In the context of the globalization process and increasing economic inter-reliance between different nations in the world currently, national culture is becoming growingly significant. In this paper, the South American country of Brazil is selected and classified in terms of the commonly-utilized dimensions for describing national culture. In addition, the paper discusses how the French multinational retail chain Carrefour has adapted in Brazil, and whether or not it was successful.
Brazil’s National Culture using Geert Hofstede Dimensions
The Uncertainty Avoidance dimension focuses on how a given society handles the fact that the future can, in fact, never be known. Brazil’s Uncertainty Avoidance score is 76, meaning there a strong need for elaborate legal systems and rules in this society so as to structure life. In such a society, rules, laws and bureaucracy are vital in making the world a safer place (Geert Hofstede 2017). Regarding the Masculinity versus Femininity dimension, a low score/feminine implies that the dominant values within the society in Brazil include caring for other people as well as life quality. Conversely, a high score/masculine basically denotes that the Brazilian society is driven by attainment, success as well as competition. Brazil’s score is 49, which is an intermediate score (Geert Hofstede 2017).
The Power Distance dimension basically deals with the fact that not everyone in the society is equal (Chan Yie & Botelho 2010, p. 261). It expresses the culture’s attitude toward these inequalities among people. Brazil’s Power Distance score is 69, which means that the Brazilian society believes that inequalities among people are tolerable and hierarchy has to be respected (Geert Hofstede 2017). The Individualism versus Collectivism dimension addresses the level of interdependence that a given society maintains amongst its members (Geert Hofstede 2017). The score for Brazil in this dimension is 38, meaning that Brazilians are integrated into cohesive and strong groups, particularly represented by extended families comprising cousins, grandparents, aunts and uncles (Geert Hofstede 2017).
How Carrefour Adapts in Brazil
Carrefour began to operate in the Brazilian market in the year 1975 (John 2011, p. 14). From an international viewpoint, this retail chain defines itself as multicultural. Carrefour is able to adapt to local markets. The retailer seeks to be Brazilian in Brazil and adapts locally in terms of culture, promotion, assortment, as well as employees (Kalibrate 2013, p. 7). It has fully adapted to the local culture in Brazil such that it is not seen as a foreign multinational firm. In Brazil, Carrefour moved gradually away from exclusively using expatriate managers from France to hiring local retail managers from Brazil (Kostov 2016, p. 6). Carrefour also offers merchandise which are predominantly sourced from across Brazil in order to meet customer expectations. It has an extensive range of local Brazilian products in all of its retail stores in Brazil (Moreau 2009, p. 45).
Carrefour Successful in Brazil
Carrefour has been very successful in Brazil thanks to adapting to the local culture of Brazil. The company’s success in Brazil is demonstrated in the fact that Brazil is Carrefour’s largest market outside of Europe. It enjoys a significant market share of 20% and has about 230 retail stores in Brazil (John 2011, p. 14). This makes Carrefour the second biggest supermarket chain in the entire Brazil, just behind Companhia Brasileira de Distrubui??o and ahead of third-placed Wal-Mart. It is also the leading food retailer in the country (Kalibrate 2013, p. 7).
In conclusion, according to Geert Hofstede cultural dimensions, the national culture of Brazil has a score of 76 on the Uncertainty Avoidance dimension, 49 on the Masculinity versus Femininity dimension, 69 regarding Power Distance dimension, and 38 on Individualism versus Collectivism dimension. Carrefour has effectively adapted in Brazil by sourcing its products predominantly from Brazil, and employing local Brazilian managers in its stores. It has also adapted the promotion of its products in Brazil. The company is successful in Brazil as it controls 20% market share and is the number one food retailer in this nation.
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