This cross-cultural comparison is based on the references last listed

Dear Emily,
I would like to suggest the inclusion of “language” in the list, not only because it is
one of the cultural aspects of a country, but mainly due to the fact of many
Americans do not know the language spoken in Brazil, since even in the US census it
is found that Brazilians speak Spanish.
This cross-cultural comparison is based on the bibliography listed below in the
current document. It was considered that any attempt to describe an entire culture
always runs the danger of building up a stereotype. People are individuals and
common sense should tell us that we will not find an absolutely “typical Brazilian” as
described in this board. The following simply intends to present certain attitudes or
characteristics that are likely to be experienced when dealing with someone from
Beliefs / Ethics
Decision Making
Image / Style
What defines the subject position in
society is the social class, together
with education and the family
Decision-making takes time; value
placed on the needs and interests
of the group
A patriarchic style of leadership
prevails, with a strong respect for
the authority who commands the
Family and friendship play a major
role in both social and business
interactions. Children participate in
most adult activities. Adult children
are expected to live at home until
The United States
Individual initiative and personal
achievement emphasized; one’s
achievements, not age or status,
determine one’s position in society
Since business is often fast-paced,
quick decisions may result; some
decisions may not be final
Hierarchical; managers delegate;
look to supervisors for decisions;
executives seek responsibility and
accept accountability
Family second to work; children are
largely independent
Significant displays and expressions
of emotions; Brazilians seldom
makes business decisions based
solely on analysis
Displays of emotion are best
avoided in business; tough in
Fashion, appearance and
surroundings are important and
provide visual cues as to status.
The more status, more formal the
clothes are. Informal out of work
Appearance is important to the
individual in the U.S.; formal
clothing appropriate for formal
Tendency to act informally,
avoiding rigidity
Titles are often downplayed; very
Social Interaction
Time Orientation
Work / Leisure
Communication Style
Conflict / Confrontation
Social relationships are critical and
often take precedence over tasks
and accomplishments
Polychronic and not fixated on rigid
schedules; time is seen as flexible
and fluid; schedules and plans can
be quicly changed or completely
ignored; belief in the relativity of
time; the clock waits for people,
instead of people wait for the clock
Work is a means to survive, not of
satisfaction; vacation is an
automatic right
Use of underlying meanings; entire
context is considered as part of the
communication; diplomatic instead
of direct; use of hand movements
Tendency of avoiding conflict and
attempting to please the other
party; belief in the efficacy of
mediating interventions, of quest
for a common solution which will
benefit all
Self-reliant; identify as an
individual; quick casual
Punctuality valued and respected;
“time is money”; deadlines firm;
one thing at a time, though need to
multi-task also important
Lives to work; leisure time is
reward for hard work; money is
end in itself; vacation is “earned”
Explicit, verbal and direct; meaning
close to surface; concise; lack of
eye contact can signify boredom
Meet problems and conflicts head
on; assertive, but give benefit of
the doubt; “fair play” important
Decision-Making: An Anglo-Brazilian Comparison. Managing Across Cultures: Issues
and Perspectives. Joynt P. and F. Warner. London, International Thomson
Business Press.2002
Intercultural Management in Brazil – Sempre dá um Jeito. Anna Irene Meyer. 2006
Dimensões da Cultura Brasileira na Visão dos Expatriados. SIEGRID GUILLAUMON
DECHANDT (Universidade Federal da Bahia) & TANIA CASADO (Universidade de
São Paulo)
Managing in the global economy. Richard M. Steers, Luciara Nardon. 2005.
The Brazilian puzzle: culture on the borderlands of the Western World. David J. Hess,
Roberto da Matta. 1995
Communicating with Brazilians: when “yes”means “no”. Tracy Novinger. 2003.