The education system fosters a sense of rivalry and competition from an early age, with peers competing to pass entrance examinations to gain entry into the elite Grandes Ecoles.

A sense of team working is not encouraged in this process and does not therefore come naturally in later working life. People prefer to have definable, personal sets of objectives rather than to work in more general team roles. Thus teams are often defined as sets of specialists working on single issues for a strong leader.

Teams arranged between functional lines for the purpose of promoting one particular project (as found in the USA) are often difficult to implement as loyalties are divided between the project team and the functional home of the team member.

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

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 France. 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 France 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