Cultural Norms and Social Practices in France

Hyderabad, 23rd February 2023: Institute of Management Technology (IMT) Hyderabad, on February 23, 2023, organized the third session of the Global Immersion Program (GIP). The guest speaker for the session was Prof. Catherine Le Floach, Lecturer, Audencia Business School, France. The session centered on the cultural practices unique to France and how they distinguish the country from others. Prof. (Dr.) Nitin Gupta, Professor at IMT Hyderabad, delivered the opening remarks by warmly welcoming the speaker and attendees.

The speaker’s session was focused on "Cultural Norms and Social Practices in France." The objective was to educate the attendees about the shared values, beliefs, and behaviors that characterize France's culture and identity. The speaker aimed to inform the participants about how French cultural norms and social practices reflect a multifaceted and varied heritage that significantly shapes the country's identity and global influence.

At the start of her session, Prof. Catherine inquired who among the attendees had travelled to or planned to travel to France and asked students about their expectations from the session. She emphasized that the French people take pride in their language and culture. Furthermore, she stressed that Paris is the gateway to France and cautioned against assuming that everyone in France speaks English. She also explained how strikes operate in France and how the French people are vocal about their rights. Another important point she made was that restaurants in France have specific opening times and are not open 24/7. Lastly, she elaborated on French gestures and their significance.

During her session, Prof. Catherine delved into managing a French team in an office setting. She first emphasized the importance of coffee breaks for socializing and connecting with colleagues rather than discussing work. The second key takeaway was that meetings in France primarily focused on discussing goals rather than making decisions. Another crucial aspect she highlighted was the mandatory lunch break, during which work is not conducted. In addition, she also mentioned that being a little late is considered reasonably acceptable in French culture and explained the difference in working hours between the administrative and private sectors in France. The following point she elaborated on was about salary, which is considered personal information and should not be discussed publicly or asked of others. Lastly, she explained that cheek kissing is a familiar greeting gesture in France.

The session’s conclusion included an interactive question-and-answer segment where Prof. Catherine Le Floach addressed the students' queries about France and its culture. Subsequently, a gesture of appreciation was extended for the valuable and informative session.

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