In the intercultural relationship, to avoid conflicts, misunderstandings, it is important to identify values, beliefs, norms the interlocutor use to adapt and facilitate the communication. In that case, Spanish and Brazilian culture are based on Latin culture but had considerably evolved on their sides, so prior details are very important to prepare a travel in Brazil or Denmark.
According to Hofstede (1982), the 4th dimensions of cultures can be used to describe the management styles of each national culture. It enable to compare the three different society presented.
The 4th dimensions are composed by; the power distance index, the individualism index, the masculinity index and the Uncertainty Avoidance Index. The 4th dimensions of cultures will be developed first then, the application to the Brazilian and the Danish society completed with advices to improve business relationship in these two opposite countries. The first Dimension of Hofstede, the Power Distance Index is measured by the perception of the existence or non-hierarchical distance between a subordinate and his superior is an element of national cultural differentiation within firms.
t evaluates if subordinate has the power of its leader and its consequences in terms of behaviours.
This dimension is the degree of inequality expected and accepted by employees as part of relationships. Then for the Individualism Index (IDV), which measures the level where individuals are integrated into groups. The high individualist degree shows societies where people are looking after themselves and their close family. At the other side, a weak IDV presents a society where people are “integrated into strong, cohesive in-groups, often extended families” referring to Hofstede (1982).
The third is the Masculinity index, which determine the values where the society is closer, female values or male values. Male values and female values represent the two extremes of a scale, ranging: from the emphasis on values of achievement and ownership (male values) to the social environment or mutual (feminine values). Feminine values enhance the environment (quality of life) and social cohesion (solidarity / justice). The male values emphasize economic success (Performance and efficiency). Natural elements have an impact on the work organization and job quality. The final Index is the Uncertainty Avoidance Index (UAI).
It refers to relations between the company and its environment and its ability to cope with unpredictable events. It is how to deal with the risk for members of a society and helps to explain some behaviour of companies on the control of the environmental uncertainty. To manage that, they measure the degree of tolerance accepted by a culture deal with the anxiety caused by future events. Control of uncertainty can result in the use of plans and forecasting tools, the implementation of standardized procedures, the search for stability and a need for discipline and order. Read about the male and female roles in Hispanic culture
Depending on the country concerned, the notion of “uncertainty avoidance” may take different forms: some cultures encourage risk taking, other Master’s degree or its avoidance. This cultural variable has little relationship with the level of economic development. The origins of this determinant are less obvious than for power distance according to Hofstede (1982). The Brazilian Power distance Index is more or less the same of the Spanish one and are quite high. It means that Firms in countries characterized by high power distance appear to favour a policy of centralization, organized around a pyramid structure with an imposing frame.
A high importance is given to registered social status (status, titles, functions). There is a protection of the CEO by a rampart of relays and assistants. Brazil has a higher Individualism (IDV). However, according to Hofstede (1982) “all the Latin countries are considered to be Collectivist societies as compared to Individualist cultures”. The group is an extension of the family so “Loyalty in a collectivist culture is paramount, and over-rides most other societal rules”. The concept of “Malandragem” and “Jeitinho” can describe this idea of collectivism society to manage the individual success.
The “Jeitinho” is a way for a person to reach a goal in contravention of a rule set and using emotional arguments to get a favour, favouritism. One should not confuse jeitinho with other types of practices, such patronage or corruption. The Malandragem is used to get advantage in a given situation using manipulation. It is often illicit according to Comaroff (2006) and referred to Lei do Gerson: “I must take advantage of everything”. These two words show how Brazilian people used their network to serve their own person.
Furthermore, the remedy to “despachante” (Comaroff 2006) is prevalent to solve administrative problem. It is a way to accelerate the administrative process with a fee. The index of masculinity of Brazil is similar with ones of Spain, merges with criteria such as, the predominance of working life (privacy), The role of ambition, the preference for individual decisions, and recognition by salary. The Brazil and Spain have an Uncertainty Avoidance Index very high, that means individuals are encouraged to seek mechanisms to cope with future events, a high degree of anxiety manifested by: a strong emotion and aggressiveness. Concerning the work relationship, the approached of time is similar to Spanish one.
