4 Things You Need to Know About Doing Business with Latin America

September 15, 2015

 

Culture

 

The Latin American culture is a collectivist one. Meaning that much of the business and communication is family oriented. Latin America often has companies that are rooted in the regions historic traditions. Leadership within a business has a paternalistic hierarchy and the employers often take on the responsibility to personally care for their employees. The company is often run by family members who invite extended family to work for them. Employers generally hire new workers through their current employees and employees’ close relatives.

The collectivist spirit allows there to be personal relationships, loyalty, and tradition expressed within the business.

 

Company Structure

 

When deciding to contract with a company in Latin america one needs to understand their distribution of power. The hispanic culture highly favors teamwork. The centralization of power and fair power distribution allows for the company to function as a unit as opposed to a single entity. Because of this company structure employees feel motivated to share the responsibilities within the business.

 

Religion

 

Latin America has a great devotion to their religious beliefs. When entering a spanish-speaking company you will often see displays of the Virgin of Guadalupe and Jesus Christ. You may also experience religious communication between an employer and his/her employer. Some common phrases are  “God bless you” and “Thanks to the Virgin Mary” are used daily. It is also important to understand that much of the human resource management has a religious foundation that is essential to the success of the company.

 

Geographical Mobility

 

Most executives in Latin American companies arrange for their businesses to be close to their nuclear families. This is mostly because they are often run by relatives but it also expresses the importance of family dynamic in the company structure. Most western cultures arrange to see extended family only once or twice a year. On the contrary, Latin American families make an effort to meet every Sunday. Though it is financially possible for some companies to expand they tend to stay within their regions and often do not commercialize across to other countries.
 

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