Cultural Differences – Southeast Asia

In Asian cultures, once you have lost face, it’s not easily undone. One usually avoids publicly exposing people, i.e. causing their loss of face by emphasizing their mistakes and misfortunes and openly criticizing them. By the same principle, you yourself could lose face and thus damage the image of your team or even the entire […]

US-American meeting etiquette

Meetings in US-American companies proceed goal-orientated. An agenda is distributed in advance, whereby it is expected that each person prepares for their topic. Often exact times are given on the agenda, which are scheduled for one point of discussion. The topics are dealt with in a structured manner. Normally it is not possible to return […]

The Brazilian culture of sympathy

When you meet previously unknown business partners for the first time, wait until your Brazilian host introduces them to you. Only then should you greet them. It is quite normal to very swiftly move to using first names even in a business context. In contrast to most other Latin American countries, family names are rarely […]

The Chinese perspective

People especially in western countries enjoy many political and religious freedoms. Human rights have always been an important topic. All persons are equal before the law. Nobody can be discriminated against. Nobody may be arrested or punished without a legitimate court procedure. The media are allowed to report on every topic without censorship. As a […]

The Polish commitment to “just in time”

Two factors which become apparent as soon as you begin planning a cooperative effort with a Polish business are firstly, their talent for improvisation, and secondly, their optimistic belief that any task can be successfully managed. Projects continue to be tinkered with right up until the very last minute, as changes occur constantly. Instead of […]

Cultural Differences – France

Enjoying a good meal In France not only tourists like to enjoy a good meal. Businessmen also have the chance to gourmandise to their heart’s content when visiting French companies. The reason for this is that in France the starting point for negotiations is a cultivated conversation during an extensive meal. Only if the French […]

Business in the USA: Think big!

This can be seen, for example, in project planning. In the USA, at first a major goal is formulated. Then people sit down and think about how this goal can be achieved. A detailed planning of individual steps is usually not provided. US-Americans don’t look at too many details and also don’t define subgoals to […]

The Gulf Arab operating system IBM

“Inshallah” – “If God wills”, “bukra” – “tomorrow” or “at some time or other”, and “malesh” – it doesn’t matter” or “no harm meant” are set expressions that are nourished from Arabic proverbs and will reach your ears several times a day when you are travelling in Arabic-speaking countries. Because of their conspicuously frequent use […]

Cultural Differences – Australia

To enjoy life is a recognized basic attitude in Australia as well as general optimism. All are equal Another important value in the Australian culture and which certainly contributes to the general Australian relaxation is that all should be treated fairly and equally. Hierarchies in companies are therefore flat, and employees and supervisors almost always […]

Meetings in Germany

A lot of Germans tend to plan far ahead into the future, which is why meetings should be booked a few weeks in advance. Germans are quite time oriented, so once a meeting is booked, a change of date or time is quite uncommon. If the plan does however change, and it changes on your […]

Negotiations in China

You will need time, patience, flexibility and to pay strict attention in negotiations with Chinese business partners. Stay calm and be prepared for surprising changes of direction. Participants in negotiations If the Chinese firm is big assume that you will be sitting opposite a big negotiating team with precisely defined roles. You should go in […]

Cultural Differences – Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is based on a social system marked by a sense of community and tradition. In the center stands the family. All values that play an important role in social life are decisive in the business world as well. Generosity, reciprocal caretaking, and respect are therefore characteristics which you definitely should display in business […]

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