Me and the Things of Other Essay

Submitted By donkey4335
Words: 4420
Pages: 18

CULTURAL VALUES The values of the Brazilian people influence how they conduct business and behave in their private lives. Geert Hofstede an expert on cross-cultural differences and management; and sociologists Zvi Namenwirth and Robert Weber view culture as “a system of values and norms that are shared among a group of people and that when taken together constitute a design for living” (Hill,2011,p. 101). The Brazilian values are abstract ideas about what they believe to be good and acceptable. They have shared assumptions of how things should be. Brazil has more than one culture because the country is very large. Brazilian society includes attitudes towards the economic system and business negotiations. Understanding Brazilian values is important because it affects intercultural business. Using Hofstede’s dimensions of culture will help to categorize and describe Brazil’s classification. The normal Brazilian organization “ is a Pyramid of Power…formalized hierarchy and centralized power and decision-making, where the management and the interaction between different hierarchical levels has a lot to do with management of power and power relationships “ (Rose-Neiger, Hofstede). Today, the structure has not changed much. The main decision-making happens at the top, and management at lower levels carry out the objective. Centralization of power is common in Brazilian business. According to Betania Tanure, “It can be traced back to the authoritarianism of the patriarchal family in colonial farms and is still observed in many companies” (bforbrazil, 2005). Brazilians expect to receive instructions from an authorities source. There is unequal power distribution in their organizations. Power distance is important in vertical relationships. Brazilian negotiators tend to issue more commands compared to other countries. They appear confrontational to achieve their goals. Building a rapport with business partners is a very helpful when negotiating an effective deal. Being a Latin country, Brazilians prefer to first focus on the personal relationship rather than at the workplace. They apply the same relationship in social communications. They place more value in the person than in the business environment. Some cultures are very conscious about time when scheduling business meetings; Brazilians do not feel that way. Their character is more elastic. Finishing an interaction with people is more important than keeping a schedule. Expect a Brazilian business person to be late for a meeting. They spend more time interacting with people to obtain important information. An American business person should be flexible when meeting a business associate from Brazil. The American just needs to adjust their own expectations because the Brazilian is not obsessed with time and schedules. Building a rapport with foreigners builds trust when conducting business with partners. This helps establish that the intentions of each side are genuine. This can be accomplished by small talk about family, sports, or the weather. Giving gifts in a negotiation is not recommended because it is usually associated with corruption. Even though Brazil is a successful economically, it is plagued by civil problems. The problems stem from the colonial times, and its position in the world of business relations. Boike Rehbein states, “Brazilian society remains characterized by vertiginous social inequalities and widespread poverty” (Rehbein,2011,p.95). I believe that once Brazil reduces poverty and criminal violence, its position in business relations will improve. These problems could be solved by modifying economic and social reforms and giving the state more control of the country. The judicial system also has to be overhauled because of the corruption. Corruption in free trade will affect business negotiations. Sao Paulo is 5 times bigger than New York City; therefore, the crime is higher (Everyculture, 2012). Corporate executives travel around in armored cars