Open collaborative team-based activities where people are encouraged to share common goals and work effectively together are relatively uncommon in Portugal.

Management style is usually directive and instructional and therefore the common approach to team work is to have a dominant individual who gives specific instructions to individual team members.

Each team member is then expected to perform his or her allotted tasks diligently but nothing more. The idea of taking responsibility for another’s area of action is a relatively new concept.
It is often said that the Portuguese are individualistic rather than co-operative in their approach and this does not sit easily with good team role playing.

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

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 Portugal. 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 Portugal 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