As has been stated earlier, the Czech approach to many business issues will be determined by the type of organisation you happen to be dealing with and by the age of your counterparts.
Many Western companies with subsidiaries in the Czech Republic will place great emphasis on developing a leadership style within their Czech operation which aligns with their global views on leadership issues. Therefore, you may find that leadership style can vary widely depending on the type of operation you are dealing with.
Traditionally, Czech management styles have been characterised by a somewhat paternalistic style which reflects the hierarchical, bureaucratic nature of the ex-state monopolies which were the norm in the economy. Managers kept somewhat aloof from their subordinates and issued direct commands which people were expected to follow without question. This approach is still very evident in the larger, locally-run Czech enterprises.
This paternalistic style accounts for the lack of initiative which may expatriates feel they encounter when working with Czech colleagues. If managers expect their subordinates to follow direct instructions unquestioningly, it is hardly surprising if those subordinates feel they have no authority to go beyond the direct instructions they have been given.
Written and Produced by Keith Warburton
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 the Czech Republic. 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 the Czech Republic 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: