Business Customs in France

In: Business and Management

Submitted By mmangell2
Words 2607
Pages 11
Business Customs in France

When conducting business in a country other than our own, there are many obvious considerations that must be made to be successful, including how negotiations are made, how business meetings are conducted, acceptable business attire, etiquette and decision styles. Other less obvious, yet equally important, considerations that must be made include normal business hours in the host country, accepted cultural norms regarding gift giving, handshakes and business cards, and how women are regarded in the business world. This paper will address the cultural considerations that an American professional would need to make when conducting business in France, as well as a summary of Hofstede’s Dimensions of Culture for both countries.
Negotiations
Business negotiations in France tend to be very centralized and bureaucratic. Tradition is respected and given precedence over new ideas and formality is expected in all stages of business. During business negotiations, the French tend to ask very direct, detailed questions and expect adequate responses from their American colleagues. It is expected that all risks be identified early in the process and that they are all well-managed to avoid unnecessary complications. The French are also likely to repeat their main points when they have reached their conclusion, at which point changing their opinion or decision is very unlikely. Additionally, the business structure in France often requires initial negotiations to go through several stages of internal management for final approval (www.businessculture.org, n.d.). An American would need to be very tactful and logical when conducting business in France. It would also be important to remember that an initial approval or agreement does not necessarily imply that no changes will be required by an internal review.
Business Meetings Formality is…...

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