Home > Management Pills

Characteristics of the Latin American way of management


Source: O Globo Newspaper 04/01/2009

The people´s culture has a great impact on the way a company is managed, which in turn has a major impact on the organizational environment. The O Globo newspaper heard several experts who identified some of the differences between the management styles of Latin Americans and Anglo-Saxons. Check and compare with what exists in your company:



In Latin American culture the authority overrides arguments. While in the Anglo-Saxon culture managers expects you disagree with him and expose your arguments, in Latin America it is very difficult to people to "expose" yourself. So some management practices recommended by experts in the Northern Hemisphere, such as walking around do not work well in Latin countries. This cultural trait creates a big problem, because it inhibits the initiative and innovation.


It is then up to the leaders, considering this feature, to implement management practices that create an environment in which people feel free to help improve the performance of the company, creating a culture that values initiative and innovation.



In the Latin American way the basis of the relationship is family, while in Anglo-Saxon culture is the metaphor is the team. In the team what matters is results and competence, and if a player is not going well he is replaced. In the family relationship is paternalistic, establishing an environment of dependency and loyalty. So it takes longer to fire people, the firing was announced in a different way and still who dismisses (the manager) has the risk of being seen by their team as a monster. This posture makes the workplace more harmonious, but otherwise not favors productivity.


It is interesting to note that Deming, one of the greatest gurus of modern administration, called the practice of offering rewards for individual performance as one of seven (7) fatal diseases that lead to death an organization, because destroy the team spirit. It then managers responsibility to developed management practices that enhances team work, recognizing and rewarding the results of the teams, seeking a culture of continuous improvement, taking into account our paternalistic culture.



The Latin American way rejects the exaggerated individualism, the selfish behavior. The individual expects to be cared by the group and, in turn, provides loyalty. It is a way of thinking that makes workplaces relationship less conflictive, but at the same time, corroborates the paternalism.


This feature demonstrates the cultural importance of social relations within the company. People seek evidence of confidence before they commit himself and return loyalty. So it is important to promote major events involving the whole community of the company, so people feel part of the company, feel that the group approves them, that their work is valued by the group. With it this the people will reciprocate with commitment, associated with the knowledge that generates productivity.


The Latin-Americans are accustomed to doing more with less, always working with fewer resources and adapting more easily to new situations. The famous Brazilian adaptability contributes to a faster adaptation to adverse situations and serves as a stimulus to creativity.

It is then up to the leaders of the company take this very positive feature of our culture and avoid creating an overly bureaucratic company, which inhibits the individual initiatives and being responsive and transparent in their internal communication system to obtain the cooperation of all within the company to face new challenges