Comparison of Cultural Differences between North and South Americans` Management
|Type:||Compare and Contrast Essay|
|Topics:||Teamwork, Business Ethics, 🗽 American Culture, 🗿 Cultural Diversity, 😇 Organizational Behavior, 🙋♂️ Management|
Table of Contents
One of the best places to observe culture is in business. Cultures appear to disclose themselves in circumstances where a lot is at stake, as it is in such a situation that the cultural resources are essential. Marriage, family responsibilities, and traumatic experiences like sickness and death of loved ones, bring out plentiful of what is unique and paramount in a given culture. Similar experiences also happen in businesses, as they ride on economic survival. Profound cultural outlooks towards work, power, communication and the like shape business (Hooker, 2008).
Communication is of paramount importance in business as the business involves collaborative activities. An organization can sell its goods and services via a close exchange between several individuals, at times within a small geographical location, and at times across vast distances. Such a coordination calls for excellent communication. For successful business transactions, there is the need to understand multifaceted products and services specifications. Similarly, there is the need to negotiate complex deals between a business and its customers. Styles of communication vary significantly from one country to the other, and this leads to a considerable variation in business styles (Hooker, 2008).
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At times, there is the need to use talent management practices to make them compatible with local conditions. In the case of international business, it is incredible to observe how cultural diversity affects management. Undoubtedly, there are many ways of doing business. Technology and globalization have narrowed borders in addition to integrating economies, and this brings about understanding on the manner in which different cultures operate in organizations and other areas (Hooker, 2008).
Different cultures welcome different viewpoints on crucial issues in the workplace, such as teamwork, respect for seniors, time management as well as accountability. Differing understandings of ethics, ways of communication, issuance of feedback and transparency can also occur (Gallant, 2013). When customers and employees work with diverse beliefs and incompatible outlooks, obstructions on job bonding emerge. A company, therefore, needs to break down these obstacles to establish an efficient and harmonious working environment. It is the obligation of the management, and especially the human resource managers, to make sure that there is proper management of issues that come along with cultural diversity. Such efforts will ensure that every worker feels appreciated. Nowadays, workplaces have become very diverse due to cultural diversity. In response to the changes, managers in business organizations have fashioned new solutions that accommodate the increasing variety that makes it possible for them to learn and manage the changes (Bhakhtari, 2008).
Moreover, business communication has changed due to the diverse business cultures from different nations that globalization has set on collision. Emerging economies are now starting to incorporate business cultures of developed countries into there businesses. As a result, the developing economies leave traces of their cultures in the areas that they operate. The impact of cultural differences in communication in business organizations has enormous consequences. Therefore, there is the need for companies to understand the peculiarities of all cultures that affect their operations. This paper aims to compare the cultural differences between North and South American’s management. The work will cover the various aspects of each culture separately to enhance flow and readability. The research will also consider the rank of some countries in the two regions (North America and South America) according to the five dimensions of culture described by Hofstede.
Researchers describe South America’s business model as an amalgam of globalization and the historic cultural beliefs in the region. Some characteristics of the culture include social gaps and extensive collectivism with some manifestations. The social deficits are evident locally via compassionate, paternalistic leadership. Senior executives have a personal obligation to protect juniors in addition to catering for their needs and the needs of their families. Typically, paternalism encompasses a “father” who takes care of his sons by promoting non-judgmental practices and giving them moral support. The people in South America manage business organizations like families. They prefer to rely on somebody closer to the core of the firm. The people also understand that the firm’s leadership must ensure that there is no conflicts and confrontation between the juniors and the seniors. Failure to respect the superiors attracts disciplinary repercussions (University of Pennsylvania, 2005).
The people in South America value status in a hierarchy as it points toward social gaps between the senior executives and the subordinates. Job titles, as well as other benefits, are also necessary due to the social status that they give a person. For instance in Chile, social status promotes social discrimination. However, in spite of the hierarchical leadership, business organizations in South America attempt to do away with power distance between managers or senior executives and subordinates by establishing committees that signify an egalitarian atmosphere among all the company members. Playing the role of a supervisor is, however, not easy as a leader needs to assume such a responsibility without actually conducting himself as such (University of Pennsylvania, 2005).
Organizations in the region promote a collective atmosphere in many ways. First, they insist on the significance of personal relationships. South Americans expect other people to treat them with courtesy as well as kindness in the workplace. Second, the companies promote the sense of devotion to the central group (Stewart, 2013). The workers understand that the success of their firm relies more on social as well as governmental ties than on the help they receive from financial systems in their country. Widely held celebrations also help in promoting collectiveness in the workplace. Hence, South America business model demonstrates a hybrid management style (University of Pennsylvania, 2005).
