Mexico’s culture has always been of interest to me considering the influx of Spanish speaking immigrants and its close proximity to the United States. I believe it is important to have an understanding of other cultures as it allows one to compare the similarities and differences to one’s own culture. I completed a country report in middle school where I learned general background information about Mexico however I chose to write about Mexico in order to gain a more in depth understanding of the culture. American Culture is now a mixed salad not a melting pot, where other cultures’ identities are beginning to reshape the American way. For instance, due to the huge increase in Spanish speaking populations, a large number of Mexican workers are now employed in the in American workforce, proving the necessity to be able to communicate with this culture. In Veronica Siller Valadez’s article Cultural Dimensions of Success in Mexico, a number of Mexico’s key cultural values are explained, as are the differences between Mexico and American views on each. It is a rising trend for multinational companies to seek production expansion opportunities into Mexico due to its abundant low-cost labor market, therefore the need to understand cultural differences is critical to success. One key difference between Mexico and the United States is the orientation toward collectivism and individualism. Collectivism is central to Mexican culture where there is a heavy importance placed on loyalty to family and in-group members. In Mexico “friends always come first. Mexicans are willing to lose business before losing a friend, whereas Americans are more focused on business results” (Valadez). A few other key distinctions for manager’s expanding to Mexico to understand are Mexican “social structure and its dynamics, perspectives on human nature, time and space orientation, regard for religion, and gender roles” (Valadez). In Mexican organizations a high power distance between top level managers and employees is common. Mexicans are also a lot more relaxed about stressful situations, possessing an external locus of control with the notion that fate will take care of what’s going to happen and there is no use in trying to change things. Lastly Valadez mentions, unlike Americans’ tendency to focus on timeliness, Mexican’s view time less rigidly and punctuality is less important. The article Time Demands and Gender Roles: The Case of a Big Four Firm in Mexico by Mayra Ruiz Castro details how time demands at Mexican accounting firms are heavy and workers’ ability to meet or not meet these demands reflect their gender roles in society. Mexico is a masculine society, where traditionally the father figure plays a central role in controlling family life. This aspect of Mexican culture transcends into the workplace, where top level managers are seen as “fathers” and guide the firm and employees. In Mexican organizations, time demands have different implications for Mexican men and women. Men are expected to be the bread winner, work long hard hours, to provide for family, whereas women face more difficulties meeting time demands. Woman who wish to achieve high-level positions in the workforce face issues regarding gender inequality and society’s expectations. The article Exploring the role of Machismo in Gender Discrimination: A comparison of Mexico and the U.S. by Sharon Segrest, Eric Romero, and Darla Domk-Damonte discusses how Mexican culture is directly impacted by deeply rooted historical traditions. A central element of Mexican culture is maintaining group harmony and order, which is accomplished by strict behavioral expectations of society. In Mexican organizations, each worker is aware of their position within the organization and workers typically do not stray from what is expected of them, which is different from the US where workers typically are participative and voice their opinion. The term “machismo means masculinity, male...
Cited: Valadez, V. (1994). Cultural Dimensions Of Success in Mexico. Directors & Boards, 18(2), 39-41.
Castro, M. (2012). Time Demands and Gender Roles: The Case of a Big Four Firm in Mexico. Gender, Work & Organization, 19(5), 532-554. doi:10.1111/j.1468-0432.2012.00606.x
Segrest, S. L., Romero, E. J., & Domke-Damonte, D. (2003). Exploring the role of machismo in gender discrimination: A comparison of mexico and the U.S. Equal Opportunities International, 22(1), 13-31.
Rao, P. (2009). The role of national culture on mexican staffing practices. Employee Relations, 31(3), 295-311. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/01425450910946488
Gomez, C., Kirkman, B. L., & Shapiro, D. L. (2000). The impact of collectivism and in-group/out-group membership on the evaluation generosity of team members. Academy of Management Journal, 43(6), 1097-1106.
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