Poland remains a somewhat hierarchical business culture and managers could probably be best described as authoritative. (Although this has to be written with a caveat around the national origins of the company – a US company will work hard to ‘teach’ US management theories to its local managers.)
Therefore, managers will be less democratic and participative than in certain other European countries such as the Netherlands or Sweden.
It would be expected that the manager knows the answer to difficult problems and that the manager issues direct instructions to employees. As Poles are direct in their speech patterns, these instructions can sometimes seem to be given in a very abrupt manner. Subordinates can get frustrated if instructions are not given in a precise and comprehensive way – and this can result in work remaining unfinished.
It is expected that more junior colleagues show great respect to their superiors and this will often result in meetings being dominated by the most senior person present. Despite the Poles love of direct speech, it is probably unwise to directly contradict the boss in an open meeting. As the manager usually makes the decisions, it is important to cultivate relationships at senior levels.
Global Business culture is a leading training provider in the fields of cross-cultural communication and global virtual team working. We provide training to global corporations in live classroom-based formats, through webinars and also through our cultural awareness digital learning hub, Global Business Compass.
This World Business Culture profile is designed as an introduction to business culture in Poland only and a more detailed understanding needs a more in-depth exploration which we can provide through our training and consultancy services.