The meaning of difference: Beyond cultural and managerial homogeneity stereotypes of latin america

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21 Scopus citations


Drawing from our current original research on cultural trends in Latin America-based multinational firms, this paper challenges the stereotypical perception of Latin America as a homogeneous region and explores the cultural distances among groups of multinational employees. After collecting surveys from 733 employees across eight multinationals in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico, we establish that, much like it happens in other lumped-together regions of the globe, such as “East Asia” and “Africa," Latin American countries present significant differences in the way firm employees respond to situations where cultural traits are at stake. By researching these countries, we recorded significant variation in aspects such as the treatment and place of women in the workplace, attachment or detachment to formal rules, formal organizational hierarchies, and structured business planning, in addition to varying levels of tolerance to invasion of privacy. Implications of the study include the need to develop methodologies that adequately capture cultural differences within large geographic blocs and business practices that prepare the expatriate, the international manager, and the policy maker for the different realities they are bound to encounter in different countries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-71
Number of pages19
JournalManagement Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2006


  • Culture
  • Latin america
  • National differences
  • Stereotypes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Strategy and Management


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