The cultural practices that exist in South America have significant impacts in the workplace. Most of the exercises in the region differ with most methods in North American countries like the United States. In South American, authority distribution is unequal. Power Distance is, therefore, high in the area. Social civilities and formalities are vital in South America. The society and the workers expect executives in South American organizations to be more respectful and polite compared to North America and the hierarchy of leadership is of paramount importance (Latin Insight, 2015). It is common for managers to call workers Miss or Mister Ramirez, rather than calling them by their first name as it is the case in the US and some other North American countries. Moreover, workers in South America treat each other with respect. That is, instead of calling a colleague by his or her first name, they tend to do it formally. Again, Managers in the South American corporation usually dress more officially compared to North America, and they rarely work together with their subordinates (University of Pennsylvania, 2005).
Apart from formality and politeness, power distance affects the manner in which companies convene meetings. The organizations rarely use the meetings as a platform to exchange ideas between subordinate staff and their seniors. Instead, they use a top-down approach where power can only flow from the senior-most executives to the junior team. Moreover, the corporations do not allow employees to correct their supervisors or managers or come up with independent opinions. The executives treat such an act as lack of respect. Therefore, employees mostly remain passive and attentive whenever their supervisors are explaining something (University of Pennsylvania, 2005).
Likewise, management styles that allow for the participation and empowerment of employees are uncommon in South America. In facts, the managers consider them less helpful and undesirable. However, some multinational companies have successfully implemented participatory management styles in South America, though under a lot of criticism and hostility. Therefore, executives in South America like making decisions on their own, because they have the absolute responsibility to do so. The respect given to senior executives in an organization affects the employees’ feeling towards formal policies in South America. Employees, therefore, obey the managers more than the written rules, because they profoundly respect their leaders. Such an attitude is in contrast to the practice in countries like the US where companies and employees impartially apply regulations to ensure fairness (University of Pennsylvania, 2005).
Significance of Social Status in South American Organizations
Social status plays a significant role in the human resource practices, particularly in recruitment and workers management. For instance, social ties and physical appearance can help one to know the cultural content of a person. In Chile, for example, executive appointments and job promotions frequently mirror physical appearance, sex and the like, along with social relationships and birthplace among other things. Firms usually employ workers via their existing employees, their families, and close relatives. The companies do so to ensure trustworthy, loyal and responsible employees that will help in keeping the firm together. Likewise, Families are essential during promotions. Workers typically prioritize their family welfare instead of their jobs. Such behaviour is typical of the South American women (University of Pennsylvania, 2005).
Contrariwise, internal conflicts significantly affect corporate training in the region when proving advanced business preparation. One of the factors that trigger the disputes is the incompatibility of new business techniques with the local beliefs, which leads to rejection of the new practices by workers. Therefore, there is the need for managers to avail some training when the company introduces new work procedures. Lack of technical know-how, formal education, and other necessary competencies present staid obstacles for workers in some areas of South America. Again, companies in the region regularly allocate inadequate finances to employee training (University of Pennsylvania, 2005).
South American families play a principal role in compensation as well as recognition. Moreover, the social status of the families shields employees from recurring economic crises. In some countries in South America, work is essential, and people consider it as key to a good life. Research shows that work culture depends on age, socio-economic status and education. Young managers in the region readily accept modern styles of management compared to the older one (University of Pennsylvania, 2005). Manufacturing firms in South America also employ expatriate staff with excellent managerial skills, in addition to other essential qualifications. In the case of compensation, managers are careful not to favour some employees at the expense of others to avoid rejection of the workers as “favourites” of the company leadership (Latin Insight, 2015). Companies offer valuable benefits to top managers who give the managers an additional status, which include luxury cars and expensive sponsorship for their children’s education. Organizations in South America also acknowledge employee loyalty by creating ceremonies to honour their superiority. Some benefits that the employees get include vacation and retirement benefits that are accompanied by a formal acknowledgment. The firms, however, rarely use formal employee evaluation to determine the kind of compensation that the employees should get. The process is made possible by limited confrontations between the senior executives and their subordinates (University of Pennsylvania, 2005).
