Survey : French management


Marion Breyer

Survey : French management

6 out of 10 expatriates judge French management as "different”

Wasquehal, 02 February 2023. The French have a solid reputation abroad and each country has its own stereotype of French workers : grouchy, rude, lazy, always dissatisfied, too often on strike... And what about French managers? Here, praise and criticism are mixed: arrogant, too hierarchical, too theoretical but good at analysis, capable of questioning with an excellent flair. In 2023, has French management gained in nobility? Has it become part of a global management culture? This is what Anywr, a specialist in international recruitment and professional mobility, wanted to know by interviewing 1054 active expatriates currently working in a company in France.

Key learnings :

  • 64% of professionals consider French management as "different".
  • 34% declare that decision-making is too pyramidal and strongly hierarchical
  • Half of the respondents find that their manager is attentive and grateful
  • 80% consider their manager to be very respectful of their private/work life balance
  • 25% of the respondents believe that promotions are always done by favoritism


The French manager: a fusion of humanism and pragmatism

The first finding of the survey is that French management continues to stand out. Indeed, nearly two out of three expatriates indicate that the management they had in their home country company was different from the one they currently have in their company in France (64%).


More participative decision-making, but sometimes misunderstood

Making decisions in a company is not a trivial act. It reveals the power games and the operating system of a company. French companies are often criticized for being too centralized, too hierarchical and too rigid, with everything being decided at the top. The reality is more complex: the survey certainly reveals that decisions are taken by the hierarchy (34%), but also indicates that the tendency to consult is not absent: whether it is participative (32%) or collective (32%), French managers often include employees in the decision-making process. Only two out of ten see a "dictatorship" of the boss in decision-making.

The manager's decision making is judged to be cautious (46%), quick (19%) or even too quick (22%) or too changeable (14%).


French managers are attentive

This is the strong point of French management: its humanism. One in two respondents (50%) think that their manager listens to them and is grateful, and more than one in three (37%) see him or her as being above all understanding and human in the objectives they set. With remote work becoming a requirement for employees, it's hard not to adopt the attitude of the confident manager. In fact, 87% of those surveyed believe they are autonomous in their tasks, and nearly half say they receive regular, positive feedback. Finally, more than eight out of ten respondents consider their manager to be very respectful of their professional/private life balance. This very human French management style generates a strong solidarity between employees (43%) who consider their team to be close-knit (41%) and very interactive (17%). However, on the subject of remuneration, more than half of the respondents say that talking about salary increases with their manager remains a taboo (53%).


A hiring by degree and a development by merit

Every employee dreams of getting a promotion. But French management is not exempt from a way of working that is sometimes considered unequal by a quarter of those surveyed (25%). However, 65% believe that career development is based on merit. On the other hand, at the time of hiring, nearly three quarters of expatriates consider that French managers place too much importance on academic qualifications.


"The evolution of the French manager seems to be moving towards a mix: we need to combine the Anglo-Saxon performance side with the more European relaxed side. Breaks, 4-day week, extra vacations, hybrid work with remote, flexible hours... The solutions are many and varied to show employees that their needs are taken into account and that the quality of life at work is encouraged, and that the manager has an important role to play", says Olivier Desurmont, founder and CEO of Anywr.


Methodology: survey conducted by telephone interviews from November 15 to December 15, 2022 with a sample of 1054 active expatriates.

To see the full survey :

About Anywr

Since 2012, Anywr has been recruiting and supporting talent mobility for businesses worldwide. The company helps businesses struggling to quickly find rare talent and supports talent with job mobility and professional flexibility. The group was selected as one of France's 120 most promising start-ups to join the #FrenchTech120. It has a unique market position thanks to its comprehensive recruitment and headhunting HR solutions via a wide range of legal devices (direct recruitment, digital services companies, freelancers, umbrella company services), mobility solutions (immigration, relocation, and taxation) and training. With 23 agencies in 16 countries, Anywr has an expert local presence and a worldwide talent pool. Over 4000 companies have already worked with Anywr, and 30,000 talented professionals have changed their lives using its services. Driven by its values—engagement, diversity, boldness, and pleasure—Anywr is an innovative and responsible digital company that is committed to its communities and leverages its expertise and solutions to carry out projects in the fields of social integration and diversity. Anywr has recently become a mission-driven company (entreprise à mission). Find out more: Read our latest news:


Marion Breyer




Marion Breyer

by Marion Breyer