The Spanish believe if you are not a part of a group, neighbourhood, town or business organisation then you are not an integral part of society. This important aspect of the Spanish collectivist culture might restrict business activities and force the outsider and visitors to the country to bear down their outsider status by fitting into a group. However, regarding personal attributes, individualism is highly valued in Spain, along with an emphasis on character and social status. Therefore, personal qualities, appearance, image and
personal relationships are extremely substantial elements in modern Spanish culture. Also, personal attributes and character are frequently valued as highly as technical ability, experience or professional competence. While being rather collectivists in their private lives the Spanish show distinct individualism in business context. When doing business in Spain, you will discover that individualism is especially predominant in management, where Spanish managers are less inclined to prefer group decision making and team orientation, as sharing the burden of decision-making is seen as a sign of weakness.
Motivation is based on individual rather than collective relationships. The fact that only the individual in highest authority makes the final decision indicates that decision-making can become very slow and tedious, for many levels of management will have to be consulted in order to analyse the proposition. Therefore, it is crucial to maintain a good relationship with these intermediaries in order to succeed. Spain being a feministic society points to a low level of differentiation and discrimination between genders in Spanish society.
Machismo is the word for male dominance, and the culture of old men who created it has changed dramatically. Spain has become a very equalitarian society where women are present at universities and work. However, men yet hold the majority of positions within companies. The reason for that is that Spanish men still restrain to treat women as equals in society. Many women in Spain are career oriented and seek high positions in society. Their social and educational status often assigns the role they eventually play in business.
Despite the advancement women have made up to date, the change of women trying to achieve higher positions is progressing very slowly, due to the major barrier of it being the mentality of the females themselves. An example for changed/changing attitudes is Soledad Becerril who became not only the first mayoress in the early 90s but also a symbol for many women in Spain of how Spanish females have made progress in the last years. She was also the first woman to become minister in the government, in 1981. And that is very significant of how Spain has changed and how it continues to do so.
Furthermore, masculinity and femininity can be referred to the goals that are aimed for in professional life. Spain being a feministic society indicates issues of security of the job, good employer-employee relationship, pleasant cooperation with the colleagues and friendly work environment. Also, Spanish managers tend to pay more attention to consensus and apart from that, they like to rely on their intuition. HAMPDEN-TURNER & TROMPENAARS Spaniards tend to particularism rather than universalism. Therefore, at work Spanish seek gratification through personal relationships, especially with their superiors.
Charismatic leaders find it easy to put their personal stamp on every area in a business. Most of the time job descriptions in Spain have a different function compared to the job descriptions in other countries. In Spain they seldom serve for selecting an employee, but subsequently they will be tailor-made for the favoured candidate. Spanish culture tolerates even advocates the expression of emotions (affectivity), also in the business environment. The admiration and display of heated, vital and animated expressions are just as common as fluent and dramatic delivery of statements in Spain.
People from diffuse cultures carry their status everywhere; your boss remains your boss and will expect the same respect even if you meet him/her at the gym. Spain indicates to be a specific culture, where official relationships are carefully isolated from relationships of other nature. Using the previous example it means that you may show respect to your boss at the office but his status will not follow him outside the office, and he/she may well ask you for advice. This explains the Spanish being paradoxical in their decision making and in their relation to the community.
As a consequence of the fact that Spaniards separate work and personal matters, nobody would take work-related criticism personally. Another theory is that people from diffuse cultures prefer to circle around and establish a relationship before any deal is done; those from specific cultures would rather get straight to the point, focus on the deal first and the relationship will flow from that. This definition contradicts the Spanish being a specific society as they need long discussions prior getting down to business and want to know the person they do business with.
Therefore, networks are quite important. For Spanish, status is a thing that is given to them because of what they are (ascribed). It does not matter what you do but what or who you are. Ultimately, status and respect are conferred with the aid of family ties and connections. Concepts like bien educado (good education) and enchufado (good connections) distinguish this phenomenon. Achievement-oriented concepts like pay for performance cause for incomprehension in societies like Spain.
