With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia emerged as a nation. A new constitution was adopted in 1993, representing the end of communism. Russia has now a federation style government with a market economy (CIA, The World FactBook: Russia, online). Despite important economic concerns (volatile and unpredictable economy with high inflation particularly, modern equipments needed in industries, strong influence of mafia in big cities ), the nation is obviously an attractive destination for business or global investors. Indeed, Russia is famous for its large natural resources (natural gas, timber, mineral reserves, oil fields, coal mines), strong infrastructures and its excellent proximity to Europe, compared to China and India (Suite101, online). Though there are universal cultural similarities, for those attracted by this Russian potential, it is essential to learn about the business culture aswell.
[...] U.K.: John Wiley & Sons. John Mole (2003) Mind Your Manners. 3rd ed. U.K.: Nicholas Brealey Publishing. Nina Jacob (2003) Intercultural Management. U.K.: Kogan Page Limited. Communicaid Group (2006), Doing Business in Russia [online]. Available at:
[...] Gorrill from “Communicaid Group” (online) and to the “Kwintessential” website, it is necessary to gain some basic insights into the Russian culture and mentality for anyone willing to do business with this country. Greeting Etiquette - First, Russians people will expect us to be on time, even if a few minutes delay on their part is of little importance generally. Of course, nobody will wait more than 15 minutes to Russia”, online). - A firm handshake with direct eye contact is obviously the most appropriate greeting. [...]
[...] Different perceptions of the business team & self-expression V. Fetsenko also mentioned that Western people usually perceive team spirit as an instrument to achieve success and work as way of making a living”. In Russia, team spirit is an aim, not an instrument and also a simple way to gather collective strengths to face future challenges. For many Russians businessmen, after reaching a sufficient level of income, “working in a comfortable environment can be as more important than a higher salary”. [...]
[...] The russian business culture and its implications II.A. Russia, a high-context culture Russia is a high-context culture, which means that feelings are not explicitly expressed and communication generally takes place from personal relationship. On the opposite, low-context cultures (Anglo-Saxon countries such as the U.S.A. or Canada for example) are characterised by separated personal and professional relationship and by explicitly formulated feelings notably. Many Western investors going to Russia will notice these principles of high or low-context cultures. Most of the time, people from a high-context culture perceive those low- context culture people as very talkative. [...]
[...] Implications of the Russian business culture for potential foreign investors Getting the ability to operate in changing conditions According to V. Fetsenko (“Executive Planet”, online), foreigners do not always understand Russian businessmen when they say: will do our best to finish the work on time” or “Maybe, it will work”. Indeed, Russian managers are always ready to work in continually changing conditions whereas Western managers rather have a plan in case of emergency. Changing working conditions could actually hurt the morale of Westerners and it could be perceived as a failure because everything should be expected in advance. [...]
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