Mexican Management Style

Management style tends towards the paternalistic as is often found in strongly hierarchical cultures.

However, this does not mean that instructions can be given to subordinates with no concern being shown for their well-developed sense of honour. A good manager combines an authoritative approach with a concern for the well-being and dignity of employees. Managers should be authoritative but never authoritarian. It is important to show that you are in control but at the same time have a warm, human touch.

It is considered to be poor behaviour to criticise another in public, as this is an insult. To be openly criticised in public results in a loss of self-esteem and personal dignity.

Instructions should be given clearly and precisely and subordinates will be expected to follow those instructions with little or no discussion.

As relationship bonds run deep in Mexican culture, the manager expects loyalty. In return for this loyalty, the boss will look after the interests of subordinates. The manager-subordinate relationship is viewed as reciprocal.

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

Written and Produced by Keith Warburton

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Overview

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