Cultural norms and Social Practices in France

Hyderabad, 9th February 2022: Institute of Management Technology (IMT), Hyderabad organized the second session of the Global Immersion Program (GIP) on the 9th of February 2022 on the topic “Cultural norms and Social Practices in France.” The session was addressed by Prof. Catherine Le Floach, Professor - Audencia Business School, France. She briefly covered the various cultural norms being followed in France and how they make France different from the world.

The session commenced with Prof. (Dr.) Manoj Das, Assistant Professor & Area Chairperson - Marketing, IMT Hyderabad, welcoming the speaker and students for the session. It was followed by a brief introduction of the speaker by Ananth Bharani, a PGDM first-year student. The speaker began by understanding the students’ expectations from the session and talked about how a tourist must be prepared before visiting France. She accentuated that people travelling to France must understand basic French for a quick and easy conversation with the local population. She elaborated that several local rules are also to be learned, such as that the tourists are expected to stand on the right side of the escalator in France.

Additionally, she stated the presence and commonality of numerous protests and strikes in France since, as a part of the French culture, complaining about anything is relatively normal, and protests and strikes are an eminent part of it. She also emphasized the prevalence of nonverbal communication and cues in France. She followed it up with a light, fun activity wherein the students guessed the words using signs and symbols.

Prof. Catherine Le Floach also elaborated on the social practices to be followed and kept in mind while joining any French team. She explained the significance of coffee breaks as a time wherein a person can acquire essential information as the whole team comes together for a short interaction. She explained that although meetings generally in many cultures are supposed to end in a result, in French culture, meetings are believed to be for quality discussions, and more often than not, teams do not come to conclusions. She also exemplified her experience of having cross-cultural teams from different countries across the world and explained their leading methods for meetings and discussions.

Prof. Catherine also mentioned that being a little late is considered reasonably acceptable in the French culture and highlighted the reality of a 35-hour French workweek with several real-life examples. She explained how French culture forbids discussing corporate compensation and benefits in public and concluded her presentation by elaborating about the social securities in France.

The session came to a close with a question-and-answer session where Prof. Catherine Le Floach resolved the curiosity of students through various questions regarding France and its culture. It was followed by a vote of thanks for such an insightful session.

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