Image source: Realestatepue (n.d.)
Image source: Google Images as cited by Mary Prescott (n.d)
Mexico plays an important role in the global business arena. Per the Index of Economic Freedom (2017), Mexico has been experiencing accelerated rate of change, surprising structural reforms, more streamlined commercial operation regulations, and a new ease in business formation. All of which led to recent improvements of Mexico’s macroeconomic performance. Additionally important—regarding the scale of Mexico’s hand in international business—is the fact that Mexico has found its way to becoming the United States’ second-largest export market, as well as, their third-largest source of imports (C.I.A., 2017). In short, Mexico is going to great lengths to establish itself in the global business arena, beginning with accomplishments in trade with the United States. These recent, significant changes demonstrate the importance for global leaders to learn the dimensions of Mexico’s culture and how it can be capitalized on in business.
For instance, one dimension of culture which can be significant in the business arena is a culture’s individualism score. Per Hofstede (n.d.), The individualism score represents “the degree of interdependence a society maintains among its members” and which reflects the cultures’ collectivist views. Regarding Mexico, the individualism score is 30, which is rather low when compared to the international average of 45.17 (Hofstede (n.d.) as cited by The Pennsylvania State University, 2017). Furthermore, despite bordering a country with a highly individualistic culture score—the United States with a score of 91—Mexico’s low individualism score also demonstrates that the country is more like their Latin America neighbors, whose individualism scores include: 17.67 for Central America and 26.56 for South America (Hofstede (n.d.) as cited by The Pennsylvania State University, 2017). Essentially, this indicates the collectivist mentality of Mexico.
Another important cultural dimension to consider for Mexico is their score regarding indulgence-versus-restraint. For this category, Mexico scores 97 and this number places it on the much higher side when compared to the world average of 45.42 (Hofstede (n.d.) as cited by The Pennsylvania State University, 2017). Mexico’s indulgence-versus-restraint score indicates some unique characteristics of their culture. For instance, when Mexico’s indulgence-versus-restraint score of 90 is compared to the scores of other Latin countries for this dimension—with Central America scoring 78.29 and South America scoring 67.37—it indicates that Mexico’s culture shares more with the Unites States on this dimension than the rest of Latin America (Hofstede (n.d.) as cited by The Pennsylvania State University, 2017). In other words, Mexico is a rather indulgent society for a Latin country.
Statistically, Mexico distinguishes itself by having both low individualism and high indulgence scores. However, it is not difficult to the see the uniqueness of this country and her people. Just by spending some time with a native, one is likely to come to the same conclusion as Hofstede. For example, per Martovskaya (2013), Mexician people are gregarious and adept. “Mexicans are very much value the attention of those who appreciates their skills and can maintain a festive atmosphere with them” (Martovskava, 2013). One element of Mexican culture that has made its way internationally is their cuisine which has a long, diverse history. Today’s popular “Mexican food” evolved with influence from the cuisine of Spain, while varying based on region and neighbor influence (World Food & Wine, n.d.). Moreover, the fiesta and their all-out style of celebration on holidays is a significant part of Mexico’s culture. Mexico is numerous in holidays, some notable dates include: The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 12th, Dia de los muertos on November 1st and 2nd, Carnival which the same holiday as the major celebration in Brazil which precedes Lent, and Independence Day on September 16 (Martovskaya, 2013). Ironically, the popular Cinco de Mayo was more of an American creation. Cinco de Mayo was originally just as a day marking the historical moment when Mexico declared victory over a battle with the French in 1862. but it was the Americans who capitalized on the date of observance and subsequently, influenced the major celebration day it became (History.com (n.d.).
Mexico is a one-of-a-kind county with a colorful culture. The people of Mexican culture have a strong group and family-oriented mentality—as well as—a pride in their nation and a spicy cuisine (literally and figuratively). Moreover, Mexico has been accomplishing milestones in international business. It would be a disservice to not recognize Hofstede’s (n.d.) indulgence and collectiveness factors of Mexico. A global leader may find it both helpful and enjoyable to understand the significance of las comidas y fiestas de la cultura de México..
Google Images as cited by Mary Prescott (n.d.) [Image] Agriculture and Core Foods. Retrieved March 7, 2017 from: http://mexicofoodandculture.weebly.com/agriculture–core-foods.html
Realestatepue (2014, October 22) [Image] Mexical Culture: Customs & Traditions. Retrieved March 7, 2017 from: https://realestatepue.wordpress.com/2014/10/22/mexican-culture-customs-traditions/
Index of Economic Freedom. (2017). Mexico. Retrieved March 7, 2017, from http://www.heritage.org/index/country/mexico
C.I.A. (2017, January 12). C.I.A.’s World Factbook. Mexico. Retrieved March 7, 2017 from https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/mx.html
Hofstede, G. (n.d.). Mexico. Retrieved March 15, 2017, from https://geert-hofstede.com/mexico.html
The Pennsylvania State University (2017). Central America and Mexico. Retrieved March 7, 2017 from https://psu.instructure.com/courses/1826457/modules/items/21654149
Hofstede, G. (n.d.) as cited by The Pennsylvania State University (2017). Comparison of Individualism for Mexico to Selected Regions of the World. Retrieved March 7, 2017 from https://psu.instructure.com/courses/1826457/modules/items/21654149
Martovskaya (2013, December 23) Mexican Mentality and Traditions. People and Countries. Retrieved March 7, 2017 from: http://en.peopleandcountries.com/article-2140-1.html
World Food & Wine (n.d.) Mexican Food History. Retrieved March 7, 2017 from: https://world-food-and-wine.com/mexican-food-history
History.com (n.d.) Ask History: Cinco de Mayo. Retrieved March 7, 2016 from: http://www.history.com/topics/holidays/cinco-de-mayo