Culture and European business environment

Past, present and future

Authored by: Sonja A. Sackmann

The Routledge Companion to European Business

Print publication date:  July  2018
Online publication date:  July  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138226586
eBook ISBN: 9781315397306
Adobe ISBN:


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As one of the old world’s settlements, Europe has ‘a richness of cultures and languages unparalleled anywhere else in the world’ (Hill 1993, p. 9) including a long business tradition that has co-evolved over time. Important shapers of culture in Europe and in business are its history of the various nations and regions, its ethnicities, various societal groups and their predominant Christian religion. Most frequently, Europe is implicitly or explicitly associated with the countries that belong to the European Union (EU) including the countries that belong to the European Free Trade Association as well as the Schengen Treaty comprising the nations of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. Moreover, each one of these European countries has regional differences that may surface in the form of different languages or dialects, region-specific products and customs. As research has shown, regional cultural differences may be stronger than national differences (Kaasa et al. 2014).

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