According to Communicaid (2009), Brazilian used to cancel or delayed meetings without asking. Negotiations are quiet long and it is important to schedule business appointments at least two to three weeks in advance and confirm them once you have arrived in Brazil. However, be on time is expected of foreigners. The social codes according to Communicaid (2009) are handshakes at the beginning of the meeting. Also, Brazilians are quite fashion conscious.
It is important therefore to dress smartly and conservatively. The relationship and discussions are done during a coffee break which can take several hours because Brazilian love socialising and spend time with each other. On the other hand, the Danish company Bang and Olufsen is characterized by low power distance with a decentralization policy, organized around a flattened structure with limited supervision, According to Hofstede (1982). Officials Scandinavian companies have a looser relationship with their staff (low formalism / social mobility).
On the Individual aspect, according to Hofstede (1982), the employees feel a need to find some free time to their personal lives and seek ways to increase their freedom of action and personal challenges as the Hygge concept says. The Hygge is a Danish word, which mean the comfort of proximity. Jonathan Schwartz (2007), an anthropologist of American origin living in Denmark for 40 years, thinks about him the tag of Danish culture is not “hygge” but “tryghed”, a term that evokes feelings of great security, protection and confidence. The happiness and confidence go together, ” says Professor Schwartz (2007). Danish life is built around this feeling of security and peace. Thus, at Copenhagen, “we let children sleep in their pram on the pavement, while the parents go to the cafe or restaurant”.
This is normal, accepted and current. According to Professor Schwartz (2007), Hygge “is the side where tryghed and fears are essential to happiness and explain a certain resistance to immigration in this nation who wants yet very tolerant”. It is also strengthening the independence of the individual in respect of its rganization. There is Women value orientation, which emphasizes the environmental quality of life and social cohesion (solidarity / justice). The work was appreciated as a feature to have created a real cooperation between employees and working conditions (social climate, stability, reduction of anxiety, understanding among employees). In the interests of social cohesion, conflict should not become official and will be solved by listening and empathy. Concerning the wealth. “Nobody here is very enterprising and very competitive. These are things that exist but the cache.
These are not characteristics of our personality that we highlight. Wealth, moreover, is somewhat hidden, “says Professor Gundelach (2007). This modesty is part of culture, is the Law of Jante, referring to a novel of the 30’s that revolved around this concept very Nordic. “The idea of not being richer than others, or at least does not look like this is actually part of morality, ” says psychologist Torben Bechmann Jensen (2007). To sum up, the Danish consider the interlocutor as their equal. They talk directly to him without distinction of hierarchy.
Furthermore, Danish are quite simple in their relationship, so the Spanish man has to be humble and do not show any external ostentatious sign of success. They attached lot of importance to the Hygge concept, which improve their lifestyle and their relationship with the other by the personal development. The values expressed are focus on social cohesion, the help, the discussion are main tools to manage this social cohesion. Their relation to the future is not the same as Spanish does. They believe in future and they are optimistic even if they do not control everything.
The attitude is to do not snub the interlocutor whatever the rank or the status. To be humble and respectful in front of the other, be aware and understanding the problem they submit. Of course, tell the problem the Spanish man meet. To prepare the travel to Brazil, the main key points to pay attention are the relationships, which overcome the unique business relationship. It is important to cultivate close personal relationships and building trust to have a greater chance to successfully doing business in Brazil.
Otherwise, pay attention to the appearance and the respect of the hierarchy using grades to called peoples and never make reproach In public, preferring do that in private to avoid the interlocutor loosing face, which is irrecoverable. At the other side, the Danish people prefers avoid the grades when they call someone to make people equal. The punctuality is paramount and when the time to work is over, it is over. Also, work ethics, tolerance, flexibility, social justice and equality for women make the basis of Danish lives and business environment.