If we explore Argentina´s culture through the lens of the 6-D Model©, we can get a good overview of the deep drivers of Argentinean culture relative to other world cultures.
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 a score of 49 Argentina sits on the low end of PDI rankings of – and thus far from the much higher values that characterizes all other Latin American countries (leaving aside Costa Rica). The sources of Argentina´s low score on this dimension is rooted in the migration waves that reached the Rio de la Plata around the turn of the last century. Around 1900, approximately 6.5 M. European immigrants entered Argentina. At about that time over 30 % of its inhabitants (and every second in Buenos Aires) had been born abroad.
In this society status should be underlined. Appearance is very important: the (dark) attire or sober tailleur, the valuable watch, an expensive hotel, these elements allow inferring about power and facilitating the entrée.
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.
With a score of 46, also in this dimension Argentina sits in the middle rankings. As a consequence of the aforementioned migration waves and the early emergence of wide middle classes, Argentina is, by far, the most Individualist of all Latin countries. However, many collectivistic traits prevail: the opinion of and obligations towards the (extended) family or in-group, for example, still count. This notwithstanding, more modern, Individualist traits can also be found, particularly in the large urban conglomerates. There, the employer-employee link is rather calculative and there is a strict division between private and work life.
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 life.
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).
Argentina scores 56 on this dimension, reflecting the presence of slightly more Masculine than Feminine elements. Among the former it is important to note a strong achievement orientation and assertiveness, the Masculine behavior of female managers and politicians, and the equally strong ego needs. The need to excel and stand out has been noted by many experts. According to Carmo and Yanakiew, former Brazilian chancellor da Silveira admonished his young team members that during negotiations, you have to fear if there is only one Argentine. If there are two, the best practice is to be patient and relax. They are all so brilliant that one will destroy the other.
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 score on Uncertainty Avoidance.
At 86 Argentina scores very high on UAI – and so do the majority of Latin American countries that belonged to the Spanish kingdom. These societies show a strong need for rules and elaborate legal systems in order to structure life. The individual’s need to obey these laws, however, is weak. Corruption is widespread, the black market sizeable and, in general, you´ll see a deep split between the “pays réel” and the “pays légal”.
To compound the issue, in these societies, if rules cannot be kept, additional rules are dictated. According to recent Nobel Prize winner Vargas Llosa, “A logical consequence of such abundance is that each legal disposition has another that corrects, denies or mitigates it. That means, in other words, that those who are immersed in such a sea of juridical contradictions like transgressing the law, or that – perhaps even more demoralizing – within such a structure, any abuse or transgression may find a legal loophole that redeems or justifies it.”
Long Term Orientation
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. which 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.
Argentina, with a very low score of 20, is shown to have a very normative culture. People in such societies have a strong concern with establishing the absolute Truth; they are normative in their thinking. They exhibit great respect for traditions, a relatively small propensity to save for the future, and a focus on achieving quick results.
One challenge that confronts humanity, now and in the past, is the degree to which small 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.
Argentina’s high score of 62 in the dimension means that it is a country that falls under the category of Indulgence. People in societies classified by a high score in Indulgence generally exhibit a willingness to realise their impulses and desires with regard to enjoying life and having fun. They possess a positive attitude and have a tendency towards optimism. In addition, they place a higher degree of importance on leisure time, act as they please and spend money as they wish.