Business Differences between the United States and Mexico

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					Business Differences between the
    United States and Mexico

       Dr. Robert J. Hoover
      Professor of Marketing
       College of Business
      Idaho State University
         Pocatello, Idaho
  Mexico-US Differences: Nationalism

         Mexico                United States

 Intensely patriotic      Intensely patriotic
 Pride in history &       Believe in superiority
  traditions                of the “American way
 Little desire to live     of life”
  elsewhere
     Mexico-US Differences: Ethics

        Mexico                  United States

 Codes based on            Strict codes of
  Christian morality         conduct
 Deviance from ethical     Ethics instilled via
  norms widespread           schooling
 Many ways of “telling     Pressure to
  the truth”: “simpatia”     compromise ethics
                             due to competition,
                             wealth acquisition
   Mexico-US Differences: Theory vs.
               Practice
        Mexico                  United States

 University training:     University training:
  theoretical               applications of theory
 Planning but barriers    Solves problems
  to implementation         based on facts
 Worker apathy since      Little theoretical focus
  projects not realized     on problems
                            encountered
     Mexico-US Differences: Status

        Mexico                United States

 Having degree, title    Status based on
  confers respect          achievement
 Family background       Wealth is symbol of
  extremely important      achievement
 Will choose status      Less importance
  over achievement         given to family
                           background
    Mexico-US Differences: Personal
             Sensitivities
         Mexico                   United States

 Extremely sensitive         Suppresses
 Conflict avoidance           sensitivity
 Criticism taken             Accepts work
  personally                   criticism as separate
 Never criticize in front     from personal
  of friends                   criticism
 Mexico-US Differences: Competition

        Mexico                 United States

 Cooperative more         Thrive on stimulus of
  than competitive          competition
 Value friendly           Highly ambitious
  atmosphere free of       Belief that competition
  conflict                  leads to efficiencies
 Promotion on
  influence rather than
  merit
    Mexico-US Differences: Planning

        Mexico                  United States

 Most planning = short-    Long-term planning
  term                       considered critical to
 Long-term planning         business success
  compromised due to        Will sacrifice long-
  political/economic         term for short-term
  uncertainties
 Maquiladoras are
  exempt from above
     Mexico-US Differences: Loyalty

        Mexico                United States

 Loyal to the “boss”    Loyal to self first
 High loyalty where     Work toward self-
  company has good        development
  HR                     Move around for
 Trend toward more       chances of
  self-loyalty            advancement
   Mexico-US Differences: Attitudes
            about Time
        Mexico               United States

 “Manana”               “Time is money”
 Less time pressure     Constant pressure to
 Time commitments        meet time
  less important          commitments
 Lack of punctuality    Lack of punctuality is
  socially OK             disgrace
                         Life moves by the
                          clock
    Mexico-US Differences: Religion

         Mexico                   United States

 Mostly Roman                Diverse religious
  Catholic                     backgrounds
 Mother responsible
  for children’s religious    Protestant “ethic”
  training                     dominates
 Lives controlled by         Belief in separation of
  “higher power”               church & state
 Businesses see              Religion not brought
  religion as positive         into workplace
  force
     Mexico-US Differences: Family

        Mexico                 United States

 Takes precedence         Family subordinate to
  over other aspects of     work
  life                     Executive is mobile
 Resistance to moving     Family authority is
  away from family          shared
 Father is authority      Children taught
 Children dependent        independence/self-
                            sufficiency
     Mexico-US Differences: Work &
               Leisure
        Mexico                  United States

 “Work to live”            “Live to work”
 Mix business with         Sacrifice family time
  pleasure                   for work
 Leisure time is very      Work is intrinsically
  important                  satisfying
 Work is necessary evil    Don’t mix business
 Try to incorporate         with pleasure
  pleasure into work        Leisure is reward for
  day                        work completed