Corporate Communication in Guatemala
Corporate communication is an essential ingredient of success in every organization. Corporate communication determines what and how people view the organization internally and externally. In essence, corporate communication helps unveil the company to its stakeholders in a way that persuades them to continue to support the goals of the organization. Poor corporate communication can derail the growth and the development of an organization. As such, organizational leaders invest a great deal of resources to ensure that the company maintains the right image to its stakeholders. On the other hand, corporate communication policies of an organization reflect the societal values of the community in which the company exists. The cultural values of the society have a great influence on the various aspects of corporate communication in an organization (Goodman and peter 79).
The differences in culture explain the various mechanisms and tools that companies employ in enhancing the knowledge of the firm to its stakeholders. As such, organizations operating international businesses employ different tools of corporate communication depending on the society that the company serves. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to discuss the corporate communication rules in Guatemala. Additionally, the paper will detail how the corporate communication rules operate in the country as well as the various cultural values that determine business operations in the nation.
The Cultural Values
An interview with Ray Rogers who is a former manager of one of the Coca-Cola battling plants in Guatemala revealed the following as the main Corporate Communication Rules and cultural values of the Guatemala. To start with, Ray Rogers claimed tha the culture of Guatemala is characterized by high levels of collectivism and a high power distance. People in Guatemala value unity within the society and every member of the community bear the responsibility of the other peoples well being. Family is a highly respected institution in this community and people mostly live in extended families. The nature of lifestyle in Guatemala is rather different from the life in the United States where people value individualism. Family in the United States constitutes of the nuclear family hence the difference in the view of family between the two nations.
Furthermore, he revealed that the collectivity nature of life extends to the workplace where people mostly work in teams and groups. The cohesiveness of members within an organization in Guatemala is of great value and it is a determinant factor to the success of the firm. Loyalty is highly valued in the Guatemala community. People pledge allegiance to the teams or groups in which they belong. The collectivism nature of life requires people to have strong ties with the rest of the world, hence necessitating loyalty in both social and economic situations (Hubner 126).
On the other hand, Ray Rogers acknowleged that the people of Guatemala allow inequality in terms of wealth and power to exist within the society. The society appreciates the fact that people exist in different capacities and the influence that one has on the society depends on their status or class. As such, the division of power within organizations is vital to the people of Guatemala. The responsibilities of people within the organization differ according to their power positions within the firm. Democracy is rarely practiced in the work place or in the society due to the division of power and wealth. Additionally, the society also believes in absolute truth that cannot be challenged.
Ray Rogers also realized that the Guatemala people do not accept change easily because they believe in one truth. Therefore, international organizations with offices in Guatemala must find ways to fit in the society in one way or another. Companies that try to change the way of operating in the business realm end up in bankruptcy in Guatemala because people are loyal to their values and the stipulated ways of operations (Jaksic and Sladana 47). The business community has set rules and regulations to govern business transactions throughout the land. The purpose of the rules and the regulations is to prevent the occurrence of uncertainties and the unexpected.
Corporate Communication Rules in Guatemala
From the interview, Ray Rogers revealed that the aspects of the corporate communication in Guatemala are different from those in the United States. Ray Rogers pointed out that there are two main corporate communication rules that stand out in Guatemala. He categorized them as division of responsibility and restriction and confidentiality. Corporate communication is the means through which the organization communicates with its stakeholders. As such, the division of responsibilities within the organization determines who and how the information about the company reaches the concerned parties. Ray Rogers highlighted that responsibilities for internal and external communication differ in Guatemala and so does the message that the company presents to the stakeholders. Moreover, companies follow specific rules and regulations in communicating to both internal and external stakeholders to avoid chances of unplanned occurrences.
Ray Rogers also stipulated that the people of Guatemala do not have tolerance for uncertainties, therefore, communication within and without the organization are well planned to avoid such incidences (Mumby 63). Consequently, employee communication is also different in Guatemala. According to the Ray Rogers, the culture of collectivism gives people the chance to raise their views concerning certain things, employees within the organization do respect the chain of command in raising their views.
Corporate communication rules govern the restrictions and confidentialities within the organizations. In Guatemala, Ray Rogers reveled that managers have the ultimate authority to give orders. Leaders give clear guidelines to any certain operation because the people of Guatemala believe in planning to avoid uncertainties. Restrictions and confidentialities differ according to the communication facet and the target audience. However, he pointed out that management communication, marketing communication, and organization communications employ different restrictions and confidentiality. However, the lack of individualism in the society reduces the burden of confidentiality in corporate communication at different levels.
