Management across cultures

These days I’m reading a book on Brazilian management style and only today (after more than one year of working in Brazil) I realized why my boss found my queries re feedback and career development so absurd. I never knew the above were associated with American culture. In general, I think there is lack of business education / corporate training on cross-cultural management.

Short summary:

Brazilian executives are similar to the French and Italian ones but different from Americans or Germans.

Americans look to exceed their own performance, driven by goals, look for self-realization and development in their career. They are pragmatic, assertive and relatively egalitarian, they need a constant feedback, evaluation and rewards.

The German managers expect a good response from their subordinates and test them, demanding performance. They require loyalty, sense of duty and obedience in exchange for job security. They expect the subordinates to resolve their own problems.

The French leaders control their subordinates strongly and decisions are very centralized. They expect absolute obedience and share information only with people of status in their own network of relationship. The managed staff is not included nor desires to participate. They themselves expect autocratic leadership.

In Brazil, like Japan, relationships follow family tradition. The leader gives protection and in return the led assumes moral obligation to him. Break of loyalty has severe consequences.

Source: Gestão à Brasileira, Betania Tanure.

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