The Cultural Report of Spain
The Cultural Report of Spain Student name: Guolei Li (070145) Date: 8, August, 2009 Words: 1493 Introduction In order to deal with businesses in the overseas market it is necessary to be aware of their cultural heritage. The purpose of this report is introducing and addressing the key cultural features of Spain. It is important for businesspersons to avoid some cultural mistakes in their trips to Spain. The report has pointed two main views which are general cultures and business cultures in Spain. For general cultures, it gives information on language and communication, religion, social structure and value and attitude.
The business cultures include daily office protocols, management styles, boss and subordinate relations, meeting styles, negotiation styles and written correspondence.
General cultures Language and communication Spain’s national language is Spanish. Two of the minority languages of the nation are Gallego and Catalan. Spanish has been used in national-level exchanges and in wide-scale commerce throughout modern times in Spain. In communicated cultures, Spain tends towards being a high-context culture.
This means that much of the message will be implied in the context of the communication and is influenced by the background and basic values of the communicator (Fletcher, R.
; Brown, L. 2008). This is similar with China which is also a high-context cultural country. Religion Spain has been a Catholic country for centuries, and Catholicism was the official religion for most of recent history. Therefore, in Spain, students, visitors and practitioners of other faiths must all understand this catholic environment if they are to understand Spanish national culture.
Social structure The top of Spain’s social pyramid is occupied by the royal family, followed by the titled nobility and aristocratic families.
But in today’s modern and democratic Spain, individuals who are endowed with social standing by their achievements in business, public life, or cultural activity are admired. Spain’s class system is marked by modern Euro-American models of success. Upward mobility is possible for most people. Education through university training is a principal vehicle of mobility.
The wide base of the social pyramid is composed of manual labours, rural or urban workers in the lower level of the service sector, and petty tradesmen.
The rural-urban difference is important in Spain (Countries and Their Cultures, 2006). Value and attitude In Spain, women under Castilian law inherit property equally with their brothers. They may also manage and dispose of it freely. Most Spaniards live in small family households of parents and unmarried children. The notion of the kindred is lacking elsewhere in Spain, where kinship relations beyond the household are extremely important in social life.
According to Cabrera, E & Carretero, J (2005), Spanish organizations are slowly adopting global practices.
Cultural variables in Spain are low future orientation, high power distance, and low institutional collectivism. These variables will give pressures that will hinder the adoption of global practices. Spanish people are optimism and sense of pride. Spain’s promotion agency says that Spain is one of the few examples in the world, where in 20 years the country has transformed its economy and its society (Pavoni, S, 2007). Business cultures Daily office protocols
Spain is a very formal country. Normally men should wear tailed suits and women should dress fashionably in business environment.
This is different culture with Chinese as we can dress casually except important events. Spanish women may be treated with particular respect by men in business and in social situations which is meant as an honour in most cases. However, it is not common for women to be in positions of authority in Spain, and in the traditional Spanish workplace. Usually, women are relegated to lower-level management and administrative support positions.
Unlike Chinese women, even Spanish women struggle to reach the higher levels of achievement in Spanish business, it is rare to see women at the highest levels of business and government in Spain. Management styles Generally, workers provide plans, methods, reports, etc, can be complicated and time-consuming.
In order to achieve a particular goal, gathering information required can take a long time. In addition, in a formal and sometimes very rigid hierarchical structure, time, deadlines and efficiency are secondary to compare with detail, rigorous logic and perfection of form.
However, Spain is no longer the sleepy country it once was. Although the Spanish tardiness of time perception is not regarded as inexcusable, meetings often start on time especially in Barcelona and Madrid. Titles in Spain are very important. The highest ones such as vice president are normally reserved for very senior executive-level positions.
They should not be used as casually as they are in the America. Rewards and compliments are usually not given publicly in Spain (Going Global Career Guides. Spain, 2006). Boss and subordinate relations