How would you after doing all your anthropological studies answer this question: how personal should one be in a buisiness environment? Some say that one should be personal and others say that it's better if you're not too personal cause you only have a business relationship. I've seen some acting more personal but then they're really comfortable with that part of themselves.
What does a business anthropologist have to say about this?

Hi Andrew,

That depends on the culture.  in American business culture (which is also quite  variable) a level of friendliness is required to build trust and confidence.  It can and should be from a business perspective at the start but given the nature of trust, we can also then develop a personal friendship with those individuals.  If the person is a supplier, this can be a bit more tricky.  If you plan to do more business with this company and plan to negotiate additional agreements, then it may be wise to recuse yourself due to the more personal relationship.  Or ask the vendor to supply an alternative person to negotiate with.  Interoffice relationships are not uncommon but need to be within the places of the company.  

In other parts of the world developing a personal relationship is the only way to get business done.  


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Ralph Salier


Business Anthropologist. Business negotiations in multiple cultures and working with multiple cultures in the business arena. Broad understanding of business practices and business "ethics" in different parts of the world.


25+ years in international procurement and negotiations.


MA Anthropology, Proximics

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