French and Chinese Business Work Ethics

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France is a country based on affiliation and relationships, where information flows freely and constantly between interconnected people. French employees do not always need as many details and instructions when performing a task or managing a project. Giving too much information might sometimes be considered an insult or a threat to French pride and intelligence.

The French cultural translation of work ethic is professional conscience. Expressed at the individual level, such a moral notion does not include any idea of work or job commitment, which is almost impossible to translate into French cultural understanding.

French employees are very sensitive about the way they are being treated. The notion of job description might have a negative connotation in France and be synonymous with limitation of freedom and exploitation. Even though the business culture is not especially people oriented, French society highly values and nurtures its human fabric.

The French government has always played a dominant role in the shaping of the economy and the protection of the workers. This involves extensive labor laws and mandated social benefits like paid vacations and maternity leave.

Concepts of psychological growth and development are foreign to the French, intrinsic rewards are seldom emphasized at work. Most important to the French is a felling of blossoming and human enrichment.

The word leader to the French is mostly used to qualify politicians and often bears a negative meaning, suggesting the notion of manipulation. Leadership in business is perceived as a logical extension of one's personal qualities. It is an expected role closely related to family background, position or class, and complemented by educational training.

Finally, the French dislike being classified or forced into a specific group. Rather, out of a natural tendency to contest, argue, or criticize, French employees might enjoy expressing their personal concerns at the expense of the...
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