Cultural Awareness in Leadership Strategy and Marketing: Applying Hofstede’s Basic Dilemmas to Brazil

Camilla Montoya, Jared A. Montoya


Globalization has inspired scholars to seek knowledge in the field of cultural studies since the mid-1950s. Gert Hofstede collected valuable industry data at IBM in the 1960s, and later collaborated with researchers in China to empirically reveal five basic dilemmas present in every culture: power distance, individualism/collectivism, masculinity/femininity, uncertainty avoidance, and long-/short-term orientation. Hofstede argued that culture is expressed through a combination of values, symbols, heroes, and rituals. By applying Hofstede’s five initial dimensions of culture to real-life circumstances in Brazil, we demonstrate the gravity of understanding these frameworks in the process of decision-making on a global scale. When ignoring cultural differences, the health of organizations can be compromised. On the other hand, we show that companies such as Coca-Cola have been attentive to cultural differences in consumer behavior and advertising, which has proven to be very lucrative.

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