In fact, Ray Rogers put it very clear that the laws governing operations in the Guatemala society and at the business place are clearly stipulated. Therefore, privacy is not a necessity in business operations. He further claimed that the vital information concerning any business transaction is communicated openly without any confidentiality aspects to enhance the collective responsibility of the stakeholders. The community plays an ideal role in business operations (Mumby 71). Therefore, most organizations maintain constant communication with the society to enhance connectivity. Ray Rogers singled out differences in power to be the factor that determine the level of stakeholder involvement in day-to-day business operations. The wealthy and the powerful control what the rest of the world hears concerning the company. However, the Guatemala people value working together without unnecessary restrictions as it is in many other western nations.
How the Corporate Communication Rule Operates In Guatemala
In accordance with the Ray Rogers, corporate communication in Guatemala affects the internal and the external communication in a great way. Internal communication within organizations in Guatemala are more controlled and organized than it is with communication in the United States. The CEO’s have the responsibility of communicating to employees with the purpose of improving the knowledge of the company among employees. In Guatemala, people do not believe in working for something they do not fully understand. As such, the leaders of certain groups must ensure efficient communication with the employees to ensure that people are on the same page concerning the goals of the organization. During internal communication, the hierarchy of leadership must be honored because the culture of the land allows unequal distribution of power. Organizations have certain rules, regulations, and standards that govern the kind of information that leaders pass to the employees (Harris and Mark 90). In fact, failure to communicate effectively can adversely affect the productivity of the company.
From the interview, it was revealed that the people of Guatemala believe in an absolute truth and the failure of the leaders to adhere to the known truths hinders coordination at the work place. On the other hand, change is not positively received in organizations within Guatemala. Leaders must groom employees in advance to accept certain changes in the business operations. Additionally, internal communication in such organizations seeks to motivate, strengthen, and enhance employee loyalty within the organization rather than just offering information about the organization. Issues of masculinity and feminist do not affect internal communication in Guatemala because the society believes in unity and cohesiveness.
Ray Rogers identified external communication to be another important aspect of corporate communication. The capital markets and the media are key recipients of the external communication in Guatemala because of the many rules and regulations that govern business transactions in the nation. Organizations must follow the set standards, laws, and regulations in presenting the company information to the external stakeholders. Laws and regulations are meant to ensure that organization do not encounter unexpected risks in business operations.
Consequently, Ray Rogers stressed that in Guatemala, communication with the outside stakeholders are conducted in an honest and trustworthy way. The community in Guatemala believes in relationships that are founded on the truth; therefore, lack of honest communication can be detrimental to the organization. In times where the truth is too much to bear for the society or external communication, a silent period is exercised (Harris and Mark 52).
However, Ray Rogers cautioned that the silent moments should not interfere with the laws of open disclosure as stipulated in the corporate communication rules of the land. Organizations maintain a transparent relationship with the investors. An investors’ relationship committee is established to keep the investors informed of the company’s position, operations, and developments (Hubner 64). Additionally, constant communication with investors eliminates chances of risk occurrences because of information deficit. Employees must always consult with their immediate superiors before releasing any company’s information to an external investor for the safety of the company.
Restrictions and confidentiality is the third aspect of corporate communication that is highly valued in Guatemala as revealed during the interview. As stated earlier, the people of Guatemala value consistency and the rule of law. As such, communication within and without the organization is governed by certain regulation to ensure effectiveness of business operations. First, before any information is released to the stakeholders, the rules, regulations and the standards of both the company and the society must be followed. Additionally, communication in the organization must be based on trust.
Open communication is highly valued in Guatemala because of the collective nature of the society. To avoid risks and uncertainties, organization have certain rules that govern which kind of information should be released to the outside world and by whom (Hubner 163). Unlike in other places where employees have the authority to speak on behalf of the organization, in Guatemala only people mandated with that responsibility can speak on behalf of the company. Additionally, organizations value the privacy of their workers and releasing the whereabouts of an employee to an unauthorized person is prohibited.
Goodman, Michael B., and Peter B. Hirsch. Corporate communication: strategic adaptation for global practice. New York: Peter Lang, 2010. Print.
Harris, Thomas E., and Mark D. Nelson. Applied organizational communication theory and practice in a global environment. New York: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2008. Print.
Hubner, Hartmut. The Communicating Company Towards an Alternative Theory of Corporate Communication. Heidelberg: Physica-Verlag Heidelberg, 2007. Print.
Jaksic, Maja, and Sladana Rakočević. Innovative management & business performance [symposium proceedings. Belgrade: University of Belgrade, Faculty of Organizational Sciences, 2012. Print.
Mumby, Dennis K. Organizational communication: a critical approach. Thousand Oaks: SAGE, 2013. Print.