Fukuyama suggests Spain to be a low-trust society where workers are isolated by a series of bureaucratic rules. He describes Spain as a society with strong families and family businesses, a strong state and large foreign owned companies, where hierarchies are necessary in order to force those by distinct rules and measures, who do not act out ethical codes. Evidence of different leadership styles in Spain backs up this theory. A study on Leadership from a Spanish perspectivei?? drafted by Instituto de Empresa and Deloitte stated that 56% of Spanish Directors prefer a participative leadership style.
The report shows that future leaders have to act as coaches, and they must issue their subordinates with the skills and knowhow they need to work efficiently with their teams. However, participative leadership is not the norm among the Spanish directors. Therefore, there is a need for adapting the other styles and make them more participative which requires great commitment from the leaders. The styles least preferred by Spanish senior managers are those based on compulsion with little or no participation of employees and exception-based management where the director only steps in to sort out mistakes.
Leaders of relatively new businesses are better at leadership styles, which are based on objectives and development. Where different sectors are concerned, the report unveils how directors in the financial sector tend to use leadership styles that are more direct, transactional and less oriented to learning. While companies in the technology sector give more importance to coaching and vision. MONOCHRONIC vs. POLYCHRONIC Spaniards can be classed as polychronic where nothing seems solid or firm, and there are always changes right up to the very last minute or even in plans for the future.
Polychronic cultures are unconventional and flexible with time because it is not seen as a resource or as opportunity cost. Usually start times are flexible and schedules are unrushed. For example, it is not considered to be impolite to keep people waiting, as long as it does not exceed 30 minutes. Since time is also non-linear Spanish tend to manage several tasks at once, often in an unplanned sequence (e. g. salespeople in stores talk to several people at once rather than give only one customer their attention and taking people in turn; a meeting can be interrupted by a phone call; etc.).
Another significant cultural difference is the smaller radius of personal space in Spain. Spaniards are most likely not to appologise when bumping into each other or pushing their way through crowds, which can be a shock to visitors from foreign countries. In the business environment, when it comes to forecasting, plans are often based on assumptions, intuition and experience because every day is regarded as unpredictable. Spaniards in the business environment usually make decisions based on judgement, experience and political realities.
The supervisory style allows for the rules to be circumvented, whereas style and creativity are highly valued. Titles describe a persons status, which people take pride in, causing great motivation for competition in organisations. Additionally, personal feelings affect the performance. Spanish managers feel that the employees must be watched, thus giving them the total control where also mistakes can be blamed on other people. However, the supervision is based on trust and some power is still delegated. LEADERSHIP STYLE
Generally, the leadership style in Spain, in terms of concern for production and concern for people, demonstrates a high concern for people and little concern for production, whereby they try to avoid conflicts and concentrate on being liked, even at the expense of production. Managers in Spain are acquiring some qualities they look up to in other leaders. However, this contradicts with the theory stated above. Nevertheless, evidence suggest that Spanish leaders are still concerned about their leadership style. One of the conclusions of the first study on i??
Leadership from a Spanish perspectivei?? drafted by Instituto de Empresa and Deloitte indicated that 75% of Spains directors say that they regularly, or almost always use coaching, a personalised style that focuses on employee development. These leadership criteria are essential when it comes to competitiveness and organisations survival. 41% of directors stated that their preferred style of leadership is contingent reinforcement, which rewards subordinates for their achievements. 37% use the goal-oriented style, based on meeting challenges.
Analysing the relations between leaders and subordinates in Spain showed that only 46% of Spanish leaders have a good concept of their subordinates. These leaders tend to use coaching as their preferred style of leadership. 26% of survey participants, however, point out having a quite negative concept of their subordinates. These leaders show a clear inclination to use directive and transactional management styles. Finally, the results of the study show clearly that Spanish development-oriented leaders are also very concerned about developing and educating their subordinates.