Austrian Management Style

As would be expected in a mainly hierarchical business culture, managers are less consensual than would be the case in countries where a more inclusive, matrix-style approach is employed.

Therefore, managers can tend towards giving direct instructions to subordinates who will, by and large, carry them out to the letter.

This also means that managers are expected to make the decisions and would involve their colleagues in the decision-making process to a much lesser degree than might be the case in a consensus-oriented countries such as Sweden or the Netherlands. Managers are expected to be sector/function experts and as such should know the answers to problems.

This directive management approach goes hand-in-hand with an almost old-fashioned sense of politeness and courtesy. Do not imagine a tyrannical boss barking orders at frightened subordinates. Everything is done with great charm and warmth. In fact charm would be seen as one of the attributes of a good manager.

A brief overview of some key concepts to consider when doing business in Austria

Written and Produced by Keith Warburton

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This country profile has been produced to give a short overview of some of the key concepts to bear in mind when doing business with contacts in Austria. It is intended to be an aid to business people who have commercial dealings with counterparties in the country but should not be seen as an exhaustive guide to this topic or as a substitute for more substantial research should there be a need.

With this in mind, we have covered the areas which are key to a better understanding of the cultural mindset underpinning business dealings in Austria and which are, quite often, extremely different from the approach and thought processes associated with business in other parts of the world.

Therefore this briefing note is broken into short, bite-sized sections on the following topics:

  • Background to business
  • Business Structures
  • Management style
  • Meetings
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Women in business
  • Entertaining
  • Top tips