Hungarian Culture

Business Culture

Meetings

  • Appointments are necessary and should be made at least two weeks in advance.
  • It is usually difficult to schedule meetings on Friday afternoon or from mid-July to mid-August (the summer period). The Christmas and New Year period in mid-December to mid-January is also a difficult time to schedule meetings or appointments.
  • If you are expected to be delayed, inform your Hungarian counterpart immediately and offer an explanation. Punctuality is an important value for Hungarians in a business setting.
  • In meetings, people generally address one another with their title followed by their surname.
  • Small talk and getting to know one another tends to occur before business is discussed. Avoid moving the conversation to business. Rather, allow your Hungarian counterpart to do so.
  • If there is an agenda, it is often used as a springboard to further discussion.
  • Hungarians will often be formal, adhering to the hierarchical structure of the organisation. However, negotiations will occur through open dialogue.
  • Hungarians tend to be detail-oriented and will want to understand everything before reaching an agreement.
  • Hungarian businesses expect contracts to be accommodating to changes of circumstance.
  • Avoid confrontational behaviour or high-pressure sales tactics as these may deter your Hungarian counterpart from negotiating with you.


Relationship Oriented

Hungarians place a high value on building a relationship. Socialising is an important part of the relationship-building process. Meetings will begin with small talk and inquiries into one’s family and well-being. The business relationship relies heavily on repeated visits and phone calls. It is common to invite new business partners to dinners or cultural events. If possible, try to reciprocate invitations to assist the process of building the relationship. Developing the relationship may take a long time. Being introduced by a mutual contact can help develop the trust between your company and your Hungarian counterpart.


Considerations

  • In Hungary, you are often introduced to colleagues with your family name first, followed by your given name.
  • Status is considered to be highly important in Hungarian society. Thus, proper respect should be given to colleagues and supervisors.
  • During the communist era, was widespread. Today, Hungarians tend to strongly disapprove of .
  • Inform your Hungarian counterpart if you have any advanced university degrees on either your business card or during your exchanges.
  • Company structures tend to be hierarchical, with decisions and ideas generated from the top.
  • Generally, there are no formal rituals regarding the exchanging of business cards. Out of courtesy, it is advised to have one side of the card translated into Hungarian.
  • Many Hungarians will communicate with foreigners in English. Additionally, many Hungarians also know German.
  • On the (2017), Hungary ranks 66th out of 180 countries, receiving a score of 45 (on a scale from 0 to 100). This perception suggests that the country’s public sector is moderately clean from corruption.

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