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HAITI 101

Guidelines LIVE, WORK, ACT AND DO BUSINESS IN CONTEXT INVOLVING HAITIAN CONSTITUENCIES .
EMMANUEL JEAN-MARY

DECEMBER 2012

LIVE, WORK, ACT AND DO BUSINESS IN CONTEXT INVOLVING HAITIAN CONSTITUENCIES.

AUTHORS BIOGRAPHY Emmanuel Jean-Mary was born and raised in Haiti. He has earned an undergraduate degree in Business Management and graduate studies in International Business and International Management. He has worked in banking industry, development program, microfinance, health care management. He has lived in the USA and Canada from 2000 to2006.

HAITI 101, By Emmanuel Jean-Mary, December 2012

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LIVE, WORK, ACT AND DO BUSINESS IN CONTEXT INVOLVING HAITIAN CONSTITUENCIES.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

PART ONE INTRODUCTION .....Page 4 FRAMEWORK....Page 5

PART TWO GUIDELINES..Page 7 SPECIFIC RECOMMENDATIONS.Page 11 REFERENCE..Page 13

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LIVE, WORK, ACT AND DO BUSINESS IN CONTEXT INVOLVING HAITIAN CONSTITUENCIES.

HAITI 101 CROSS CULTURAL MANAGEMENT

PART ONE: INTRODUCTION:

The globalization era has increased tremendously interactions between people from different countries and culture in many situations: international or multinational workplace environment, immigrant minority relationships, international business situations and international trade activities, international affairs. To be successful in achieving some tasks and duties in such multicultural environment, causing clashes of cultures, there is a need to predict behavior or interactions from the relationships. Authors have used comparative analysis as an effective tool for this purpose. This paper intends to provide useful guidelines for people interacting in multicultural context that involved Haitians or native from Haiti.

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LIVE, WORK, ACT AND DO BUSINESS IN CONTEXT INVOLVING HAITIAN CONSTITUENCIES.

FRAMEWORK: For the purpose of these guidelines we use comparative analysis in the light of models developed by Geert Hosftede (1980), Peter A. Hall (1976), Romie F. Littrell (2002), Robert J. House (2004), Mark F. Petersen (2004), Fons Trompenaars (1993). From different models devised by these authors we will track the following aspects to perform analysis: a. High context and low-context culture (whether direct and formal communication or not) b. Power distance (the amount of hierarchy layers). c. Uncertainty Avoidance (tolerance to uncertainty). d. Masculinity vs Feminity (differentiation in sex roles). e. Long-term orientation vs short term orientation (link to Confucianism approach). f. Individualism vs Collectivism. (dependence on the group to achieve life goals) g. Universalism vs Particularism (tendency to justify each decision separately). h. Neutral vs Affective (whether feelings are controlled or appear). i. Specific vs Diffuse (whether diverse sides of relationships are connected or not). j. Status (criteria that define status: achievements or social factors).

k. Time (perception and usage of the time). l. Nature (tendency to control or harmonize with). m. Gender Egalitarianism n. Assertiveness o. Future orientation
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LIVE, WORK, ACT AND DO BUSINESS IN CONTEXT INVOLVING HAITIAN CONSTITUENCIES.

p. Performance orientation q. Human orientation From the models implication above we get to the conclusion that Haitian culture shows in general the following tendencies: high power distance, uncertainty avoidance, masculinity, short-term orientation, collectivism, ascribed status, synchronic pertaining to time, nostalgia, high- context and affective. It is relevant to mention the Huntingtons work on grouping national cultures based on their similarities. The author believes the world can be grouped in the following major civilizations: Japanese, Hindu, Islamic, Western, Confucian civilization (Orthodox and Buddhist), Latin American, African. Fundamentally from African ascendant, Haiti national culture may contain also some facets from Western and LatinAmerican civilizations and results from Haiti own experience. Haiti was ruled by French dominance until 1804 and previously controlled by Spanish Monarchy before 17th century. Colonization and segregation system, carrying black slaves from Africa, have produced culturally two major types of people: the Creole and the Bossale. Creole people who were born in the island have experienced more western assimilation whereas Bossale, who were born in Africa and carried to the island, show pure African culture. Creole people were mostly house or domestic slaves and free mixed people and they become after Haiti independence the main residents in Haiti urban areas and some part of elite core. Bossale were exclusively field slaves and black and they become after Haiti independence the main source of rural areas population and majority of the overall population. In the late 19th century, trade activities with Western and Northern Europe have encouraged migration movement in Haiti by Sweden, German, Italian, Danish business people who settled and integrated the economic elite. In the mid 20th century, a new migration movement from the Middle-East has brought a new component in the contemporary business elite: Lebanese and Syrian people.

