When in Rome, do as the Romans do

I congratulate the team members of the Passport to Trade 2.0 project. They have done a great job by gathering the right information about business culture and behaviour in several European countries.

We all know the ancient proverb: “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” But, do we always stick to this advice? Certainly not, as we often do not know how people of the different countries do. Especially when doing business abroad, it is absolutely necessary to know how to act accordingly in the respective countries and situations.

If you want to do business in Austria, I only can recommend you to read all chapters about the country at the project website businessculture.org. There you will find the major pitfalls that might occur when looking for business opportunities and getting in touch with Austrian people.

Being a Swedish immigrant, who has been living in Austria for 40 years, I could not refrain from laughing a few times when reading the text, because I realized how good the description matched my own attitudes, habits, and behaviour. There is a lot of great advice on the website.

In particular, I would suggest to keep the following in mind when building a business relationship with Austrian people:

“Austrians are generally conservative people and are prudent and moderate in their behaviour. They respect perfectionism in all areas of business and private life, and in their approach to work they tend to focus on achieving the task at hand.”

You will find much more information on the website, including topics like business communication and business etiquette in Austria.

24 October 2013

About Aleksej Heinze

Passport to Trade 2.0 project leader. My research interests are in the area of disruptive innovation using information technology (IT) and the use of IT in business management. Topics include: enterprise 2.0; web 2.0, international business culture, search engine optimisation, and social media marketing.