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United Kingdom - Britian - England
Business Etiquette, Culture, & Manners


United Kingdom - Britian - England Introduction

England is one of four distinct regions of the United Kingdom, which also includes Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. England’s population is approximately 47 million.

It is important to note that the Scots, Welsh, and Irish are not English, and are often offended when referred to as such. Additionally, citizens of the U.K. do not consider themselves European.  Unfortuantely, they are usually grouped as such, due in part to their membership in the European Union.

The English are very proud of their heritage and history.  Along with their contributions to the world of today, several famous writers came from England.  Some of the most famous are Shakespeare, T.S. Eliot, and Chaucer. This century, England has seen many influential daughters and sons.  The Beatles, Winston Churchill, and Queen Elizabeth II have all played a tremendous role in England’s presence in the modern world.


United Kingdom - Britian - England Fun Fact

Gambling is very popular in Britain.  The British buy more lottery tickets than any other people in the world.  It has been estimated that 75% of adults in Britain play the lottery at least once a week.

Geert Hofstede Analysis for
United Kingdom - Britian - England

The Geert Hofstede analysis for England illustrates their strong feelings towards individualism and masculinity. The power distance and uncertainty avoidance are ranked considerably lower than the first two. Long-term orientation ranks the lowest, indicating that change in England can be achieved more rapidly than in many other countries .  More Details


Religion in the United Kingdom - Great Britain - England


In analyzing Predominantly Christian countries, the primary correlation between religion and the Geert Hofstede Dimensions is a high Individualism (IDV) ranking. This indicates that predominantly Christian countries have a strong belief in individuality, with individual rights being paramount within the society. Individuals in these countries may tend to form a larger number of looser relationships. (See accompanying Article)

United Kingdom - Great Britain - England

International Business Dress and Appearance  Business attire rules are somewhat relaxed in England, but conservative dress is still very important for both men and women.

International Business Dress and Appearance  Dark suits, usually black, blue, or gray, are quite acceptable.

International Business Dress and Appearance  Men's shirts should not have pockets; if they do, the pockets should always be kept empty. Additionally, men should wear solid or patterned ties, while avoiding striped ties.

International Business Dress and Appearance  Men wear laced shoes, not loafers.

International Business Dress and Appearance  Businesswomen are not as limited to colors and styles as men are, though it is still important to maintain a conservative image.


United Kingdom - Great Britain - England

  Always be punctual in England.  Arriving a few minutes early for safety is acceptable.

  Decision-making is slower in England than in the United States; therefore it is unwise to rush the English into making a decision.

  A simple handshake is the standard greeting (for both men and women) for business occasions and for visiting a home.

  Privacy is very important to the English. Therefore asking personal questions or intensely staring at another person should be avoided.

  Eye contact is seldom kept during British conversations.

  To signal that something is to be kept confidential or secret, tap your nose.

  Personal space is important in England, and one should maintain a wide physical space when conversing.  Furthermore, it is considered inappropriate to touch others in public. 

  Giving of gifts are not required as part of doing business in England.

  A business lunch will often be conducted in a pub and will consist of a light meal and perhaps a pint of ale.

  When socializing after work hours, do not bring up the subject of work.

  When dining out, it is not considered polite to toast those who are older than yourself.


United Kingdom - Great Britain - England

  "America and Britain are two nations divided by a common language" George Bernard was once quoted as saying.

   In England, English is the official language, but it should be noted that Queen’s English and American English are very different.

   Often times ordinary vocabulary can differ between the two countries.

   Loud talking and disruptive behavior should be avoided.

   One gesture to avoid is the V for Victory sign, done with the palm facing yourself.   This is a very offensive gesture.

  If a man has been knighted, he is addressed as "Sir and his first name" example: Sir John. If writing a letter, the envelope is addressed "Sir First name and Last name" example: Sir John Roberts.


United Kingdom - Great Britain - England

International Business Center Newsletter
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Site Resource Page

International Career Center - Information on international careers and jobs

Factbook on the United Kingdom

Education information for the United Kingdom

United Kingdom Newspapers

UK Government

Dining Etiquette - from Etiquette and Image

Global Etiquette Guide: United Kingdom

Travel Guide for Britain

General information on England



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Page authored by: Matt Priest

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