefer to depend on someone closer to the center of the organization. In Mexican companies. ³executives know that the survival of their organizations depends more on social and governmental relationships than on any support they get from the country¶s financial system.
Companies generally recruit new workers through their current employees and employees¶ family members and close relatives. work is considered an obligation and way to enjoy the important things in life. age and sex. including family. in addition to social contacts. Latin American companies usually devote only a small part of their budget to training. and skills for analysis and communication represent serious obstacles for Mexican workers. loyalty and sense of responsibility that are important to keeping the organization together. This guarantees the trust. . In Mexico. formal education. executive selection and promotion generally reflect physical appearance. Moreover. The shortage of technical knowledge. In Chilean companies. birthplace and other factors.
Compensation usually comes in the form of fixed salary. Only multinational companies and large Latin American firms provide variable compensation based on corporate performance. .
sports (mainly soccer in South America and baseball in Central America).Meetings Latin Americans are known for arriving late at meetings. Personal relationships are really important for Latin Americans. would prefer to know something about the person with whom they are dealing. This helps to establish some rapport and older businessmen especially. culture. . Latin Americans love to chat for a long while before starting to actually "talk" about business. Except for Chile and Costa Rica (where schedules are very much respected). food and wines (in Chile and Argentina) for a long time. and you may find yourself chatting about children. It may even take you several meetings before actually starting to talk about an agreement.
Chile and Central America. Expect men to be polite and escort you to your chair (in restaurants and meeting rooms). and they are the preferred way of starting a business relationship. Depending in which industry you work. The first time you arrive at your client's office in Latin America. Argentina and Panama. . Lunches in top restaurants are very common in all of Latin America. This is because. even if decisions are taken at the highest level. you'll find your counterparts in Latin America are mostly men. executives will want everyone in her team and other teams to know you ± and then send her an impression about you. you may find a troop of people from different departments attending the meeting too. This is more evident in Mexico. Brazil. and less in Venezuela. Women's presence in business and executive positions in Latin America is definitely not the rule.
it is manifested through jokes.Communication in Latin American Countries Communication within a typical Latin American organization has a hierarchical and vertical structure in which ³information generally flows from above. and it¶s no wonder that communications are less than adequate. During times of conflict. down to the bottom There are fewer horizontal relationships. . because they prefer social networks based on friendship. gossip.´ When conflict or confrontation takes place publicly. Latin Americans tend to identify with their µin-group. Subordinates lack a spirit of confrontation. or passive-aggressive actions. and authority is rarely delegated.¶ rather than the entire organization.
you should be prepared for meetings. Latin Americans are more likely to expect punctuality if they are attached to an international firm. However. for social events such as dinners. . which start after the scheduled time.Punctuality Some Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America are not very rigid about punctuality. In Argentina. coming late by at least fifteen minutes is not usually considered bad manners. Attempts to arrive on time for business appointments are respected in the Dominican Republic and Venezuela.
unrevealing business suits and long dresses for women. Venezuelans enjoy expensive accessories. as long as they're good taste.Dress Code You won't go wrong by dressing conservatively: suits and ties for men. Argentina is probably the moat formal of the Latin American countries and Brazil the least formal. .
Putting your hands in your pockets is rude in Mexico . and putting your feet on the table is rude. 3. 4.Social Taboos Be aware that the following gestures can cause problems: 1. Putting your hands on your hips is a gestures signaling a challenge in Argentina. 2. Raising your fist to head level is a gesture associated with Communism in Chile. The sign for "OK" formed by your forefinger and thumb is offensive in Brazil.
Spanish Style of Management .
'doesn't he know the answer?' . Spanish managers have been described as 'benevolent autocrats' and this can be difficult to accept for outsiders who are more used to a consensual approach from superiors. Key personal attributes which would be admired might be a potent mixture of such issues as honour. The boss is expected to be courageous and consultation could be perceived as weakness . seriousness. courage. trustworthiness and the acceptance of the gravitas of the leadership function.Spanish Management Style The style of a manager is of great importance. Much greater weight is placed on personal attributes than on mere technical excellence.
Mistakes will be commented on by the boss at the time they occur and then not mentioned. . Instructions tend to be specific and task-oriented with detailed explanations of how to achieve the end result. Formal appraisal systems of the type in common usage in many other countries are a recent innovation and not necessarily welcomed.
Spaniards. If agendas are used at all they will not. be followed. . In more consultative style meetings. It requires a very strong and skilful chairperson to keep a meeting in Spain moving along linear lines. will express their views freely and forcefully which can lead to the impression that meetings are almost anarchic. Meetings are for the purpose of communicating direct instructions from boss to subordinates. necessarily.Spanish Meetings Spain does not really have a meetings culture. who are highly individualistic.