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PART TWO: GUIDELINES: From theoretical considerations above we recommend the following guidelines for people interacting with Haitian constituencies in various situations:

1. Authoritarian style: Managers and executives are expected to be powerful or to show strong authority to be heard. Also one can expect that subordinate employees tend to be very submissive. Commands are important in organizations for achieving crucial tasks, ensure effectiveness and discipline. Sometimes Haitian in a situation of power like admiration and flattery; and reciprocally sometimes people in their environment like to call them my boss, my chief in order to please them. 2. Uncertainty avoidance: People tend to endure bad situations, perform tolerance toward difficulties instead of taking risk by standing up or taking a stand in order to avoid losing benefit or to keep economic advantage, job security or social status. For example: people dont quit job usually whatever happen at workplace, they would prefer to wait for the worse until they get fired. Also married couple prefers to endure turmoil instead of going to divorce. 3. Reliance on the group: People rely on the group member, family, relatives or community to achieve personal success in life, social obligation or for making a living or get out of difficulties. In this way dependent attitude is developed. It is a common story among Haitian who were raised or feed or supported or sponsored in immigration by aunt, uncle, godmother and godfather. Or people tend to hope for a Good Samaritan or a leader to save them or make the miracle from desperate living conditions. 4. Protection for the group: people tend to hide or avoid conflict in the group by submitting or accepting the decision from hierarchy. To save face or to avoid shame for the group people tend to hide trouble, frustration, unethical behavior and even crime. Example: sexual assault on young girls by family members or relatives or family violence in a couple are usually hidden or ended without pressing charges. In Haiti history, the truth about the assassination of the first Emperor and one of the founders of the nation, Jean-Jacques Dessalines, has never been uncovered because the plot comes from close teammates.
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5. Implicit language or non-verbal communication : a. People don t like to say the whole truth or to give detailed explanation when it comes to story report, job tasks or proceedings, rules, family history, history. Sometimes something is hidden that the listener needs to feel, deduce or understand by himself. The listener needs to foresee or consider the unspoken things in making decision upon the available information. In workplace environment, supervisors may expect that subordinate employees will do their best to understand job tasks or proceedings by follow colleagues. Some people in Haiti may have officially Christian faith while behind they may call for the help from Voodoo works. b. In situation of agreement people tend to say Yes or to make a promise just to please or appear nice, but in fact they think No or they would say No. You will realize that later when they will not respect their word. You need to use your judgment and intuition to see when it is a true or a sincere positive answer or an attempt to fool. Or it is better to rely on facts rather than on words when you are not familiar with people or to be careful of sweet talkers. This aspect is very relevant and useful particularly in business negotiations, political meeting or agreement. 6. Time: a. People tend to be tardy pertaining to the time and naturally show up behind schedule. Therefore when you send invitation or plan meeting it is better to set the official or announced time in advance to the true starting time to avoid disappointment or misunderstanding. Expect half hour delay at least. b. People are synchronic by performing many tasks at once: cooking, looking after child or welcoming guess; talking on the phone and performing housekeeping jobs. 7. Short-term orientation: Decisions are usually motivated by the search of immediate need satisfaction, in a short-term perspective. There more concern for current or upcoming issues and underestimation for future consequences: problems are resolved when they come up but there is no anticipation and prevention. There is a tendency to go for solutions or options that provide quick returns. Basically there is no consideration for win-win solutions or relations in a Confucianism philosophy but relationships in general tend to generate a winner and a looser or
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the smart and the fool. Example: nowadays more people with low income or from middle-class tend to manage their living from day to day (food, rent, health and education expenses etc..). Haitian firms remain small and dont grow, because traditional Haitian businessmen dont like to invest in long term assets in equipment, expansion or modernization to gain economic of scale that guarantee lower selling prices, they prefer to have high unit costs in outdated equipment that provide high selling prices and therefore reach or target small percentage from the population or the demand; consequently Haitian consumers will pay the price. 8. Manners & Etiquette : Good appearance matters in Haiti. Dress to impress is important for Haitians like Afro-American. In general in all gathering, meeting, social events, it is recommended to be impressive pertaining to dress, event organization, welcoming guest, food planning and so on. For some specific events such as funeral, wedding, formal dress is required: jacket, tie, shoes. Other gatherings like community events, church service, first communion, it is better to dress carefully. For church on Sunday, sneakers and jeans are not recommended and pants are expected to be inserted inside pants in French-style. For welcoming guest, food or dinners need to be carefully planned in a way to be impressive, beyond the ordinary way: Haitian guests like or usually expect to receive a VIP treatment and reciprocally hosts may compete to offer a lavish welcome. For example: people strive to afford expensive dress and jewelry for giving gifts or themselves in special occasions. On business etiquette, in addition to above recommendations, bringing gifts and making praise can be important assets in negotiations.

