Mexican Business Structures

As has already been stated, many foreign-owned, multi-nationals operate out of Mexico and the business structures of these organisations will probably be heavily influenced by the corporate culture of the parent company.

Therefore, it may be possible to interact with an operation which works in a flat, matrix-style.

However, indigenous Mexican culture tends very much towards the hierarchical in both personal interactivity and the way in which business is structured. It is best to expect that the organisation you are dealing with will have a very centralised decision-making approach with all decisions of any importance being made by a few key individuals at the top of the company.

Take the time to understand the structure of the business to ensure that you are dealing with the right people. Time can be wasted negotiating with people who have little or no authority.

Ensure that you do not insult Mexican senior management by sending your junior employees to deal with them. It is always best to match levels of seniority during any interactions. (If a Mexican contact sends their junior people to deal with you, it is probably a good sign of lack of genuine interest on their part.)

A brief overview of some key concepts to consider when doing business in Mexico

Written and Produced by Keith Warburton

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As part of the world’s largest trading block (NAFTA), Mexico must be an attractive potential market. It is strategically positioned between North and South America and as such is a great base for further expansion in the region. In addition, Mexico has negotiated a strategic network of free trade agreements which give it preferential access at least 46 countries with a combined population of in excess of one billion people.

Whilst Mexico does represent an attractive market entry proposition and doing business in Mexico is likely to bring rewards, there are several impediments which need to be taken into consideration. Bribery and corruption remain a problem – although progress is being made in this area – and organised crime still poses a serious threat both in the cities and the regions. Mexico could also be considered a little too dependent on the robustness of the US economy – if the States is doing well, Mexico is usually flourishing as well.

However, one of the key considerations you need to factor in when looking at doing business in Mexico is the local business Culture. Mexico might have a border with the USA but their business cultures are poles apart. Whereas the USA puts business firmly before relationships in business dealings, Mexico is the exact opposite. In a strongly hierarchical culture, who you know and how well you know them are absolutely critical to success. You need to forge great relationship and you need to know how to forge those relationship. Take the time to make the right type of contact and you will be rewarded.

This country profile provides an overview of some of the key aspects of Mexican business culture in a concise, easy to follow-format. The document includes information on:

  • Background to business
  • Business Structures
  • Management style
  • Meetings
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Women in business
  • Entertaining
  • Top tips