British business culture

British business culture

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Names in brackets are the dimensions’ (marked in italic) creator.

Communication style

  • Both high and low context (Hall)
    • Use three important tools
      • Humour
      • Vagueness
      • Language
    • Tempo
      • Take more time than Americans
    • Understatements are used frequently
    • Use an indirect style, talk around the subject          

Management style

  • Both high and low power distance (Hofstede)
  • orders disguised as requests
  • more top-down than in e.g. Sweden

Attitude to time

  • Sort of sequential (Trompenaars)
    • increased privatization has lead to increased focus on short-term profits, like it is in the US

Ethics – right or wrong

  • Universalists (Trompenaars)

Values – attitude to work

  • Masculine (Hofstede)
    • the British work long hours
    • career often overshadows family
    • corporate culture is extremely competitive

Impact of outer influence

  • Inner directed (Trompenaars)

Social identity

  • Decision making relatively individualistic (Hofstede)


  • Sort of achievement based (Trompenaars)

Attitude to risk

  • Low uncertainty avoidance (Hofstede)
    • However, they like continuity and dislike radical changes
    • It is worth pointing out that the British take advantage of their heritage when making decisions and taking risks

Business orientation

  • Deal-focused (Gesteland)
    • Straight to business
    • Contracts are important


  • Both formal and informal (Gesteland)
    • junior staff are encouraged to give their opinion
    • British are more informal than you might think
    • Politeness are still important (for example P’s and Q’s)
    • Dress code sort of still in use
      • Rather conservative
    • Importance of pub lunch

Attitude to personal space

  • The British prefer to keep their distance
Erik Persson

Om mig:

Arbetar med MRM, webb-orienterade projekt så som SEO och webb-utveckling samt läser till en Bachelor i Business Administration på Handelshøyskolen BI i Oslo.

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