Cultural Analysis of Brazil

Topics: Geert Hofstede, Cross-cultural communication, Decision making Pages: 6 (1795 words) Published: January 14, 2013
A key to manage effectively across national and cultural boundaries, which is critical to the success (Browaeys and Price, 2011), lies in the understanding the different means of in various cultures (Trompenaars, 1993). Hence, basic cultural analysis should be conducted to better plan the new manufacturing business unit in Brazil where there are many differences from the Swedish culture. The famous analytic models from Hofstede (1980) and Trompenaars (1993) are applied to identify the key distinct dimensions of the two national cultures in terms of their management implications. Cultural Analysis

The most influential factors chosen from Hofstede’s model are PD and UA, with the largest gap in scores and significant differences from table 1. Table 1 Different Scores of Brazil and Sweden in the national cultural dimensions

Power DistanceUncertainty
Source: Hofstede (1980, p315)
Firstly, PD refers to the interpersonal power or influence between the powerful member of an organization and the least powerful one (Browaeys and Price, 2011). It, however, reflects the human inequality with a range of aspects, including rewards, wealth, prestige and privileges, etc., in the hierarchies of the organization. Normally, a higher high PD value implies the requirements of a centralised and direct decision-making process rather than plural participations of members in different levels (Velo, 2012). Brazil is, as many as around one time larger in land size and populations of Sweden (Findthedata, 2012), which contribute to the centralisation trends of organisations. Meanwhile, the large PD of Brazil means inequalities of power and wealth are however likely tolerated (Stephen, 2006) since the resources are concentrated. For instance, Azevedo (2009) concluded that most companies from São Paulo Stock Exchange has strong power concentration characteristics in terms of fact that most controlling shareholders or their relatives hold or chaired CEO positions. However, Brazil also suffers from, in return, burdensome bureaucracy and deep social imbalances (James, 2011). Reversely, Sweden companies are more democracy, less hierarchical and even, for employee able to make comment to their managers (Porter, 2006). Secondly, the UA represents the degree to which a culture prefers risky, flexible and new situations over conversational, rigid and regular status (Browaeys and Price, 2011). UA, as Hofstede (1980) noted, indeed suggests, uncertainty about the future and cope with it through technology, law and religion. Commonly, a high UA scores means the national residents are unlike to do risky things and try to avoid changes (Velo, 2012), which directs the activities in working are supposed to be planned with less ambitious and stable employees (Hofstede, 1980). The managers are expected to be more task-oriented and involved in more details to control, if not eliminate, the uncertainty in work (Hofstede, 1980). Oppositely, Sweden companies are high possibile to have adverse attitude towards risk with different attributes in management (Porter, 2006). Predominantly Catholic population in Brazil reinforces the philosophy of the existence of an absolute ‘Truth’, that those individuals, thereby, should make efforts to lower this level of uncertainty (Vincent, 2003). Instead, in order to prevent the unexpected, the ultimate goal of this society is to control everything by means with adopted and implemented strict rules, laws, policies, and regulations (Stephen, 2006). Brazil companies are operating under a highly complex and expensive tax with a regulatory environment (James, 2011) aimed at reducing uncertainty in business circumstances. Also, Brazilian companies are showing growing interests in implementing modern enterprise risk management techniques (Ernst & Young, 2012). In comparison, the Sweden companies are welcome the relaxed atmosphere in which managers...

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