Business Manners in United Kingdom
|THE WAY BRITISH THINK
|BUSINESS AND GOVERNMENT
|BUSINESS ORGANIZATION AND STRUCTURE
|WORKING HOURS AND APPOINTMENTS
|ATTITUDES AND BEHAVIOUR
|THE LIST OF USED MATERIALS
Those who refer to the citizens of the UK as the English rather than the British risk irritating citizens of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Scotland has its own legal and educational system and Edinburgh is a financial centre second to London. Economic decision-making and administration are highly centralized in London. Wales finds its identity in language. British society and culture are essentially homogeneous.
History has influenced British culture, so it has influenced British Business.
Historically, Britain has been a divided society, adversarial in the relationship between classes and institutions. The British manner of politeness, reserve and restraint that kept these in check is also giving way to thrusting individual assertiveness more in keeping with the British bulldog image.
The Church of England, Oxford and Cambridge Universities, business figures and a pool of acceptable individuals known as ‘ the great and the good’, or Angels. Some of them, such as business, have grown in importance at the expense of others, such as Oxford. Political and legal business systems are based on precedent, compromise and negotiations. There is no written constitution, bill of rights or legal code.
The way British think
British thinking is interpretive rather than speculative. It refers tradition, precedent, and ‘common sense’. So the interpretation of experience untrammelled by theory or speculation. This usually involves finding the expedient rather than the innovative solution. British also are quite pragmatic.
Business and government
There is no national agenda for economic development. The government policy is to create a competitive environment for private business with a minimum of state intervention.
There is no protection against foreign takeover. The stock market is the largest and the most active in Europe and the principal source of capital for companies. Institutional shareholders are far more significant in size and influence, and they expert considerable influence over company managements either thought informal pressure or through action in the market. Therefore, Private Equity, investment and venture capital using could develop fast. Some of major sectors such as the car industry are in foreign hands.
The British prefer to work for others rather than themselves. Only 13 per cent are self- employed. About 40 per cent in the public sector compared with 30 per cent in the private sector.
Employment legislation has concentrated on curbing union power and making industrial actions more difficult. Wage negotiation has been decentralized and employee protection reduced in the interest of creating a flexible labour market.
Companies have a greater freedom to hire and fire than in other EU countries. Worker participation at board or any other level of any other level is strenuously resisted by government and business alike.
The business community is dominated by the banks, insurance companies and other financial institutions collectively known as a City.