Business Culture in Different Countries: What Are the Differences and Similarities?
Every business in the world – regardless of its location – has a goal to reach profitability. This is the main similarity between all companies that exist. However, it would be wrong to assume that business rules and behaviors are standardized across the globe. In fact, SMEs and big corporations have to adjust their activity to meet cultural and community needs. At the same time, it’s not only a customer who affects business. Internal organizational culture is also built with a focus on local specifics.
Cultural and organizational differences in business are actually quite interesting to discuss. The topic is often studied in business schools to prepare well-rounded professionals. What’s more, this issue is one of the most popular essay topics for business students.
Such essays are the most effective way to figure out students’ awareness of the topic. Whether you feel up to writing it yourself or prefer to type “write me an essay” and get someone to do the work, you still need to know about those differences.
Below we offer a brief on the main differences and similarities between businesses in different countries.
“Feminine” style of business in France and Spain
These are relatively similar business cultures that encourage cooperation and harmony among employees. Office workers in France and Spain focus a lot on things they share and how they share them. Building a feeling of trust and security is important for every employee within the office.
Also, Spain and France are well-known for their respect for working hours and weekends. It’s all about work-life balance when it comes to personnel in France and Spain. At the same time, customers also prefer building stronger ties with their favorite brands through tight communication and interaction with business.
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Morocco and India: Examples of authoritarian business culture
These two countries, despite being located too far from each other, share a lot when it comes to business. They follow and respect authoritarian order, meaning that hierarchy is critically important in the workplace. At the same time, people within the company remain quite collaborative.
However, Morocco has a clearer approach to procedures and organization. They put an emphasis on forecasting and mitigating risks. In India, the business operates under uncertainty. Problems are solved, then they arise without any projection.
The UK and the US: Independence and autonomy
These two countries share not only the language but also business attitudes. Businesses in Great Britain and America try to empower people to do more and share common values. This positively reflects on their ability to create, innovate, and make decisions.
This business culture encourages communication and interaction between employees on different levels. However, of course, it’s the managers who make decisions and are responsible for the outcomes.
Another distinctive feature of this business culture is the fact that both the British and Americans cultivate the idea of competition inside the company. Employees who compete with each other often come up with innovative ideas that drive business further. Such a business model is often seen as masculine.
Italy and Germany: Another example of masculine culture
It is common for the US and the UK to plan a few steps ahead, targeting long-term, ambitious goals. Italy and Germany are European examples of masculine cultures with a focus on hierarchy. Yet, the planning is focused on a short-time perspective.
This business culture cherishes the idea of minimal investments with rapid returns. However, for Italians, some of these decisions are based entirely on networking and connections rather than data analysis and projections. Germans, instead, calculate everything several times before signing an agreement and making a move. For them, discussions are always straightforward, and decisions are taken fast.
The Netherlands and China: Too different to be compared
It’s hard to find two business cultures more distinctive than these ones. The Netherlands is all about participation and an individualistic approach. On the other hand, China literally stands for authority.
In China, supervisors dominate and control the staff. Managers in the Netherlands try to make bridges and encourage diversity, equality, and inclusion the best they can.
Moreover, China is focused more on the long-term view of things. They study the company history of their counterpart in detail before they agree on collaboration. Businesses in the Netherlands emerge and develop faster because they focus on a short-term perspective.
Russia: A case that is hard to compare with anything
The way business is done in Russia cannot be compared to any other country. It resembles some features in different cultures, but in general – this is a unique way that is hard to explain. This business culture is full of contrasts.
Due to the communist past, the ideas of collectivism and authoritarianism are common for Russians. At the same time, companies try to encourage people to compete within the organization to make them more productive and ambitious. However, it works somehow, balancing on the edge of masculine and feminine, individualistic and collective, hierarchical and collaborative.
Every country is different in its way of building business relationships and navigating its path to profitability. However, it’s definitely better to know some regional or local cultural specifics before you build your own or join a company abroad.