Yes, Latinos dream more. When you live in poverty, when your president is imposed upon you, when they kill someone and no one gets indicted, and when only a few get rich, of course you dream more. It's no coincidence that magic realism happens in Latin America, because for us dreams and aspirations are part of life.”
- Jorge Ramos -
As mentioned in the article about the importance of cultural compatibility in outsourcing, India, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brazil, Vietnam, Thailand, Chile, Cambodia, and the Philippines [Confucian-Asia, Southern-Asia, Latin-America clusters] were indicated by A.T. Kearney as the top locations for outsourcing deals:
- What are the main differences between Latin-America and Asia (intended as both Confucian- and Southern-Asia), considering that on paper these three clusters seem to share similar cultural traits?
The Latin-America cluster - that includes Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, and Venezuela - is home to:
- high-context cultures, that rely on contextual knowledge more than on explicit messages to transmit and share information;
- past- and present oriented polychronic cultures, that see time as a a repetition of natural cycles and patterns;
- high levels of in-group collectivism (also defined as “family collectivism”, the extent to which individuals identify with and prioritize the group they belong to);
- a being orientation (based on “moral relativism”, the idea that moral principles are culture-bound: being cultures tend to more more concerned with maintaining the collective harmony than they are with pursuing the “truth”);
- strong and well-defined power dynamics, even though societies that belong to this cluster express a desire for a more even distribution of power and resources;
- a clear dislike for ambiguity and unpredictability (Uncertainty Avoidance. This cluster has wish for more rules and regulations to reduce the possibility of uncertain future outcomes);
- low levels of Gender Egalitarianism (the belief that people should receive equal treatment regardless of their gender);
- a “Feminine Orientation”, a cultural dimension that is NOT strictly concerned with gender equality: as per Hofstede’s definition and classification, generally speaking “Masculine”/“Tough” cultures (live to work) show a distinctive preference for heroism, assertiveness, power, strength and a tendency to strive for success and affirmation, while “Feminine”/“Tender” cultures (work to live) place emphasis on harmony, cooperation, modesty, on the need to nurture relationships and to care for the "weak" , on the quality of life.
What’s peculiar about Latin American societies - as opposed to their Asian counterparts - is that they scores high in terms of In-Group Collectivism (ING, applicable to small groups) and relatively in terms on Institutional Collectivism (INC): while individuals tend to feel a strong sense of obligation toward their families and organizations (a clear distinction is made between in-groups and out-groups), they don't necessarily strive to ensure that resources and opportunities are accessible to all members of the society.
Another significant difference between Latin American and Asian societies is the definition of shame as an informal tool of social control (some context about the difference between shame and guilt from a cultural perspective is available here): while in both Confucian Asia and Southern Asia shame is mostly concerned with the loss of face, in Latin America shame is usually tied to honour, a concept linked to race, social standing and to perceived "manliness". Individuals in a high social position are expected to "behave their status" (eg, to dress smartly and to drive a nice car), to be the person others expect them to be, and to preserve family good reputation.
In the Latin-America cluster people tend to value leaders who are charismatic (inspirational/visionary/decisive), team-oriented, participative: the most effective leader is therefore expected to build functional and cohesive teams and to facilitate and encourage employees to share opinions and information.
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