Compensation usually is fixed, and only multinational corporations and large companies in the region offer the benefits depending on company performance. Fixed compensation is more suitable for hierarchical and individualistic systems where the emphasis is on a centralized authority rather than aspects that encourage teamwork in addition to organizational flexibility. Such an approach does not mirror the inclinations of South American culture (University of Pennsylvania, 2005).
Significance of Teamwork in South American Companies
The region’s culture favours teamwork development. Workers appreciate social ties by individual communication and compassion, aspects that are vital to teamwork. Nevertheless, it is an uphill task to make this work. The reason is that power sharing and decentralization do not encourage centralization as well as the organizational hierarchy which are among the critical values of the South Americans (University of Pennsylvania, 2005).
A hybrid management model becomes clearer when an organization uses it in working arrangement. Despite the fact that workers embrace modern managerial performs, their priority is in an administrative style that allows a senior manager to come up with decisions. Such a managerial method allows employees to avoid some responsibilities (University of Pennsylvania, 2005). A manager who is in possession of high educational qualifications is the exception in this case. Sharing the responsibility of making decisions in an organization has other benefits. It makes it possible for firms to sort out conflicts over and above confrontations (Stewart, 2013). South Americans traditionally welcome the manager who is a good mediator between people in conflicts. Such a manager is necessary, primarily when working in teams. Employees feel encouraged to share accountabilities of their respective teams. Nonetheless, some individuals may use the approach as a way of reducing personal risks by sharing out responsibilities (University of Pennsylvania, 2005).
Some contemporary methods of organizing work may end up failing in South America. The reason for the failure is the contention between managers and workers during the area’s process of industrialization. At times, workers accuse senior executives of exploiting them. Nevertheless, such a situation disappears in case there is a threat from outside, for example, foreign investments threatening local workforce. When there is an occurrence like this, South American’s respect of nationalism increases, in addition to the impression of unity that triggers the desire to make quality products, along with efficient use of technology. Such objectives compel the management to treat employees well, for instance by sharing valuable information with them (University of Pennsylvania, 2005).
South America stands to gain from any reduction in labour cost that may come as a result of the creation of elastic labour contracts. Nevertheless, it is tough to persuade employees to embrace the move. Although most of the employees have a single option when they decide to look for a job, employers value full-time workers more compared to others. Unlike part-time workers, full-time workers benefit from job promotions (University of Pennsylvania, 2005).
South American culture affects the geographical mobility of employees as well as the executives in the region. Some managers push for their organization to establish its existence beyond borders, where they become senior executives (KCBA, 2013). Nonetheless, a majority of managers prefer to work near their families and friends. Culture and personality of the South Americans promote this tendency. Unlike the US where families meet once a year, South Americans (for instance the Brazilians) gather every Sunday (University of Pennsylvania, 2005).
In a typical South American company, communication contains typically a hierarchical and top-down structure where information usually flows from the senior executives to the subordinates. The executives establish the barriers. Again, the assistants are deficient in the confrontation spirit, and it is not surprising that communications are insufficient. There are limited horizontal ties, and the executives rarely delegate authority (University of Pennsylvania, 2005).
South American’s Ways of Confrontation
To have profound and established labour relations one needs to have personal contacts and excellent social interactions. South Americans highly value courteousness and mediation in labour relations. Each nation in the region has its way of confrontation that it uses in times of conflicts. For instance, Argentines frequently use mediation to resolve disputes between parties. Others typically use autocratic intermediaries. Besides that, the South Americans tend to identify themselves with their private groups instead of the whole organization. The reason for that is the fact that they like social networks founded on good relationships. When the company leadership abuse workers, the workers usually form trade unions that confront the firm on their behalf (University of Pennsylvania, 2005).
Some researchers propose that, from a social standpoint, the organizations in South America need to put employees and their close ties at the centre of any extra benefits that they provide to the workers. Moreover, the human resource managers need to satiate employee’s necessities, to guarantee their success. Lastly, the human resources managers should come up with ways that will make jobs more stable, establish robust labour relations along with a sustainable growth of the organization. Besides that, the human resources personnel need to devise ways that will ensure that they contribute directly to the overall success of their firm. The company has to view the HR department from a cultural point of view to ensure that the HR succeeds in the above undertakings. Hence, the company needs to come up with social-based HR practices (University of Pennsylvania, 2005).
Cultural Dimensions in South America
Typically, doing business outside one’s country is challenging, mainly when cultural differences exist. Although there are several similarities between South American nations, some cultural differences also exist. Given that culture affects all elements of consumer behaviour, it is essential to pinpoint and incorporate this interaction and its effect on global business. In this part, we will use Hofstede’s work to expound on the cultural variations in some countries in the region in question (Latin Insight, 2015).
