Canadian Business Structures

It is difficult to give a clear indication of any type of Canadian norm in terms of business structures as many Canadian companies have abandoned traditional hierarchical approaches in favour of leaner, flatter structures. This business re-engineering process has been proceeding for some time but different companies and different sectors are at different stages of the cycle. Thus, although it is possible to encounter companies which have maintained a very structured, hierarchical approach, a business visitor is just as likely to encounter a very flat, open system.

It is, therefore, important to do as much homework as possible on any potential clients or suppliers before initial contacts are made. As a general rule, the more remote from major centres of population, the more likely a company is to be traditionally hierarchical.

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

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 Canada. 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 Canada 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