Do not be surprised to be taken outside the office to a coffee house during the day. Lunch is the main meal of the day and business discussions and deals are often conducted during working lunches ² although business is likely to be discussed during the later stages of any meal. The meals are often quite large with a number of courses and wine being served. . These µinformal¶ chats over a coffee are one of the best places to build relationships and many of these µoffline¶ conversations are the most useful for information gathering. Try not to see this as µwasted¶ time ² it is an essential part of the relationship building process.
Spaniards often find the team role a difficult one. They frequently express 'jealousy' of colleagues and that is not a healthy emotion in a team environment Teams. Communication between team members might even be through the boss to avoid confusion or duplication of activities . are more likely to consist of a group of individuals reporting to a strong leader and acting on his instructions.Spanish Teams Individualistic. where they do exist. hierarchical and multi-active.
Spanish Communication Styles Communication within Spanish organization is very often on a 'need to know' basis. A manager will inform those that he feels he should inform and this is very probably determined by strength of personal relationships. Departments do not. communication tends to be predominantly oral rather than through the medium of the written word. . necessarily.peer to peer. as any such communication is more likely to be at a more senior level . freely communicate across departmental lines.
The ability to use a large volume of language and a sincere manner are key management tools. if you feel something strongly. you show it. Humour is not used in very serious situations. where it can be seen as lacking the necessary decorum. . Overt signs of emotion do not imply lack of conviction or bluster and should be taken as the deeply felt belief of the speaker. In Spain.
traditionally. a male dominated business society Although it is still unusual to meet women in very senior positions. they are making rapid strides in middle-management areas.Women in Business in Spain Spain is. . Foreign women working in Spain are unlikely to encounter any form of gender discrimination.
well-cut clothes.Spanish Dress Code The way you look is important in Spain and this fact is borne out by the way in which people dress for work. Managers will invariably be very well-groomed wearing good quality. The importance of appearance should not be taken underestimated .if you want to be respected look the part! This applies both in formal business settings and in more informal social situations .
UK Style of Management .
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Agreements reached at the end of the bargaining process were on the whole being implemented and maintained unless there was good reason to do otherwise .Management in United Kingdom Management and worker representatives in the United Kingdom are trained to negotiate. Bargaining may be hard and prolonged but in the end you can only work with people you can trust and that means with people whose word means something. form agreements and stick to them.
all three have become increasingly common. reactive (37 per cent) and authoritarian (30 per cent). with authoritarian leadership also rising 5 per cent Managers tend more towards generalisation than specialisation. The proposition that the manager needs to be the most technically competent person would receive little support in the UK. the top two have increased by 6 per cent since 2004. Tight reins: the most widely experienced management styles in UK organisations are bureaucratic (40 per cent). .'Negative' Management Styles Most Common in UK Organizations Performance levels in workplaces are suffering as overbearing and dogmatic management practices top the list of management styles. Worryingly.
. A manager is expected to have the interpersonal skills to meld a team together and it is this ability as a 'fixer' which is highly regarded. cultivating a close. preferring to request assistance than to be explicit. often humorous and overtly soft relationship with subordinates. Modern managers often want to appear as a primus inter pares. The British find it difficult to be direct and British managers often give instructions to subordinates in a very indirect way.
The team environment aspires to being friendly and companionable with individuals within the team being seen to be supportive and helpful of each other. Team members often bring with them into the team a certain level of specialization. Being seen as a 'good all-rounder' is definitely positive. something goes wrong. If. . but are expected to take a generalist view of the project. it is not uncommon for the team to look for an individual within the team to blame. however.British Teams The British like decisions to be made in a team environment and a good manager will work hard to ensure 'buy-in' from his or her team.
that's an interesting point. Thus. "I disagree" becomes "I think you have made several excellent points there but have you ever considered." .. the British also use language in a coded manner preferring to say unpalatable things using more acceptable.British Communication Styles The British are almost Asian in their use of diplomatic language. the British equate directness with open confrontation and fear that bluntness will offend the other party.. positive phrases. Being very non-confrontational in business situations." And a lack of interest in an idea is often greeted with. In addition to being diplomatic.. "Hmm.
Humour is virtually all-pervasive in business situations. almost definitely. the more tense and difficult a situation is. be disliked. People who are verbally positive about themselves and their abilities may be disbelieved and will. . It is better to be self-deprecating than self-promotional in the UK. Indeed. reserved and nonemotional. the more likely the British are to use humour to helps to keep situations calm.
