Traditional management styles in Greece are highly directive and paternalistic.

This paternalism fits very easily into the strong sense of family and ethnic ties which bind all Greeks together. The individual responsibility of the boss would always be seen as paramount, rather than the collective responsibilities of a group.

Therefore, it is important to give clear instructions which can be easily followed. Don’t expect pro-activity – it may come, but is not necessarily always forthcoming in these types of paternalistic business cultures. When people have been used to very precise instructions from a directive boss, vague requests can seem very confusing. ‘What exactly am I expected to do here?’

As relationship bonds run deep in Greek culture, the manager expects loyalty. In return for this loyalty, the boss will look after the interests of subordinates. The manager-subordinate relationship is viewed as reciprocal and familial.

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

Written and Produced by Keith Warburton

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Overview

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 Greece. 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 Greece 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