A manager’s personal style is considered to be of great significance and it could almost be said that his or her bearing is viewed as of great an importance as their technical abilities.
The respect which is afforded the manager by subordinates, is directly proportionate to the personality of the boss. Relationships are of key importance in this Latin culture and the boss and subordinates work hard to foster a relationship based on trust and respect for personal dignity.
First and foremost, managers are expected to manage. The boss is expected to give direct instructions and it is expected that these instructions will be carried out without too much discussion or debate (if there is debate it should be done in private to avoid showing public disrespect to the hierarchy).
If giving instructions to Brazilian subordinates, try to be as clear, precise and comprehensive as possible. If tasks remain undone after having asked for them to be done, start by questioning yourself. ‘Were my instructions given clearly? Was I too vague?’ If you only give partial instructions, only part of the task will be performed. (As in most strongly hierarchical cultures, subordinates will undertake the tasks they are given but no more — to do more might be seen as disobeying the boss!)
Written and Produced by Keith Warburton
Brazil is a country with almost limitless potential. The problem is that Brazil has been a country with almost limitless potential for many decades but very, very little of that potential has actually been realised. The country seems to be constantly trapped in a cycle of political corruption leading to economic crisis followed by periods of growth which breed renewed optimism.
In addition, Brazil is a notoriously difficult country from a market entry perspective with massively protectionist policies being further complicated by very strongly pro-employee legislation and a labyrinthine system of inter-state taxes.
Having said all of that, Brazil is rich in mineral wealth (you name it and it can be found in Brazil) and has a rapidly growing population which is predominantly young and aspirational. There is also a growing recognition in the country that the historical inherent barriers to growth must be tackled and upsurge in populist demands for changes to happen.
The only way is up for Brazil and that makes it a very attractive mid to long-term investment opportunity. If you are thinking of doing business in Brazil now is probably the time to start the process. Many foreign companies have successfully navigated the complexities of Brazil and built solid businesses there in the past and the future looks bright.
If you speak to business people who have worked in Brazil they will all tell you the same thing – that the key doing successful business in Brazil is to develop a deep understanding of Brazilian commercial culture. You really to need to study the work-related culture and work out how you can best attack the market and develop those all-important early relationships.
This country profile provides an overview of some of the key aspects of Brazilian business culture in a concise, easy to follow-format. The document includes information on: