Culture influence Leadership

Doing Business in
By: Ying, Jessica, and Harriet
Capital: Paris
Government: Republic President: François Hollande
Good temperate climate
Language: 88% French
Generous space for agriculture and a fortunate population distribution
 80% of Texas
 Population: 65,820,916 people (2013)
 Ethic Make-Up: Celtic and Latin with Teutonic , Slavic, North African, Indochinese,
Basque minorities
 Religion:
 Roman Catholic 83-88%
 Protestant 2%
 Jewish 1%
 Muslim 5-10%
Background to business in
 France remains 5th largest economy in the World
 Leading in banking, finance, aeronautics, and many hi tech fields
 The cold economic climate post- 2008 challenges the viability of
the country’s traditional social models
 Unemployment running around 10%
 Two elements that play a great role in business (Second World
War) :
 Government
 In shaping the direction of French businesses
 Education- Higher Elite Institutions (Grandes Ecoles)
Background to business in
 Co-operations between the government and industry has been aided by
the influence of the French educational system
 Brightest pupils – System of elite schools (Grandes Ecoles)
 Graduates of these institutions: enter large commercial
organizations & civil service
 Brotherhood- CEO path
Cross-Cultural Business
Things to Know:
Leading economic players in E.U.
Second largest trading nation in Western Europe
Many opportunities
Learn French etiquette
Punctuality: strive to be punctual
– 10 mins is okay
– 20 mins: Call to say you will be late
– 30mins: reschedule
Cross-Cultural Business
• Low corruption rate
• Language: try to speak the language
– Do not get offended
– They do not disapprove of our efforts
• Strong national culture
– Melting pot
– Respect their culture
Cross-Cultural Business
 Work/life balance
 Intellectually Superior to any other nationality
 Mission to teach and civilize other- due to their length
magnificence/historical achievements
 Americans perceive French as too picky, detailed, and
they do not focus on end result
Cross-Cultural Business
• French perceive Americans as too focused on the end
result and that they do not provide answers with
much justification.
• Plans can be detailed
– Americans Proposals versus French Proposals
• Negatively affects Negotiations
Cross-Cultural Business
1. Express thoughts and feelings
 Show intent
 Be genuine
 Disagreements are acceptable
 Go to dinner
2. Develop a relationship
 Slow down
 Get to know
 Business is personal
3. Contact is important
4. Give them TIME
Be understanding
Leadership Style
1. Autocratic
Managers tend to work in
2. Paternalistic
The group is considered more of
a family than an instrument.
3. Participative
Depending on various mixes of
directiveness and participation
in decision making
Leadership Style
 Supervise the situation
 Use knowledge to make
 Technical details
 Analyze the work
 Encourage the employees
 Manager is the main
 Strict
 Comment/ advise
 Determined to win
 Self-confident
 Congratulate the team
Leadership in France
 France leadership style is autocratic
 Compared to the US, France has a charismatic style of leadership
(the US has a transformative leadership style)
 Charismatic leadership involves creating a self-image so
powerful that people are naturally drawn to you
 Charismatic leaders are perceived as having an extraordinary
type of influence on their followers—charismatic leaders gather
followers through dint of personality and charm rather than any
form of external power or authority
Culture Influence on Leadership
French culture display behaviors
 full power of decision making and control
 less need for group decision making
 autonomy-delegation behaviors
Heavy emphasis on written rules and rigid procedures
French leadership philosophy are their personal style
being outgoing,
operating with a good deal of energy, intensity, emotional and
their tendency to use instincts
Culture Influence on Leadership
 French managers allow less participation of their
subordinates in decision making
 Less emphasis on cooperation, group work
 Less active in giving information to subordinates
Management Influence on
 A strong hierarchy is characteristic of the French
working environment, and an autocratic leadership
style is applicable.
 A highly educated management population which
approaches leadership with an unusual degree of
academic precision.
 French business behavior emphasizes courtesy and a
degree of formality.
Leadership and Organization
 The organization is based on respect for authority.
 A clear connection between the intellectual manager
and the organizational centralization.
Management as an intellectual
 The emphasis is on intellect rather than action.
 Managers must be able to grasp complex issues,
analyze problems, manipulate ideas and evaluate
The French Political System
 France is a republic
 France is a semi-presidential representative democratic
republic, in which the President of France is head of
state, and the Prime minister (PM) of France is head of
 The president appoints the PM who forms the
government (in theory, ministers are chosen by the PM)
 France has a multiparty system.
French Politics (Cont.)
 The French business world follows specific business
etiquette – the executive is expected to show interest
and involvement in the task of others
 Opinions of experienced middle managers and
technical staff may be dismissed.
 The French are generally collective people, their
communication culture is high context.
Politics Influence on Leadership
 Note that different cultures can have radically different leadership
styles, and international organizations would do well to understand
them to be able to do business in France
 In literature, leadership is typified as a trait, a role set, an adjective, the
exercise of power, or even a process
 Also underscored in literature is the existence of three power sources, 1)
Position, 2) Personal and 3) Political
 Political power – the ability to influence or control the behavior of
Business Culture on the world stage. (n.d.). Retrieved November 05, 2014, from
Doing Business in France - World Bank Group. (n.d.). Retrieved November 05, 2014, from
France Business School. (n.d.). Retrieved November 13, 2014, from
Suutari, V. (1996). Variation in the average leadership behavior of managers across countries:
Finnish expatriates experiences from Germany, Sweden, France and Great Britain. The international
Journal of Human Resource Management, 7(2), 677-707.
Schramm-Nielsen, J. (2000). How to interpret uncertainty avoidance scores: A comparative study of
Danish and French firms. Cross Cultural Management-An International Journal, 7, 3-11.
Taleghani, G., Salmani, D., & Taatian, A. (2011). Survey of leadership styles in different cultures.
Iranian Journal Management Studies, 3(3), 91-111.