Throughout the South American markets, there are deep cultural likenesses that affect the manner in which businesses organizations operate in the area. In the region, there is high avoidance of uncertainty. Moreover, individualism is limited in the area. Research shows that the people in South America are predominantly Catholics and they have a limited tolerance for risk. In a society where there is high avoidance of ambiguity, people cling to the absolute truth, and this makes the populace rule-oriented. The society enacts rules and controls that help in the reduction of uncertainty within the masses (Latin Insight, 2015).
Brazil, a country in South America has individualist rank of 38. The figure is relatively high compared to the region’s average individualism rank which is twenty-one. Nevertheless, almost all nations in the area are collectivist when compared to other cultures such as the individualistic culture. In a collectivist culture, people have a lasting commitment to their close ties such as the families. In a collectivist nation, loyalty is of crucial importance and supersedes majority of other rules in the society. Columbia has a high power distance rank (67). The position is an indication of lack of equality in power as well as wealth in the population. The nation also has a significant level of masculinity in South America, which shows that there is a high level of gender inequality of roles. As a result, men control a substantial percentage of the population on top of the power structure (Latin Insight, 2015).
Power distance describes the degree to which the less influential members of a company agree to the point that there is a biased distribution of power. Power distance, therefore, exhibits inequality. However, it starts from below rather than above. The index shows that the population and their leaders embrace disparity that exists among them. Equality and power are vital aspects of every society, and anyone with a worldwide experience knows that inequality is in all communities. In some community, however, the disparity in power is higher compared to others (Latin Insight, 2015).
Individualism is the opposite of collectivism. It describes the extent to which people organize into groups. In individualistic societies, loose ties exist between individuals. The community expects every person to mind his or her own business. In contrast, collectivist societies embrace the integration of people into cohesive groups, which include immediate and extended families. Collectivism also values loyalty greatly. The word collectivism as used here does not have any political connotation. Hence, it only refers to the groups, and not the country as a whole. The issues covered here are not just ordinary in South America but all other countries in the world (Latin Insight, 2015).
Some countries in North America are Mexico, Dominican Republic, Canada and the United States of America. Mexican and Dominican cultures much resemble that of the South Americans. The two belong to the Latin America together with several other countries in South America. United States of America and Canada, on the other hand, has a unique culture that equally affects business practices in the country as that of the South American nations. In this part, the paper will cover Canada and the US to represent North American culture.
The United States of America
The US is a country that values equality. The nation has a diverse race as well as cultural heritage. US culture exhibit a robust value of ethnic identity. The subcultures in the country together with its massive geographical and regional variances promote regional and racial identity. Moreover, the US has a significant influence on business culture worldwide (Legacy International, 2010).
In the United States, individualism plays a vital role in the lives of many people who live there. The nation’s culture emphasizes personal initiatives and individual accomplishment. The people, therefore, highly value independence along with self-reliance. The practice also affects workplace environment where autonomy is the order of the days. Workers, thus, typically carry out business activities autonomously. As a result, it is a person’s achievement that determines his or her position in society rather than status or the person’s age (Legacy International, 2010).
The United States has a low context business culture. A little context culture typically communicates meaning and information overtly by using words. The people in the US are task-oriented and, therefore, the main reason for communication is to pass information, facts, and ideas (Culture Management Style and Business Systems, 2010). It is also common for people to deal with conflicts directly and overtly, and hence a person will not fear to say no to something or criticize other people in public. Foreigners usually interpret such a style as rude, and it can embarrass a business person who is not familiar with the culture. Nevertheless, it is necessary to recall that business transactions do not bear personal feelings and hence one should not take business communication negatively (Legacy International, 2010).
The Americans also value egalitarianism. Despite the many differences in the US society, there is a shared understanding of the concept of equality that underpins many social ties in the United States. The people believe in equal rights, social responsibilities, and opportunities for individual merit. As the outcome, there is a general lack of deference in the United States to rich or older people as well as those with a high social status or power (Culture, Management Style and Business Systems, 2010). One of the things that indicate this behaviour is the manner in which people use titles in the workplace and the way in which they call each other by their first name. Egalitarianism also plays a significant role in the US system of merit which holds that people who work hard deserve triumph and financial prosperity. This method can at times clash with the workplace hierarchy by putting the executives and their subordinates at the same level. Ranked third as the largest country globally, the US is a country that is developing speedily with its distinctive cultural diversity. The proliferation of immigration in the nation has moulded the nation into what it is currently (Legacy International, 2010).
