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REPUBLIC OF COLOMBIA Cross Cultural
Management
“Culture is what remains, when one has
forgotten everything.”
- Edouard Herriot
Colombia is a country with a unique culture
influenced by a fusion of its indigenous Indian,
Spanish and African origins. A diverse geography
and warm climate makes Colombia home to some
of South America’s richest natural resources such
as petroleum, coffee and fruit.
INTRODUCTION
Location: Northern South America,
bordering the Caribbean Sea, between
Panama and Venezuela, and bordering the
North Pacific Ocean, between Ecuador and
Panama
Capital: Bogota (population approximately 7
millions)
Population: 46 Million (July 2014 est.) third
largest population in Latin America
Ethnic Groups: mestizo 58%, white 20%,
mulatto 14%, black 4%, mixed black-
Amerindian 3%, Amerindian 1%
INTRODUC
TION
Religion: Roman Catholic 90%, other
10%
Language: The official language of
Colombia is Spanish and spoken by
around 43 million people. In
addition there are approximately
500,000 speakers of American
Indian language
Currency: Colombian Peso (COP)
GDP: 500 Billion
Main Exports: coal, Coffee,
Petroleum, Bananas and Nickel.
DOING BUSINESS IN
COLOMBIA
The fourth largest country in
South America and one of the
continent’s most populous
nations, Colombia’s
substantial oil reserves and
natural resources provide
numerous business and trade
opportunities for foreign
investors. Understanding
Colombian business etiquette
is essential to successfully
doing business in Colombia.
HOFSTEDE’S STUDY
Power Distance
Power Distance is defined as the extent
to which the less powerful members of
institutions and organizations within a
country expect and accept that power is
distributed unequally.
Colombia scores high on Power distance.
So, it is a society that believes that
inequalities amongst people are simply a
fact of life. This inequality is accepted in
all layers of society, so a union leader
will have a lot of concentrated power
compared to his union management
team, and they in turn will have more
power than other union members. A
similar phenomenon will be observed
among business leaders and among the
highest positions in government.
HOFSTEDE’S STUDY
Individualism
In Individualist societies people are
supposed to look after themselves and
their direct family only. In Collectivist
societies people belong to ‘in groups’ that
take care of them in exchange for loyalty.
Colombia is amongst the most
collectivistic cultures in the world, beaten
only by Ecuador, Panama and Guatemala.
Since the Colombians are a highly
collectivistic people, belonging to an in-
group and aligning yourself with that
group’s opinion is very important. At the
same time, conflict is avoided, in order to
maintain group harmony and to save face.
Relationships are more important than
attending to the task at hand, and when a
group of people holds an opinion on an
issue, they will be joined by all who feel
HOFSTEDE’S STUDY
Masculinity
A high score (Masculine) on this dimension
indicates that the society will be driven by
competition, achievement and success, with
success being defined by the winner / best in
field – a value system that starts in school and
continues throughout organizational life.
A low score (Feminine) on the dimension
means that the dominant values in society are
caring for others and quality of life. A Feminine
society is one where quality of life is the sign
of success and standing out from the crowd is
not admirable.
Colombia is a Masculine society – highly
success oriented and driven. Colombians are
competitive and status-oriented, yet
collectivistic rather than Individualist. This
means that competition is directed towards
members of other groups (or social classes),
not towards those who are perceived as
members of your own in-group.
HOFSTEDE’S STUDY
Uncertainty Avoidance
The extent to which the members of a
culture feel threatened by ambiguous or
unknown situations and have created
beliefs and institutions that try to avoid
these is reflected in the score on
Uncertainty Avoidance.
Colombia has a high score on Uncertainty
Avoidance which means that as a nation
they are seeking mechanisms to avoid
ambiguity. Emotions are openly expressed.
This is also reflected in religion, which is
respected, followed by many and
conservative. Rules are not necessarily
followed, however: this depends on the in-
group’s opinion, on whether the group
feels the rules are applicable to their
members and it depends, ultimately, on
HOFSTEDE’S STUDY
Long Term Orientation
This dimension describes how every
society has to maintain some links
with its own past while dealing with
the challenges of the present and
future, and societies priorities these
two existential goals differently.
