Cultural Profile Culture is said to be a universal of shared beliefs, values and norms that guide a particular group of people through everyday life. Culture does not only shape and mold a country on a national level but it also molds many businesses within that country as they build their own norms, beliefs and values as it pertains to different aspects of conducting their business in a culture. In order for a business to be successful one must first understand how national and business culture differ and how it relates to work goals and this is addressed by Hofstede’s model of national culture.
Hofstede uses five dimensions of basic cultural values. The first one is power distance which refers to what people expect regarding equality among others. The second is uncertainty avoidance which a typical reaction to a certain situation that is seen as dangerous or different. The third dimension is individualism which refers to the relationship in society between an individual and a group. Masculinity, the fourth dimension is what is expected about gender roles and lastly is the long-term orientation which refers to the way people see and value time.
I will be making references to the data from Jamaica which is similar to Belize in several ways given that Belize is not in the list of countries in the Hofstede Centre. From the graph, the score for power distance was 45 which means that the Jamaicans are independent and a hierarchy is only for convenience as power is decentralized and managers depend on team members experience and their participation is welcomed in the decision making process of the business. Compared to the United States who had an even lower score of 40 shows that they do not view inequality as something good and they do not support the authoritarian leadership style.
For individualism, Jamaica is considered to be a collectivistic society with a score of 39. This means that family, social class, organization and team takes priority over an individual and this is the foundation of long-term commitment to the parties involved which in most cases are extended family and close friends. Compared to the United States who scored a high of 91, this means that they believe that everyone is responsible for themselves and individual’s achievements and good performance is beneficial in gaining rewards in the workplace.
This brings out the aggressiveness in Americans. Next was the masculinity score of 68 for Jamaica and 62 for the United States. This shows that both countries are considered as a masculine society with Jamaica a little bit more masculine. This means that men are seen as the dominant and assertive and that we should live to work which is more important than even the family. A masculine society sees success, advancement and money as important factors in one’s life. The fourth dimension was that of the uncertainty avoidance where Jamaica had a low score of only 13.
This implies that Jamaicans tend to be go for more flexibility as they allow subordinates to make more on their job choices, they are more relaxed and they encourage less rules and regulations which cause more freedom for subordinates. The United States, even though scored higher than Jamaica, score is still a low 46. Americans is more open to ideas and opinions of others as the allow freedom of expression and they too encourages less rules and regulations. Lastly, was the dimension of low-term orientation where Jamaica has no score so far.
The United States however, has a low score of 29 which means that their orientation is short-term and they are use profit and loss statements to measure the performance of a business. They believe that immediate rewards such as higher pay and promotions are necessities in a business. Jamaicans like Americans are seen as a monochronic culture. Some of their traits are that they are committed to their job, they are serious about time commitments and so show great emphasis on being prompt. They have a tendency to do one thing at a time and often times stick to their plans.
On the other hand their are polychronic people and they tend to be more committed to human relationships and if possible they achieve their objectives. They tend to do many things at once and it is easy for them to change plans. Polychronic people are mainly from northern and western Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia. Jamaicans are known to be direct and say what they mean which is considered to be a people of low-context language. They are action-oriented and they value logic and facts which they based their decisions on rather than their intuitions. Jamaicans are very explicit in their contracts which often times conclude negotiations.
Belizeans and Jamaicans are very close in culture and based on this fact, the data collected was very helpful in determining how I would create a company culture over time. I believe that in order to make both myself and my subordinates comfortable and to get the maximum performance their will have to be some compromise. I am a born Belizean so I am very familiar with the culture and is verse with what is expected. Over the years I had changed some of my traits as far as business and so some of the traits that I have adopted from being here in the United States I would definitely want to implement in my business in Belize.
Employees would be selected from the Belizean population who will be facilitated with sales training. The senior manager would have to display leadership qualities to as enforce a break away from being so laid back and relaxed. I would use promotions and pay increase as motivational tools for my employees and I do believe that since they are more verse with what is in demand that it is important for me to welcome ideas and suggestions from the employees and allow them to be apart of the decision making of the business. 100 75 50 Jamaica (similar to Belize) 25 United States 0 PDI IDV MAS UAI LTO