Culture and Workplace Practices in the US
For the Americans, punctuality is a fundamental aspect of business etiquette. Therefore, business people insist that one must attend scheduled appointments without being late. They view lateness as an indication of lack of respect. Hence, in cases where a delay is inevitable, there is the need to inform your business colleagues of the situation. Moreover, the Americans strictly adhere to deadlines, and they insist on achieving the best outcome within the shortest time possible. The US people are also quick in coming up with resolutions. They value time the same way they value money. Typically, the Americans work for 7 hours every day from Monday to Friday. Nevertheless, most of the US workers work overtime owing to the substantial work ethics in the country. People also go for a single short holiday annually (Legacy International, 2010).
Individualism and diversity prevail in the United States. Thus, there is a chance for the structures of business organizations in the country to differ, depending on their location, the industry of operation, as well as company history (Wederspahn, 2010). Nonetheless, office hierarchy in any firm is essential. In the US, it is the leading executives who are responsible for making negotiations and final decisions. Team negotiations are not typical in the US companies. Also, business organizations prioritize a hierarchical chain of commands rather than personal relations. Enterprises in the US considerably value individual competence and accountability for good performance. The workers, therefore, rarely approach their managers for assistance in essential circumstances. The approach is responsible for the increasingly competitive work ethics in the nation (Legacy International, 2010).
In the United States, the business community does not emphasize the development of personal relationships, as is the case in South America. The chief objective of corporations is to get the best deal, and therefore they prefer developing company relationships instead. The organizations greatly value company relationships (Internations, 2015). Moreover, the US citizens frequently draw a clear distinction between co-workers and the general friends in their social lives. As a result, meetings are formal, and people give little or no time to social relations. The Americans typically end business meetings with short-lived but firm handshakes. Direct eye contact is vital during the handshakes, and every time there is a conversation. The direct eye contacts show that one is sincere in all that s/he is saying. The Americans treat the exchange of business cards as a casual affair, and there are no rules that guide the issuance of the cards. They consider the cards as a resource for future references, and business people usually issue them at the beginning or the end of a business meeting (Legacy International, 2010).
Frequently, the Americans use business negotiations to arrive at signed contracts. They consider business talks as a way of solving problems by mutual benefits or individual strengths. Hence, they emphasize the financial position as well as the power of an individual. The Americans also expect one to adhere to the set business rules. Company rules and business procedures are examples of the critical features of the US business culture, and it calls for total compliance (Legacy International, 2010).
When you meet a business colleague from the US for the first time, it is good to address him or her using a title, like Miss, Mr, Mrs and their last name. However, the Americans will, after that, insist that you use their first name, and this mirrors the casual way of doing business in the country and the emphasis they put on equality. The Americans also expect you to thank every person for the smallest kindness. The people much value politeness and they hope every person to be equally polite (United States business practices, 2017). The Americans like having preliminary discussions at the start of business meetings. The talks will include topics like sports, weather and the like. The Americans use the initial discussions to reduce anxiety and establish friendly environment before starting business discussions. In the US, companies are not the same. Business culture varies from organization to organization, and it is essential to do an extensive research of a specific company before interacting with the executives (IOR, 2015). It is not advisable to hug or use other physical contacts except handshake when you meet an American for the first time. The American people respect personal privacy as well as their private space. Business organizations in the US discourage giving or receiving gifts. Hence, it is not a surprise for your colleagues in America to refuse to accept your award (Legacy International, 2010).
Canadians are polite. The people are also to some extent more reserved compared to people in South America. Canadian values are mainly peace, deference and good governance. Therefore, to avoid losing a deal with the Canadians, it is essential to learn these facts in addition to others. It is good to be a man of courtesy and respect as the Canadians expect, though one does not need to be excessively humble (The Monster, 2015).
In Canada, expect a firm handshake when you meet a business associate for the first time. The handshake is also shared with the women, though the females can recognize you by nodding their heads instead of handshakes. In social circumstances, the Canadians also use handshakes when they first meet. In some parts of Canada such as Quebec, however, males and females may lightly kiss on the cheeks if they know each other well. Men also embrace their acquaintances. At the end of meetings, people who know each other well will kiss on both cheeks. The practice, however, is between female or male and females, but not between men (The Monster, 2015).