Colombian culture is classified as
normative. People in such societies
have a strong concern with
establishing the absolute Truth; they
are normative in their thinking. They
exhibit great respect for traditions, a
relatively small propensity to save for
the future, and a focus on achieving
quick results.
HOFSTEDE’S STUDY
Indulgence
This dimension is defined as the extent to
which people try to control their desires and
impulses, based on the way they were raised.
Relatively weak control is called “Indulgence”
and relatively strong control is called
“Restraint”. Cultures can, therefore, be
described as Indulgent or Restrained.
Colombia is shown to be an Indulgent country.
People in societies classified by a high score in
Indulgence generally exhibit a willingness to
realize their impulses and desires with regard to
enjoying life and having fun. They possess a
positive attitude and have a tendency towards
optimism. In addition, they place a higher
degree of importance on leisure time, act as
they please and spend money as they wish.
TROMPENAAR’S DIMENSIONS
Universalism vs. Particularism
In Colombian society tend to
believe that they are a
Universalism society that follows
the rules in order to avoid
uncertainty and maintain the
stability of the entire society,
however, in the practice this is
not completely true, Colombians
do follow the rules and want to
stand by complying it, even
though sometimes they all in
certain point of their lives put
relationships or obligations first
than laws themselves.
Individualism vs
communitarianism
Colombia is one of the most
collectivist countries in the world.
Loyalty to group members and
respect of the group is extremely
important. They praise and
reward group performance. Don't
praise individuals publically.
Allow people to involve others in
decision making. They avoid
showing favoritism.
TROMPENAAR’SDIMENSIONS
Specific vs. diffuse
Colombia is a diffuse society, people
see an overlap between their work
and personal life. They believe that
good relationships are vital to
meeting business objectives, and
that their relationships with others
will be the same, whether they are at
work or meeting socially. People
spend time outside work hours with
colleagues and clients
Emotional vs. Neutral
Colombian people want to find ways
to express their emotions, even
spontaneously, at work. In these
cultures, it's welcome and accepted
to show emotion.
-Open up to people to build trust
-Use emotion to communicate your
objectives.
-Learn to manage conflict
-Use positive body language
-Have a positive attitude
GLOBE STUDY
GLOBE Study Dimensions Colombia
Uncertainty avoidance Middle to high uncertainty avoidance
Future orientation Present oriented
Power distance High power distance
Institutional collectivism Middle institutional collectivism
Humane orientation Humane orientation if part of the clan
Performance orientation Moderately low on performance orientation
Group & family collectivism High group and family collectivism
Gender egalitarianism Low gender egalitarianism
Assertiveness High assertiveness
COMMUNICATING CROSS
CULTURALLY
Proper greetings
Men shake hands with direct eye
contact.
While shaking hands, use the
appropriate greeting for the time
of day: "buenos dias" (good day),
"buenas tardes" (good
afternoon), or "buenas noches"
(good evening/night).
Women often grasp forearms
rather than shaking hands.
Introductions
Most Colombians have both a
maternal and paternal surname
and will use both.
The father's surname is listed
first and is the one used in
conversation.
Always refer to people by the
appropriate honorific title and
their surname.
COMMUNICATING CROSS
CULTURALLY
Touching
Once a friendship has developed,
greetings become warmer and a
lot more hands on - men will
embrace and pat each other on
the shoulder (known as an
"abrazo") and women kiss once
on the right cheek. Touching
during conversation is not as
common as in other South
American countries.
Taboos
Avoid making jokes about drugs,
or drug consumption as they will
not be taken likely. For
Colombians it's not a taboo to
talk about this issue, but be sure
to approach it as a serious
conversation, not as a
stereotyped joke.
Homosexuality is not widely
accepted or understood,
especially by older generations. If
you are homosexual, it might be
best to keep a low profile.
