Rwanda is a significantly hierarchical culture and this hierarchy is reflected in all aspects of life and has the root in the home. In the workplace people are addressed using titles especially when subordinates are addressing their superiors.
Managers expect to be shown respect at all times, in return for which they offer help, protection and possibly promotions. Since people are used to getting instructions from their managers and do what they are directed to do they find it difficult when they transition into a flat structured organisation where they are expected to take the lead and own their own assignments.
Rwandans barely separate professional relationships from social relationships. Therefore, a good relationship between a manager and employee will involve talking about and taking care of personal and family issues. A good manager, depending on the age, will be considered a mother, father, older brother or sister.
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This World Business Culture profile is designed as an introduction to business culture in Rwanda only and a more detailed understanding needs a more in-depth exploration which we can provide through our training and consultancy services.