Irish Culture

Business Culture

Meetings

  • Shake hands with everyone in the room during introductions.
  • During initial meetings with senior people, the Irish tend to be quite formal and will refer to people with their title and surname. 
  • Expect meetings to commence with a period of small talk to build rapport before proceeding with the agenda.
  • It is common for meetings to be set in semi-social settings such as pubs or restaurants. In these circumstances, the approach is very loose and relaxed, with agendas taking a backseat to socialisation and building rapport.
  • When conducting business in an office or professional setting, expect tighter standards to apply.
  • Negotiations and business proceedings generally involve much discussion, and participation is expected from everyone to see the situation from all points of view.

 

Communication and Relationship Oriented 

Irish and Australian business cultures are similar in their levels of formality and practices, sharing value in relationships and trust in business. Business integrity, cooperation and likeability go a long way in establishing this trust. However, communication is key to business practice for the Irish. Poor communication and impersonal and aggressive business tactics are generally not found in their business culture. Furthermore, boasting of one's successes or exhibiting domineering behaviour will be unimpressive to the Irish. Showing competence through good communication and fair practice is preferred.

 

Considerations

  • Punctuality is important to the Irish in the business setting. However, it is still generally acceptable to be up to 15 minutes late or to reschedule if one is very delayed.
  • Many Irish companies will rarely agree to meet with your company if you have not met before. Thus, it is important to introduce your company and proposition first before planning to meet. 
  • Interactions in the workplace are generally quite personable and relaxed. On the other hand, compliance and formality towards authority are very common.
  • Most people will refer to their colleagues by their first name almost immediately after becoming a part of the business.
  • Gift giving is generally not expected in the business context. However, it is usually appropriate to bring a bottle of wine or a souvenir from one's own country if invited to social business events.
  • Organisational structures and approaches vary in Ireland, but they are generally characterised by a high level of accessibility between the different levels of the administrative hierarchy.
  • Ireland has some of the most lenient tax brackets for companies in Europe, which has prompted multinational companies (such as Google, LinkedIn, Apple and Facebook) to set up headquarters there since the global financial crisis.
  • On the Corruption Perception Index (2017), Ireland ranks 19th out of 180 countries, receiving a score of 74 (on a scale from 0 to 100). This perception suggests that the country’s public sector is somewhat clean from corruption.
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