Cultural Differences – Italy

The exchange of mutual favors combined with long-term loyalties is the basis of every cooperation. Business relationships in Italy are therefore considered to be stable and successful only when the personal relationship between the partners is right and they all fit into a personal relationship network. The most important basis is good communication, because talking […]

Cultural Differences – USA

Casual small talk US-Americans are certainly considered experts when it comes to innocuous small talk. Having an easy-going conversation helps creating a pleasant atmosphere, and this again is important for doing business. It may well be the case that during this kind of conversation your US-American business partner tells you that it would be nice […]

Cultural Differences – Baltic States

What the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania all have in common is a period of Russian occupation after the Second World War when they were under socialist rule for around 40 years. Today, however, the three Baltic republics deliberately distance themselves from each other and want to be perceived each in their own […]

Negotiating with Southeast Asian business partners

In Southeast Asia hierarchies are of great importance. That is why seating arrangements for negotiations are not left to chance. Each participating party sits on one side of the conference table. High-ranking participants and decision makers sit with their backs to the wall, usually facing the door, where the guest and negotiating partner is often […]

Cultural Differences – Croatia

About 90 percent of Croatia’s population are ethnic Croats, catholic, and speak Croatian. Four to five percent are Serbs who belong to the Orthodox Church and speak Serbian. Another five percent are of different ethnic origin, such as Bosnians, Hungarians, Slovenes, Czechs and Roma. Since the disintegration of the multi-ethnic state of Yugoslavia and the […]

Cultural Differences – Switzerland (German speaking part)

In terms of competitiveness, Switzerland is number one, according to the latest global Competitiveness report from the World Economic Forum. Innovation, efficiency and a strong work ethic are strong pillars of the economy. Certain characteristics of German-speaking Swiss in particular, such as tidiness, precision and a high level of risk-aversion shape a business culture which […]

Cultural Differences – Finland

The following tips on cultural stumbling blocks in dealing with Finnish business partners are intended to facilitate cooperation: Introductions and address It is common to shake hands in Finland when greeting, but this is often left out when leaving. Using names is also of no significance to Finns; this is also true for written communication. […]

Cultural Differences – Canada

Canadian companies have a relatively flat hierarchy. The corporate culture is democratic, therefore meetings are interactive in that everyone participates and expresses their opinion. However, individual points are usually not discussed too extensively, because Canadians prefer a targeted, agenda-driven meeting that leads to a concrete action plan. Expansive conversations and marathon sessions are therefore neither […]

Cultural Differences – Belgium

With Brussels at the center of the European Union, the Belgian working world is more international than in many other EU countries. In addition to the multicultural influences of its numerous foreign inhabitants, Belgium also has domestic economic, political and above all cultural borders. By several state reforms in the 80s and 90s, the three […]

Cultural Differences – Great Britian

The refined “English manner” is famous around the world and synonymous primarily with respectful and reserved behaviour. Included in this is an unlimited politeness in every situation. Emotional outbursts of any kind are deemed embarrassing and compromising. Everyone who has received a reasonably good education knows how to retain his composure. Small Talk for the […]

Cultural Differences – Bulgaria

When initiating business in Bulgaria, you should invest a good amount of time in developing the personal side of this new relationship. Aside from business meetings, this may include extensive business meals, cocktail parties and sometimes even participation in family reunions, where personal topics may be talked about. In Bulgaria, the highest priority is given […]

Negotiations in the Arab Gulf States

You are probably already familiar with the Arabic bazaar mentality or bargaining culture so you can assume that your Gulf Arab business partners will carry on intensive negotiations and haggle over prices. The initial negotiations are generally very comprehensive and lay the foundations for long-term business connections. The personal relationship between business partners is most […]

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