British Meetings Meetings in the UK are frequent. a route forward will be found. The British themselves often complain about the frequency and length of meetings they must attend. during that open debate. Little preparation is done for meetings. . This is because meetings are often viewed as the forum for the open debate of an issue and that. with the decision of the meeting being that another meeting should be held. then the detailed work schedule will be implemented. When the route forward is agreed. They are often also inconclusive.
The British consider themselves to be punctual. but when pressed will admit to rarely arriving on time. If something important arises during the open debate it will not be excluded simply because it does not occur on the agenda. . Being 'over-prepared' for meetings in the UK can result in certain negative feelings towards those who have prepared in advance Agendas will be produced and followed loosely. It is now fairly common for people to arrive five to ten minutes late for meetings.
. Women are more frequently found in managerial positions than in most other European countries and more and more women are reaching the very highest echelons of British business life.Women in Business in Britain Women make up a large percentage of the workforce .almost 50% But are often found in low paid and part-time jobs. More female managers will be found in service and hi-tech industries than in the more traditional engineering sectors .this is largely due to the small number of women in the UK who graduate with technical degrees.
as long as there are no clients to be met on that day. blue or pink shirts and reasonably sober ties. men will often wear cufflinks. Been a recent move away from this sober. Women in management positions often mirror male attire in so far as dark suits and blouses are worn .British Dress Code Traditional dark grey and dark blue suits still tend to predominate.with little in the way of more flamboyant accessories being seen. . Suits are worn with white. In the more senior circles in the 'City'. formal appearance and many organisations have introduced a 'dress down' policy which allows employees to wear 'smart casual'.
USA Style of Management .
more effective methods . American management style can be described as individualistic in approach Managers are accountable for the decisions made within their areas of responsibility.the constant search for better.has led to a business environment typified by the presence of change as a constant factor.Management Style The United States has adopted what could be labelled a 'scientific' approach to business. American managers are more likely to disregard the opinions of subordinates . This 'scientific' approach .
new models etc. New is good. Titles are an unreliable guide to relative importance within an organisation due to their proliferation.). Sell your plus points. . Self-deprecation is often misunderstood by Americans as a sign of weakness. Change is ever present in American corporate life and therefore so is the easy acceptance of new ideas. Gift giving is unusual in the States and many companies have policies to restrict or forbid the acceptance of presents Titles can be very confusing within American organisations with a bewildering array of enormously important-sounding job descriptors on offer (Second Vice-President etc. Respect is earned through conspicuous achievement rather than through age or background.
This 'confrontational' approach. Meetings often include formal presentations by one or more of the participants. is often aggressive. (where openly and directly debating all the relevant issues even at the expense of personal relationships is valued. .American Meetings Meetings in the USA. These presentations are a vital element in the demonstration of professional competence. ) is very alien to those cultures who always put diplomacy and harmony at the heart of their approach to meetings.
Punctual for meetings . enthusiastic and committed manner. is seen as an opportunity to impress ² important if personal success is to be achieved.if you are late apologise. Presentations should not only be relevant and well researched but also delivered in a positive. . The meeting and especially one in which a presentation has to be made.
Despite the seeming lack of hierarchy within an American organisation. teams are groups of individuals brought together for the moment to complete a given task or project. teams are expected to be transitory in nature.American Teams In the States. In the States. It is important to show enthusiasm for the project and to show belief in the ultimate achievement of the objectives. the boss is the boss and is expected to make decisions and is held accountable for those decisions. .
Americans value straight talking and 'getting to the point'. on first introductions. that is a crime. When an impasse is reached in meeting situations.American Communication Styles Coded speech and verbosity is often seen as time wasting and in time pressured corporate USA. American can seem very friendly. . polite and solicitous of your well being which seems to be at odds with the verbal behaviour exhibited half an hour later in the meeting. Paradoxically. robust debate in the States is seen positively and as a sign of definite progress.¶ This direct. the reaction is often to address it directly and µwith feeling.
Americans are much more open in conversation about private affairs than many European cultures and the converse of this is that Americans will often. how are you doing? etc. Overt friendliness (Have nice day!.) should be taken for what it is ² part of the protocol of the language and not as an attempt at establishing a life long friendship. ask very personal questions at an early stage in a relationship which may be perceived by some people as intrusive. Hi. quite naively. .
.Women in Business in The USA Women play an active part in business in the US. Although progress to the boardroom might still be more difficult A large percentage of American executives are women and this percentage is rising year on year.
shirt and tie to literally T-shirt and shorts. Dress will vary from the formal. dark business suit.American Dress Code Describing dress codes for men traveling on business in the States can be a risky business. Dress code for women is as varied as that for men .