COMMUNICATING CROSS
CULTURALLY
Entertainment
Major towns are renowned for
their thriving nightlife
famous salsa clubs in Cali
Well known for being a nation
who likes football
regular outdoor activities
including concerts, sightseeing
and nature parks.
NEGOTIATIONS
 Colombian negotiators will have clear
authority figures but will be willing to use
power with discretion, as they will not
expect to have rank pulled on them.
 In most cases Colombians tend to adopt
centralized decision making from the top-
down.
The process of breaking the ice.
These sorts of questions are common in
Colombia and throughout Latin America,
and this should be taken into account if
meaningful relationships are to be
formed.
EXPATRIATES
Need to learn Spanish as it is
official language of Colombia.
Many young expats come to
Colombia to work as English
teachers and spend a few years
exploring south America
There are a number of job
agencies that can assist expats
in securing a job within their
desired field
Relationship building is
crucial
Colombians are termed as
'indirect communicators'
SOCIAL AND
ETHICAL
high unemployment
malnutrition and hunger,
high rates of infant mortality and abandoned
children,
widespread poverty,
pervasive alcoholism and drug abuse,
widespread juvenile delinquency,
high rates of crime and violence,
human rights abuses,
entrenched and violently polarized guerrilla
factions, and inadequate health and education
services.
CONFLICTS OF
DEVELOPMENT
Colombia has a growing economy, and
poverty levels have come down in recent
years. Yet millions of Colombians are still
desperately poor.
There are certain unique challenges when
you are doing business in Colombia.
These include:
taking a long term approach to business
with constantly changing deadlines
bureaucracy
difficult geography and poor transport
infrastructure
between 5 and 6 hours behind GMT
12 hours away from the UK by plane
CONFLICTS OF
TRADITION
The high masculinity expresses the role
of women in the society. In Colombia,
unlike in other southern American
countries, women are not strongly
represented in management positions.
Machismo attitudes remain strong in this
country. However, women are more
involved in business life than elsewhere
in Latin America, although they rarely
attain positions of similar income and
authority as men. As a visiting
businesswoman, it is often effective to
emphasize your company’s importance
and your role in it.
THANKYOU FOR YOU
PATIENCE
Presented by:
Noushaba Ghazanfar

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Republic of colombia

  • 1. REPUBLIC OF COLOMBIA Cross Cultural Management “Culture is what remains, when one has forgotten everything.” - Edouard Herriot
  • 2. Colombia is a country with a unique culture influenced by a fusion of its indigenous Indian, Spanish and African origins. A diverse geography and warm climate makes Colombia home to some of South America’s richest natural resources such as petroleum, coffee and fruit.
  • 3. INTRODUCTION Location: Northern South America, bordering the Caribbean Sea, between Panama and Venezuela, and bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between Ecuador and Panama Capital: Bogota (population approximately 7 millions) Population: 46 Million (July 2014 est.) third largest population in Latin America Ethnic Groups: mestizo 58%, white 20%, mulatto 14%, black 4%, mixed black- Amerindian 3%, Amerindian 1%
  • 4. INTRODUC TION Religion: Roman Catholic 90%, other 10% Language: The official language of Colombia is Spanish and spoken by around 43 million people. In addition there are approximately 500,000 speakers of American Indian language Currency: Colombian Peso (COP) GDP: 500 Billion Main Exports: coal, Coffee, Petroleum, Bananas and Nickel.
  • 5. DOING BUSINESS IN COLOMBIA The fourth largest country in South America and one of the continent’s most populous nations, Colombia’s substantial oil reserves and natural resources provide numerous business and trade opportunities for foreign investors. Understanding Colombian business etiquette is essential to successfully doing business in Colombia.
