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Brazilian Country Hofstede

Brazil is similar to many Latin American countries when analyzing Hofstede’s Dimensions. Brazil’s highest Hofstede Dimension is Uncertainty Avoidance (UAI) is 76, indicating the society’s low level of tolerance for uncertainty. In an effort to minimize or reduce this level of uncertainty, strict rules, laws, policies, and regulations are adopted and implemented. The ultimate goal of this population is to control everything in order to eliminate or avoid the unexpected.

As a result of this high Uncertainty Avoidance characteristic, the society does not readily accept change and is very risk adverse. The Geert Hofstede analysis for Brazil is similar to it’s Latin American neighbors. Uncertainty avoidance ranks highest which indicates a high concern for rules, regulations, controls and issues with career security – typically, a society that does not readily accept change and is risk adverse. niversal rules are not frequently adopted – the unique circumstances, the unique context of each interaction determine what should be done.

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This reflects both on the relationship and in the problem-solving level. The business interaction between two persons is unique and should be adjusted to the business partner. Unique problems should be addressed with tailored rules – hence the large number of laws, laws that sometimes contradict one another. And there are even situations to which none of the official rules apply, situations that call for one’s flexibility and ability to find an alternative way.

It would be interesting to describe the Brazil’s classification according to Hofstede’s categories of organizations before going ahead. As in other countries with high Uncertainty Avoidance and Power Distance rankings, the typical Brazilian organization is a Pyramid of Power – an organizational model characterized by 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 [1,3]. How typical is that structure today?

Although several factors have led to the implementation of modern and internationally used business practices, the cultural traits and values beneath them did not change much. Power Distance, for instance, was still a determining trait in a study made by Tanure [4] in 2004. The curious reader can find this and much more in the sub-items of this section: Business relationships and Problem-solving strategies. Brazil is similar to many Latin American countries when analyzing Hofstede’s Dimensions (see Latin America Hofstede Graph below).

Brazil’s highest Hofstede Dimension is Uncertainty Avoidance (UAI) is 76, indicating the society’s low level of tolerance for uncertainty. In an effort to minimize or reduce this level of uncertainty, strict rules, laws, policies, and regulations are adopted and implemented. The ultimate goal of this population is to control everything in order to eliminate or avoid the unexpected. As a result of this high Uncertainty Avoidance characteristic, the society does not readily accept change and is very risk adverse.

Masculinity (MAS) versus its opposite, femininity, refers to the distribution of roles between the genders which is another fundamental issue for any society to which a range of solutions are found. The IBM studies revealed that (a) women’s values differ less among societies than men’s values; (b) men’s values from one country to another contain a dimension from very assertive and competitive and maximally different from women’s values on the one side, to modest and caring and similar to women’s values on the other.

The assertive pole has been called ‘masculine’ and the modest, caring pole ‘feminine’. The women in feminine countries have the same modest, caring values as the men; in the masculine countries they are somewhat assertive and competitive, but not as much as the men, so that these countries show a gap between men’s values and women’s values. Uncertainty Avoidance Index (UAI) deals with a society’s tolerance for uncertainty and ambiguity; it ultimately refers to man’s search for Truth.

It indicates to what extent a culture programs its members to feel either uncomfortable or comfortable in unstructured situations. Unstructured situations are novel, unknown, surprising, different from usual. Uncertainty avoiding cultures try to minimize the possibility of such situations by strict laws and rules, safety and security measures, and on the philosophical and religious level by a belief in absolute Truth; ‘there can only be one Truth and we have it’.

People in uncertainty avoiding countries are also more emotional, and motivated by inner nervous energy. The opposite type, uncertainty accepting cultures, are more tolerant of opinions different from what they are used to; they try to have as few rules as possible, and on the philosophical and religious level they are relativist and allow many currents to flow side by side. People within these cultures are more phlegmatic and contemplative, and not expected by their environment to express emotions.

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