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Presentation on Russian
• Russian Domain includes Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, and Armenia
(all were part of the U.S.S.R.)
• Russia is the largest country (in land area) on Earth
• Rich in resources, but has one of the harshest climates; he average winter
temperature is rarely below −20°C (-4°F)
• The Russian Domain has had extremely rapid political and economic
change since 1990
• From centrally planned economy to capitalism & from authoritarian
dictatorship to democracy
• Region’s economy is weak; commitment to democracy uncertain,
nationalist movements threaten stability
Russian culture - key concepts and values
Cultural anthropologists believe that Russia’s strong communal bond comes from the large
amount of cooperation that must be demonstrated to survive in such a cold climate.
Egalitarianism is an important social philosophy that strives for equal treatment of people
through all avenues, may they be pay benefits or social standing. In the business realm, this
translates to equal opportunity, reciprocity, and mutual advantages.
• Dusha (soul)
Dusha is based around idea of mutual understanding and emotion.
Structure and hierarchy in Russian companies
• The hierarchical structure in Russian business practices
means that the decision makers higher up have authority
over their subordinates; however when it comes to
decision-making, the collective good is most often at the
top of this list. There is still a strong recognition of the
power structure and the respect of the hierarchy is central
for smooth business operations.
• Personal space is not important in Russia; it is said that
there is no word for “privacy” in the Russian language.
• Bodily contact during the business meetings is considered
to be a good sign of initializations.
Working practices in Russia
Working practices in Russia – A stereotype
• The Russians attitude to time means that a few minutes delay on their part is
of little importance. However, they will expect you to be punctual.
• Faxes and emails are the best way to communicate in Russia, as the post can
often be unreliable. It is customary before making a trip to Russia to inform
the prospective company of your intended business proposals and
• Paperwork and putting pen to paper is an essential part of all working
practices in Russia. In general, they have little faith in unsigned documents.
• Women usually do not hold high positions in the Russian
• There are more women in business education then in
• Foreign businesswomen sometimes face adversity from the
male-dominated Russian business culture.
ATTITUDE TOWARDS FOREIGN PARTNERS
• The first meeting is usually just a formality-a time to assess
the credibility of you and your company.
• Russians can sometimes place a great deal of confidence in
your professional competence and experience; very high
expectations and demands.
• Russian business people are open-minded to new ideas,
especially from western business culture
• Russian negotiators could make minor concessions and ask
for major ones in return.
BUSINESS DRESS CODE
• Old Russian proverb--“one meet you depending on how you're
dressed and say good bye depending on how wise you seem to be”
• Russian businesspeople pay a lot of attention to how they are dressed.
Russian people in general probably spend more money from their
family budget on clothing then any other nation in the world.
• Persistence and patience are
essential. Once your
appointment is scheduled, do
everything you can to avoid
• Don't schedule your trip to Russia
near the end of July or during the
month of August- this is the time
of year many people take their
• Allow plenty of time for each
• Business day is usually 9:00 am
to 6:00 pm Monday through
Friday and some Saturday
• Visitors should try to speak in a calm,
moderate, tone of voice at all times.
• Your Russian colleagues will be
delighted if you make the effort to
speak even a few sentences of their
• Russians are sometimes very careful
about what they say, speaking
metaphorically, symbolically, and
perhaps even cryptically.
• Bringing up the subject of Russian
culture and history is appreciated.
• Compliments - with caution, they may
cause a feeling of misplaced obligation.
(admiring a decorative object, your
hosts may insist that you take it).
Business practices in Russia
• Business cards are essential. If possible, ensure that one side is
printed in Russian and one side in English.
• Presentations should be straightforward and comprehensible.
• Although many principal concerns are discussed in an informal
environment final negotiations will be conducted in the office.
• Generally, when beginning a meeting, the head of the
organization will open the discussion and introductions should
then be made in order of importance.
MEALS AND BUSINESS ETIQUETTE
• The business breakfast is not a
part of Russian business culture.
• Business dining is getting more
and more popular -is generally
taken as a time for “sealing” a
• The center seats are reserved for
the most senior officials.
• Begin eating only after somebody
says a toast. Toasting is a very
important part of dining.
SOME GENERAL FEATURES
• The handshake is common.
• Eye contact is very important, must be maintained as long as the
individual is addressing you.
• Smoking in public places is still a common occurrence, although
some restrictions are slowly imposed.
• Wearing your coat and/or winter boots in theatres, office buildings,
universities or similar public spaces is considered unacceptable.
• partake in small talk that involves talk of family and personal
matters, before dealing with business
• Knock before entering an office
• Close the door behind you, when leaving an office
SOME GENERAL FEATURES (contd)
• Supply beverages and snacks during business meetings
• Bring small gifts for the children of a home you visit
• DON'T praise or reward anyone in public as it may be viewed with
suspicion or cause envy and jealousy. Remember the collective
rules over the individual.
• Do not Use a restaurant as a place for doing business--it's for