  • 6. HOFSTEDE’S STUDY Power Distance Power Distance is defined as the extent to which the less powerful members of institutions and organizations within a country expect and accept that power is distributed unequally. Colombia scores high on Power distance. So, it is a society that believes that inequalities amongst people are simply a fact of life. This inequality is accepted in all layers of society, so a union leader will have a lot of concentrated power compared to his union management team, and they in turn will have more power than other union members. A similar phenomenon will be observed among business leaders and among the highest positions in government.
  • 7. HOFSTEDE’S STUDY Individualism In Individualist societies people are supposed to look after themselves and their direct family only. In Collectivist societies people belong to ‘in groups’ that take care of them in exchange for loyalty. Colombia is amongst the most collectivistic cultures in the world, beaten only by Ecuador, Panama and Guatemala. Since the Colombians are a highly collectivistic people, belonging to an in- group and aligning yourself with that group’s opinion is very important. At the same time, conflict is avoided, in order to maintain group harmony and to save face. Relationships are more important than attending to the task at hand, and when a group of people holds an opinion on an issue, they will be joined by all who feel
  • 8. HOFSTEDE’S STUDY Masculinity A high score (Masculine) on this dimension indicates that the society will be driven by competition, achievement and success, with success being defined by the winner / best in field – a value system that starts in school and continues throughout organizational life. A low score (Feminine) on the dimension means that the dominant values in society are caring for others and quality of life. A Feminine society is one where quality of life is the sign of success and standing out from the crowd is not admirable. Colombia is a Masculine society – highly success oriented and driven. Colombians are competitive and status-oriented, yet collectivistic rather than Individualist. This means that competition is directed towards members of other groups (or social classes), not towards those who are perceived as members of your own in-group.
  • 9. HOFSTEDE’S STUDY Uncertainty Avoidance The extent to which the members of a culture feel threatened by ambiguous or unknown situations and have created beliefs and institutions that try to avoid these is reflected in the score on Uncertainty Avoidance. Colombia has a high score on Uncertainty Avoidance which means that as a nation they are seeking mechanisms to avoid ambiguity. Emotions are openly expressed. This is also reflected in religion, which is respected, followed by many and conservative. Rules are not necessarily followed, however: this depends on the in- group’s opinion, on whether the group feels the rules are applicable to their members and it depends, ultimately, on
  • 10. HOFSTEDE’S STUDY Long Term Orientation This dimension describes how every society has to maintain some links with its own past while dealing with the challenges of the present and future, and societies priorities these two existential goals differently. Colombian culture is classified as normative. People in such societies have a strong concern with establishing the absolute Truth; they are normative in their thinking. They exhibit great respect for traditions, a relatively small propensity to save for the future, and a focus on achieving quick results.
  • 11. HOFSTEDE’S STUDY Indulgence This dimension is defined as the extent to which people try to control their desires and impulses, based on the way they were raised. Relatively weak control is called “Indulgence” and relatively strong control is called “Restraint”. Cultures can, therefore, be described as Indulgent or Restrained. Colombia is shown to be an Indulgent country. People in societies classified by a high score in Indulgence generally exhibit a willingness to realize their impulses and desires with regard to enjoying life and having fun. They possess a positive attitude and have a tendency towards optimism. In addition, they place a higher degree of importance on leisure time, act as they please and spend money as they wish.
  • 12. TROMPENAAR’S DIMENSIONS Universalism vs. Particularism In Colombian society tend to believe that they are a Universalism society that follows the rules in order to avoid uncertainty and maintain the stability of the entire society, however, in the practice this is not completely true, Colombians do follow the rules and want to stand by complying it, even though sometimes they all in certain point of their lives put relationships or obligations first than laws themselves. Individualism vs communitarianism Colombia is one of the most collectivist countries in the world. Loyalty to group members and respect of the group is extremely important. They praise and reward group performance. Don't praise individuals publically. Allow people to involve others in decision making. They avoid showing favoritism.
