Intercultural Differences in Russia

1859 words 8 pages
Cultural differences to take into account for a French businessman in Russia
 Analysis of some aspects of intercultural differences  Their effects on business communication

The purpose of this essay is to show that intercultural differences between French and Russian businessmen exist and discuss if they are a threat for effective business communication. The structure follows the different steps of a real business situation: a French businessman meeting his potential Russian partners for a negotiation in Russia.

Before going to Russia, what important information should a French businessman know?

There are many cultural differences between France and Russia that a businessman should know before he goes to Russia in
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First, it is important to say that Russians negotiators do not really like French businessmen. They prefer Americans, Germans or Italians. For them, the French are too cautious and are not considered as risk-takers. In this predicament, a French negotiator will have to be very good if he wants to succeed in Russia.

In France, punctuality is very important. It is the opposite in Russia where patience is one of the main values. Consequently, people have a flexible relationship with time and are often late. However, a foreigner is expected to be on time for business meetings and wait for his Russian partners to come. This can be interpreted as a test of his patience. A French businessman will have to accept it and will not demonstrate any kind of attitude if the negotiation begins one or two hours late. In addition, the Russians will not apologize. During the negotiation, there are also many intercultural differences that should be taken into account in order to avoid communication problems. First, Russian businessmen will show their tremendous patience during a negotiation. That is why they can be described as “sitters” and negotiations are very long. Whereas French people will try to find a win-win situation as quickly as possible, Russians will spend quite a lot of time talking about something else, their country for example. And once they start to negotiate, they are really tough. It is almost impossible to find a compromise as it may be seen


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