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What about Guatemala?

If we explore the culture of Guatemala through the lens of the 6-D Model, we can get a good overview of the deep drivers of its culture relative to other world cultures.

Power distance
This dimension deals with the fact that all individuals in societies are not equal – it expresses the attitude of the culture towards these inequalities amongst us. Power distance is defined as the extent to which the less powerful members of institutions and organisations within a country expect and accept that power is distributed unequally.

At 95 Guatemala sits in the highest rankings of PDI – i.e. a society that believes that inequalities amongst people are simply a fact of life. This inequality is accepted in all layers of society, so a union leader will have a lot of concentrated power compared to his union management team, and they in turn will have more power than other union members. A similar phenomenon will be observed among business leaders and among the highest positions in government. The leader typically holds a considerable amount of concentrated power.

Individualism
The fundamental issue addressed by this dimension is the degree of interdependence a society maintains among its members. It has to do with whether people´s self-image is defined in terms of “I” or “We”.In Individualist societies people are supposed to look after themselves and their direct family only. In Collectivist societies people belong to ‘in groups’ that take care of them in exchange for loyalty.

At a score of 6 Guatemala has the lowest individualistic score; in other words, it has the most collectivistic culture in the world. Since the Guatemalans are a highly collectivistic people, belonging to an in-group and aligning yourself with that group’s opinion is very important. Combined with the high scores in PDI, this means that groups often have their strong identities. Communication is indirect and the harmony of the group has to be maintained, open conflicts are avoided. The relationship has a moral base and this always has priority over task fulfillment. Time must be invested initially to establish a relationship of trust. Nepotism may be found more often. Feedback is always indirect, also in the business environment.

Masculinity / Femininity
A high score (masculine) on this dimension indicates that the society will be driven by competition, achievement and success, with success being defined by the winner / best in field – a value system that starts in school and continues throughout organisational behaviour.

A low score (feminine) on the dimension means that the dominant values in society are caring for others and quality of life. A feminine society is one where quality of life is the sign of success and standing out from the crowd is not admirable. The fundamental issue here is what motivates people, wanting to be the best (masculine) or liking what you do (feminine).

Guatemala scores 37 on this dimension. This means that the softer aspects of culture such as leveling with others, consensus, sympathy for the underdog are valued and encouraged. Conflicts are avoided in private and work life and consensus at the end is important. Leisure time is important for Guatemalans, it is the time when the whole family, clan and friends come together to enjoy life. Status is shown, but this comes more out of the high PDI.

Uncertainty avoidance   
The dimension Uncertainty Avoidance has to do with the way that a society deals with the fact that the future can never be known: should we try to control the future or just let it happen? This ambiguity brings with it anxiety and different cultures have learnt to deal with this anxiety in different ways.  The extent to which the members of a culture feel threatened by ambiguous or unknown situations and have created beliefs and institutions that try to avoid these is reflected in the UAI score.

At 99 Guatemala has a very high score on uncertainty avoidance. This means that as a nation they are seeking mechanisms to avoid ambiguity. In order to minimize anxiety, people make use of a lot of rituals. Emotions are openly expressed; there are (extensive) rules for everything and social conservatism enjoys quite a following. This is also reflected in religion, which is respected, followed by many and conservative. Rules are not necessarily followed, however: this depends on the in-group’s opinion, on whether the group feels the rules are applicable to their members and it depends, ultimately, on the decision of power holders, who make their own rules. In work terms this results in detailed planning that may not necessarily be followed in practice.

Pragmatism 

This dimension describes how every society has to maintain some links with its own past while dealing with the challenges of the present and future, and societies prioritise these two existential goals differently. Normative societies who score low on this dimension, for example, prefer to maintain time-honoured traditions and norms while viewing societal change with suspicion. Those with a culture which scores high, on the other hand, take a more pragmatic approach: they encourage thrift and efforts in modern education as a way to prepare for the future.

There is currently no score for Guatemala on this dimension.

Indulgence

One challenge that confronts humanity, now and in the past, is the degree to which little children are socialized. Without socialization we do not become “human”. This dimension is defined as the extent to which people try to control their desires and impulses, based on the way they were raised. Relatively weak control is called “indulgence” and relatively strong control is called “restraint”. Cultures can, therefore, be described as indulgent or restrained.

There is currently no score for Guatemala on this dimension.