Intriguing cultural practices
The US and Mexico may share a border but some of their cultural practices are very different. Some of the intriguing practices that I found were about the Mexicans family values and a group mentality that breeds a high level of unquestionable loyalty in comparison to the individualistic nature of Americans who are more concerned with what’s only best for themselves (Avila, 2018). The essay uses the Hofstede model to analyze the cultural differences between the US and Mexico and also provides recommendations.
Figure 1: Hofstede’s cultural comparison between the US and Mexico (Country Comparison, 2018)
The graph above provides a comparison between Mexico and the US using the Hofstede’s model. Power Distance deals with the extent that a society believes that power is distributed in an equal basis in its institutions (Abramson & Moran, 2017). The power distance measure is very high in Mexico which signifies that Mexicans accept they system of government without much objections. Another aspect is the uncertainty avoidance, which generally measures the perception that a society has with regards to uncertain events (Abramson & Moran, 2017). Mexico’s score is quite high which implies that in terms of their culture they tend to avoid uncertain situations. On the other hand, the US has lower scores in the two categories which mean that they have a problem accepting their institutions.
In the Individualism metric, Mexico had a score of 30 which is quite low compared to 91 for the US. Individualism in the cultural contexts refers to the people taking care of themselves and the immediate families (Abramson & Moran, 2017). Therefore, this signifies that in the US a majority of the people do not take care of each other in groups or the extended families (Abramson & Moran, 2017). The metric could explain the huge gap in social classes, as well as the minority people such as the Blacks protesting that they are treated unfairly when compared to the Whites.
Recommendations for Expatriates to Mexico
- They must learn to accept the hierarchical order of Mexico (“Country Comparison – Hofstede Insights”, 2018). The high power index shows that people in power don’t need to justify their decisions to subordinates or need their input in decision making.
- The masculinity levels mean that whenever they get a task they should be bold and decisive.
- They should learn to work in groups because of the value Mexico places on the collective and loyalty to the group shown by low individualism index. Even promotions hinge on how people are in the group.
- Following rules and the rigid codes is of utmost importance. Mexicans are concerned with the ‘now’ and have a high Uncertainty avoidance meaning they are resistant to changes and innovations so workers should learn to follow the set patterns.
- Learn how to enjoy themselves. Most Americans put work before play but they will need to indulge more than normal to be able to work in Mexico (Burns, 2018).
Repatriates returning to the US
- The hierarchy is not very rigid in the US and there is a lot of collaborations between the different levels of management, therefore they repatriates should be encouraged to voice their suggestions.
- The individualistic nature of the US means that most time they will have to work on projects alone. So they have to be able to adapt to working alone rather than having groups to rely on.
- The US has a lower Uncertainty avoidance meaning they are more open to changes or innovations, therefore, the workforce is encouraged to be innovative to increase the variety capacity (“Country Comparison – Hofstede Insights”, 2018).
- Deadlines are much more serious in the US compared to Mexico so the repatriates should learn to adhere to more strict practices if they want to survive (Burns, 2016).
- Indulgence should be reduced and that means they will have to work more hours without letting loose. They have to be able to cope with this aspect of the US
Abramson, N. R., & Moran, R. T. (2017). Managing Cultural Differences: Global Leadership for the 21st Century. Routledge.
Avila, A. (2018). 3 Cultural Differences between the U.S. and Mexico. Retrieved from https://blog.cetrain.isu.edu/blog/3-cultural-differences-between-the-u.s.-and-mexico
Burns, S. (2016, April 28). Retrieved from http://www.susanburnsllc.com/cultural-differences-to-do-business-in-mexico
Country Comparison – Hofstede Insights. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.hofstede- insights.com/country-comparison/mexico,the-usa/