It is almost impossible to describe with any level accuracy the ‘norms’ in terms of Polish business structures.

This is not very helpful information – but is reflective of the fluid state of the local business environment. Unlike economies such as Germany, France or the USA, Poland does not have a well-established endemic business culture and any attempt to imbue it with one would be pointless. There are basically three different types of business structures to be encountered locally:

  1. Ex-state monopoly enterprises. These large operations suffer from a hangover from the former system of central planning, massive levels of bureaucracy and inertia.
  2. Foreign capital subsidiaries. Many international companies have branch offices in Poland and these branch offices will usually reflect the approach of the parent company. Subsidiaries of a US firm will often have a strong US influence; subsidiaries of a German company will usually have a strong German feel etc.
  3. Local start-up companies. There have been a proliferation of entrepreneur-led companies which will often share the hallmarks of such companies worldwide; fast-moving, lacking in process and with a short-termist approach.

It is absolutely essential that you fully understand the background of the company you want to do business with. If you don’t have access to his information, just go in with a very open mind and keep your eyes open.

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

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 Poland. 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 Poland 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