9. Affectivity : Decisions are usually supported mostly by emotional considerations and dont come from rational reasoning. Haitians is likely to decide and react on diverse situations under influence of their sensitivity to a person, event and issue. Example: Every time Transparency International ranks Haiti badly in a Corruption Index report, the population in general no matter their conviction or viewpoint tends to assume that the evaluation is specifically to criticize Haiti. Also, different leaders and pressure groups in Haiti have unreasonable expectations about foreign direct investment (FDI) and tourism in the country by
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underestimating or not taking into consideration country competitiveness that is determinant in FDI inflow.

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SPECIFIC RECOMMENDATIONS :

Human Resources Management (HRM) These recommendations should be considered in setting up HRM policies in Haiti. Social benefits are important: health insurance, family compensation. Merit-based compensation is not recommended for regular employees: the pay should not be linked to performance it may affect group harmony and cohesiveness by triggering jealously and hostility. Group-based compensation is more appropriate form above. To reward performance it is better to redistribute the benefit to the unit, branch and not to single employees. Seniority-based compensation is more acceptable by the fact it strengthens and protects social status. Compensation-strategy for rewarding for local managers can be effective when the goal is to encourage or support competiveness and aggressiveness. Job security and income security are important. People are concerned of uncertainty by the risk of losing benefits or social status. Pay and benefit should be tied to position particularly for local managers because of coherence and protection regarding social status as perceived in the society; because community environment may think that foreign firm managers and even local middle-managers are in comfortable economic situation. Therefore family, relatives, neighborhood, community members tend to rely on them for economic support. Some firms may opt to large differential pay between hierarchical positions but it is not always recommended.

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Other recommendations for business and workplace: Hiring: for recruitment, be careful when using capital social which may not be the best way in some situations to get qualified employees. People tend to recommend friends or relatives and not necessarily a qualified colleague as candidate. Informal systems and relationships are important in many areas of living: workplace, business activities and networks, social activities and project. For example: positions in government agencies are accessible only from political link or patronage. Credit line for import and export financing in banking industry in Haiti are more accessible through business clique. To obtain services from public agencies like important papers people rely on their social capital quality. In distant locations or rural areas in the country people count on informal relationships (friends or friends of friends) for health care, transportation, emergency situation, project implementation etc

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REFERENCE:

House et al ( 2006 ). Conceptualizing and measuring cultures and their consequences: a comparative review of GLOBES and Hofstedes approaches. Journal of International Business Studies (2006) 37, 897-914.doi: 10.1057/palgrave.jibs.8400234. (Accessed : 17 December 2012) Huntington, S.P.(1997 ). The clash of civilizations and the remaking of world order. New Delhi, India : Penguin Books. ITIM International (2009). Geert Hofstede Cultural Dimensions . Geert HofstedeITIM [Online]. Available at: http://www.geert-hofstede.com/hofstede.shtml.(Accessed: 19 August 2011) Jean-Mary, E.(2011). Negotiating successfully with Japanese in international business
context. University of Liverpool /Laureate Online . University of Liverpool [ Online].

Mead, R. & Andrews, T.G. (2009). International management. 4th ed. Chichester, England: John Wiley & Sons. Shenkar, O. & Luo, Y. (2007). International business. 2nd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

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