Essay on Geert Hofstede and Brazil

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Brazil - Geert Hofstede

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in Intercultural Management and (/certification- Culture by Organisational courses.html) Brazil


GEERT HOFSTEDE (geerthofstede.html)

69 49 38

76 65

NATIONAL CULTURE (nationalculture.html)



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MAS Brazil




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What about Brazil?
If we explore Brazil´s culture through the lens of the 5-D Model, we can get a good overview of the deep drivers of Brazilian culture relative to other world cultures.
Power distance

This dimension deals with the fact that all individuals in societies are not equal – it expresses the attitude of the culture towards these inequalities amongst us. Power distance is defined as the extent to which the less powerful members of institutions and



organisations within a country expect and accept that power is distributed unequally. At a score of 69 Brazil reflects a society that believes hierarchy should be respected and inequalities amongst people are acceptable. The different distribution of power justifies the fact that power holders have more benefits than the less powerful in society. In Brazil it is important to show respect to the elderly (and children take care for their elderly parents). In companies there is one boss who takes complete responsibility. Status symbols of power are very important in order to indicate social position and “communicate” the respect that could be shown.

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The fundamental issue addressed by this dimension is the degree of interdependence a society maintains among its members. It has to do with whether people´s self-image is defined in terms of “I” or “We”. In Individualist societies people are supposed to look after themselves and their direct family only. In Collectivist societies people belong to ‘in groups’ that take care of them in exchange for loyalty. Brazil has a score of 38 which means that in this country people from birth onwards are integrated into strong, cohesive groups (especially represented by the extended family; including uncles, aunts, grandparents and cousins) which continues protecting its members in exchange for loyalty. This is an important aspect in the working environment too, where for instance an older and powerful member of a family is expected to “help” a younger nephew to be hired for a job in his own company. In business it is important to build up trustworthy and

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Brazil - Geert Hofstede

long lasting relationships: a meeting usually starts with general conversations in order to get to know each other before doing business. The preferred communication style is context-rich, so people will often speak profusely and write in an elaborate fashion.

Masculinity / Femininity

A high score (masculine) on this dimension indicates that the society will be driven by competition, achievement and success, with success being defined by the winner / best in field – a value system that starts in school and continues throughout organisational behaviour. A low score (feminine) on the dimension means that the dominant values in society are caring for others and quality of life. A feminine society is one where quality of life is the sign of success and standing out from the crowd is not admirable. The fundamental issue here is what motivates people, wanting to be the best (masculine) or liking what you do (feminine). Brazil scores 49 on this dimension, really in the middle. The softer aspects of culture such as…