  • 13. TROMPENAAR’SDIMENSIONS Specific vs. diffuse Colombia is a diffuse society, people see an overlap between their work and personal life. They believe that good relationships are vital to meeting business objectives, and that their relationships with others will be the same, whether they are at work or meeting socially. People spend time outside work hours with colleagues and clients Emotional vs. Neutral Colombian people want to find ways to express their emotions, even spontaneously, at work. In these cultures, it's welcome and accepted to show emotion. -Open up to people to build trust -Use emotion to communicate your objectives. -Learn to manage conflict -Use positive body language -Have a positive attitude
  • 14. GLOBE STUDY GLOBE Study Dimensions Colombia Uncertainty avoidance Middle to high uncertainty avoidance Future orientation Present oriented Power distance High power distance Institutional collectivism Middle institutional collectivism Humane orientation Humane orientation if part of the clan Performance orientation Moderately low on performance orientation Group & family collectivism High group and family collectivism Gender egalitarianism Low gender egalitarianism Assertiveness High assertiveness
  • 15. COMMUNICATING CROSS CULTURALLY Proper greetings Men shake hands with direct eye contact. While shaking hands, use the appropriate greeting for the time of day: "buenos dias" (good day), "buenas tardes" (good afternoon), or "buenas noches" (good evening/night). Women often grasp forearms rather than shaking hands. Introductions Most Colombians have both a maternal and paternal surname and will use both. The father's surname is listed first and is the one used in conversation. Always refer to people by the appropriate honorific title and their surname.
  • 16. COMMUNICATING CROSS CULTURALLY Touching Once a friendship has developed, greetings become warmer and a lot more hands on - men will embrace and pat each other on the shoulder (known as an "abrazo") and women kiss once on the right cheek. Touching during conversation is not as common as in other South American countries. Taboos Avoid making jokes about drugs, or drug consumption as they will not be taken likely. For Colombians it's not a taboo to talk about this issue, but be sure to approach it as a serious conversation, not as a stereotyped joke. Homosexuality is not widely accepted or understood, especially by older generations. If you are homosexual, it might be best to keep a low profile.
  • 17. COMMUNICATING CROSS CULTURALLY Entertainment Major towns are renowned for their thriving nightlife famous salsa clubs in Cali Well known for being a nation who likes football regular outdoor activities including concerts, sightseeing and nature parks.
  • 18. NEGOTIATIONS  Colombian negotiators will have clear authority figures but will be willing to use power with discretion, as they will not expect to have rank pulled on them.  In most cases Colombians tend to adopt centralized decision making from the top- down. The process of breaking the ice. These sorts of questions are common in Colombia and throughout Latin America, and this should be taken into account if meaningful relationships are to be formed.
  • 19. EXPATRIATES Need to learn Spanish as it is official language of Colombia. Many young expats come to Colombia to work as English teachers and spend a few years exploring south America There are a number of job agencies that can assist expats in securing a job within their desired field Relationship building is crucial Colombians are termed as 'indirect communicators'
  • 20. SOCIAL AND ETHICAL high unemployment malnutrition and hunger, high rates of infant mortality and abandoned children, widespread poverty, pervasive alcoholism and drug abuse, widespread juvenile delinquency, high rates of crime and violence, human rights abuses, entrenched and violently polarized guerrilla factions, and inadequate health and education services.
  • 21. CONFLICTS OF DEVELOPMENT Colombia has a growing economy, and poverty levels have come down in recent years. Yet millions of Colombians are still desperately poor. There are certain unique challenges when you are doing business in Colombia. These include: taking a long term approach to business with constantly changing deadlines bureaucracy difficult geography and poor transport infrastructure between 5 and 6 hours behind GMT 12 hours away from the UK by plane
  • 22. CONFLICTS OF TRADITION The high masculinity expresses the role of women in the society. In Colombia, unlike in other southern American countries, women are not strongly represented in management positions. Machismo attitudes remain strong in this country. However, women are more involved in business life than elsewhere in Latin America, although they rarely attain positions of similar income and authority as men. As a visiting businesswoman, it is often effective to emphasize your company’s importance and your role in it.
  • 23. THANKYOU FOR YOU PATIENCE Presented by: Noushaba Ghazanfar