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The international executive across cultures - France and India

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  1. About India.
  2. Cultural comparisons.
    1. High context versus low context.
    2. Power distance.
    3. Individualism versus collectivism.
    4. Masculine versus feminine.
    5. Uncertainty avoidance.
    6. Universalist versus particularist.
    7. Affective versus neutral.
    8. Specific versus diffuse.
    9. Achievement versus ascription.
    10. Sequential versus synchronic.
  3. Business in France.
    1. Making appointments.
    2. Business dress.
    3. Conversation.
    4. Addressing others with respect.
    5. Gift giving, language, negotiating and acceptable public behaviour.
  4. Practical guidelines for business trips in India.
    1. Making appointments, business dress, conversation, language and acceptable public behaviour.
  5. Conclusion.
  6. Indicative bibliography.

India's official name is the Republic of India and its capital is New Delhi. It measures over 3 million square kilometers for a population of around 1.1 billion inhabitants. India is located on the Indian sub-continent and can be divided into 4 topographical regions: the Himalayan region, the Indo-Gangetic Plain, the desert region and the southern region. India's main religion is Hinduism (83%), the rest of the population is Muslim (12%), Christian (3%) or Sikh (2%). The main languages are English and Hindi and the official current is the Rupee (Re) divided into 100 Paisa. The Indian government supports a mixed economy, most of which is in the control of private enterprise. Because India is largely dependent on foreign purchases for various commodities, including manufactured goods, raw materials and food, its import trade is extensive. Leading imports are petroleum products, fertilizers and electrical machinery. The major exports are gems and jewelery, engineering goods, leather goods and cotton. India's main trading partners are the USA, the UK, Japan, Iran and Iraq.

[...] It is not extended to outsiders and you should not attempt it until your female colleagues have made the initial move. Despite the formality of French business culture, people tend to stand close when speaking to each other. Moreover, touching a shoulder or patting an arm is also commonplace and usually within the bounds of French business etiquette. Maintaining eye contact is important, but try not to focus too intently on the other person but smiling is treated only with indifference in France. [...]


[...] In general, people are addressed by their name only by close acquaintances, family members, or by someone who is older or superior in authority. After marriage, women normally adapt the husband's name (his family name in northern India and first name in southern India). However, there is an increasing trend among educated professional women who keep their maiden name after marriage. Gift giving Gift giving is customary in India, and is seen as a sign of friendship, although it is generally not expected at the first meeting. [...]


[...] France is Achievement orientated, which means that respect for superior in hierarchy is based on how effectively the job is done. On the other hand, in Ascription orientated cultures, status is given by age, gender, education and social connections. India is Ascription orientated, which means that respect for superior hierarchy is seen as a measure of commitment to the organization. Sequential versus synchronic The definition of Sequential time is a series of passing events. Sequential orientated people do one activity at a time and relationships are generally subordinate to schedule. [...]

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