In Canada, business people introduce themselves using ranks rather than gender. Moreover, one’s authority depends on his or her level and responsibilities. Females hold similar positions as those of their male counterparts and equally exercise authority as men. Hence, a person does not have power just because of his or her status or gender. Eye contact is vital in Canada when conducting business negotiations. The absence of eye contact indicates boredom or that someone has no interest in what is happening. Typically, casual touching is little or absent in business discussions, and participants will keep distant when speaking. In places involving queuing such as in banks or when buying bus tickets, if one jumps the queue, the people consider it extremely rude (Canada Business Practices, 2010). In Canada, policies do not allow people to smoke in places like offices and hotels. In public areas and other people’s homes, one has to ask permission before smoking. Like in the US, the Canadians value time hugely. Hence, a business person will not wait for you for more than a quarter an hour for a meeting. In the workplace, one will face disciplinary action in case of lateness (The Monster, 2015).
In Canada, people plan meetings before inviting other business people. Therefore, it is uncommon to convene a meeting without planning. Moreover, the Canadian business people expect one to be approachable as well as accessible. One should, therefore, return phone calls in addition to being polite and friendly at all times. Also, make sure you fulfil your business promises. The business people in Canada are conservative in how they dress and the way they speak (Canada Business Practices, 2010). There are some similarities between the Business customs in Canada and those in the United States and the U.K. The Canadians greatly value etiquette. Excessive body contacts, greeting people using gestures and loud conversation are not welcome in Canada. To have an easy time as a business person in Canada, you need to avoid lateness in meetings, address people using titles, and use letters of introduction when you are meeting someone for the first time. The culture of the Canadian business persons is not the same as that of the US (The Monster, 2015).
To successfully carry out business negotiations with the Canadians, one needs to have an adequate grasp of the particulars in their proposals. Thoroughness and directness are vital in business negotiations in Canada. They view elusive answers negatively. Moreover, overstating the strengths of one’s organization or how their products are good is not welcome by the business people in Canada (The Monster, 2015).
Unlike many countries, the Canadian females have got high respect in business and other places. There exist few obstacles for women in the nation to hold senior positions in business organizations. The people take meeting convened by women executives seriously, the same way they do for men. Men, therefore, respect women colleagues and expect the same from outsiders. In some countries, women find it hard to survive in business. In such places, foreign women may find it very difficult to conduct successful business negotiations. The women have to work extremely hard to be at the same level as males (The Monster, 2015).
The research question for this work is “Comparison of cultural differences between North and South Americans` management.”
The research focuses on two regions: South America and North America. It is an analysis of the cultural differences in the manner in which business people in the two areas manage their businesses. The management styles in South American countries have a lot of similarities and, therefore, it is easier to research on the area compared to North America. In North America, there are some differences between the cultural practices and the way of doing business between the countries found there. For instance, the cultural and business practices in Canada are not the same as those in the US. Similarly, cultural and business practices in Mexico are different from those in Canada and the US. Therefore, the research focuses on South America as a whole but treats the North American countries separately.
The work uses literature review as the research methodology. The paper involves a detailed literature review of cultural differences between South America and North America and the way the cultural variations affects the way of doing business in the two regions. That is, the management styles they use, among other business practices.
In sum, there are several cultural differences between North America and South America’s styles of management. For instance, the South Americans employ a collectivist approach, compared to the people in North America who are more individualistic. Again the North American organizations embrace egalitarianism, and hence they treat all people as equals. In South America, they welcome the hierarchical leadership style. The South American firms also use a top-down approach when it comes to authority. Power, therefore, flows one-way from the senior executives to the subordinates. In North American countries, business organizations allow junior employees’ participation in making company decisions. In contrast, South American companies do not let the junior workers take part in the process. Employees remain passive in a meeting when a manager is talking. They are also not allowed to correct their leaders directly or indirectly. In South American companies, decision-making is the responsibility of the senior managers, and the companies rarely allow other workers to participate in the process. Unlike in the US, organizations in South America value personal relationships. In the US, the companies focus on securing the best deals through business negotiations. Hence they value company relationships more than personal relationships. US business executives are comfortable working outside their country borders. Therefore, geographical limitations affect them less. On the other hand, executives in South America like working in places that are close to their families. Moreover, families rarely play significant roles in business organizations in the United States. In contrast, the families play substantial roles in businesses in South America, including recruitment of workers, job promotions among other functions. It is clear that there are many differences between the way people do business in North and South America. The method of doing business in some North American countries like Mexico and the Dominican Republic, however, is similar to that of South America.
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