Spain Country Report
Feb. 14, 2013
Doing business in a foreign Country can be a very difficult thing to do if you are not familiar with proper business etiquette in the Country in which you are doing business. It also helps to have a good understanding of family life and the culture, ad well as social customs in the new country. This report will tell you, our valued employee’s, how to be successful in Spain, the home of our newest expansion branch. The figure to the left shows the current trends in the unemployment rates in Spain compared to the US, Portugal, and the UK. It is very important with the constant rise in unemployment in Spain that you go to the new branch prepared and ...view middle of the document...
It is crucial that you arrive on time, dressed professionally of course. Something that you must realize is that Spaniards have different values than Canadians and to them sometimes how you present yourself is just as important if not more than what you are actually presenting.
As I’m sure you all know, the way that people behave at work in Spain is different than how Canadians behave in the office. In Spain for example, women are not often in positions of authority and they are usually placed at lower levels of management. Men and women must both dress appropriately meaning men should wear suits to work, and women should dress fashionably, but also formally. In Spanish offices “Doors are usually closed; knocking before opening them is expected. They should be re-shut upon leaving.” (“Cultural Advice” 2005) Something that will not change is how you can interact with your co-workers, meaning that just like here in Canada it is acceptable to joke with your colleagues and make the office experience better for everyone involved. As you can see, there are some changes when it comes to doing business in Spain rather than doing business in Canada and it is important that before you arrive at the new branch you are able to present yourself professionally to your business partners and colleagues. Below is a table summarizing the key similarities and differences of business etiquette in Spain as opposed to Canada.
Topic | Similarities | Differences |
Introductions | Hand shake, Eye contact, Address by tile and last name. | Women do not always shake hands, Sometimes exchange hugs/kisses. |
Business Setting | Office, Conference centers, very formal atmosphere, punctuality is crucial. | Extreme focus on personal presentation. |
Office Behavior | Fun atmosphere, Dress code. | Women have less authority, Doors are always shut. |
Generally, Spanish families are open, welcoming, and love to have large family get-togethers quite often. The different roles throughout the family have started to become more modernized, as they have been everywhere, which results in more women getting involved in the work force. Traditionally in Spain, the father works and provides for the family as the mother manages the household. Siblings usually have to share rooms because housing and apartments in Spain tend to be smaller. (Sediter, 2012) The father of the family is known to be the decision-maker, in regards to the purchasing decisions. Comparing this to Canadian living where the lady or wife of the house is noted as the decision maker because women make around 90 percent of the purchasing decisions in Canadian households. The youth of Spain is highly focused on academics and only schoolwork is to be done at school with sports and other activities occurring after.
Above is an illustration of the order of decision makers for a family in Spain.
When moving to a new country, whether it is far away or right close by, for work or for family,...