Management and leadership: cultural differences in management styles


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Management styles can vary greatly from country to country. This article from Move One Inc, a moving management company, compares multiple international styles

…Management styles valued in the Netherlands may be perceived as weak in Romania, where authoritative leadership prevails. Or, calling subordinates by their first names is seen as a gesture of friendliness in the United States, but will be considered rude or impolite in France or Germany. High level of punctuality of someone from the United States may seem “pushy” for someone from Latin countries. Still, the indifferent response to time by a Latin person can be wrongly interpreted as being lazy or unresponsive. And when it comes to actual planning of activities, in British firms, for example, the planning staff is often reduced when anticipating future events becomes more difficult, but Germans would rather increase their planning activities in such a case….

This Slideshare presentation further compares the differences in business styles around the world. If your home country is mentioned in these reports, do they reflect your work culture?

Try reflecting on the management in your own organisation and how it might differ to that of your partner’s. Where are the commonalities and where are things completely different?

Here are a few ideas of thing you might want to discuss with your partner:

  • What is the management structure in your organisation?  Is it a formal or relaxed?
  • Do managers and team members work in partnership or do managers primarily direct the work?
  • Are meetings collaborative or mostly informational? (i.e. do team members contribute or do the managers to the most of the talking?)
  • Is it considered inappropriate to contradict a manager?
  • Do staff have a say in their work or are tasks primarily assigned by managers?
  • If you are not a manager, would you like to be? Why or why not.

We hope this gives you plenty of material to discuss with your partner, and we encourage you to share your views in the comments below, or on our Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages.

Alyson Dalby, ILN Director

Posted in Discussion topics, Round 2016A and tagged , , , .

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