Taiwanese Management Style

As has already been stated managers tend towards the authoritarian, giving instructions to subordinates which they expect to be obeyed.

It would be unusual for an employee to openly question the decision of the manager. However, there may have been a great deal of behind the scenes consensus-building undertaken prior to an instruction being given.

The manager expects to be consulted prior to any actions being taken and, therefore, little initiative is expected or shown lower down the chain. Decisions taken during a meeting at which the senior manager is not present should be viewed with some suspicion.

The manager expects to be shown the respect due to his (rarely her) position and this will mean that, from a Western perspective, an undue amount of deference may be shown. Respect is given for the position held within an organisation but age is also worthy of respect. It is difficult, therefore, for older Taiwanese to accept being managed by younger expatriate managers. Equally a younger western manager on a trade mission is likely to be less well received than a visibly older colleague.

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

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 Taiwan. 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 Taiwan 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