viernes, 21 de mayo de 2010

Class´ comments

I found this space (blog) an innovative way that let us express our ideas and contrast them with those of our classmates. I had never had this kind of activity in any other class and I think it is a good way to evaluate the follow up.
Regarding the presentations and the final report, I think they are proper for the course, since they help with the accomplishment of the course´s goals
I just have one suggestion and it is regarding the midterm exam, I would have preferred it to be more concrete and focus on some determined topics.

jueves, 20 de mayo de 2010


Since I was a child, I have always heard about the chibcha ethnic. Because of those common comments, I imagined that it had been an important indigenous culture in our country. However, I didn´t know too much about them. Therefore, I decided to close this blog, presenting some important facts about this cultural group that, for my surprise, did not only habit in Colombia but in a vast zone which went from Nicaragua to Ecuador (including Venezuela). It means that this indigenous group was located in the middle of the two most important American indigenous ethnics, the Inca and the Maya. As a consequence of their location, the chibchas received a great influence from these two ethnics
Searching on the web, I found that the chibchas were not an homogenous group, in contrast, they had so many sub-classifications and there were innumerable conflicts and wars among them. The most important chibcha´s sub-ethnic in Colombia was the Muiscas, which were located mainly in Bogota, Antioquia, Popayan and Cartago.
As a general characteristic of the chibcha ethnic, it can be said that they were great gold workers. Nevertheless, as I mentioned before, they were an uneven cultural group and due to that reason it is pretty difficult to mention more general characteristics about them. The last fact, generated that the chibchas ethnics got different development levels, being the most advanced in Colombia, those whose location was Bogota (they were called moscas)
Regarding the religion, I found that this indigenous ethnic had a vague idea about a god and they adored natural phenomena as kind of gods, they had some heroes as well. About the life after death, the chibchas thought that it depended on the behavior that individuals had had in this world.
I wanted to present this topic in the Latin America module because of the importance that indigenous cultures had over this continent. Unfortunately, their legacy has been almost eliminated from our land. Despite the last fact, I invite you to think that indigenous cultures were not inferior cultures that were destined to despair because of their low development. Before the arrival of Europeans to America, those groups had already developed complex forms of social life (there is even some evidence that some indigenous cultures had created a kind of civil code to regulate the social life), religion, work and management.

Bibliography (n.d.). Los Chibchas de Nueva Granada. Retrieved May 20, 2010, from

miércoles, 12 de mayo de 2010

Classmates´ blogs

Having checked some of my classmates´ blogs, I consider that the best one is Daniel Botero´s blog ( As I wrote on his blog, he offers a rich background about the topics he is discussing and he makes clear statements.

Blogs visited:

viernes, 30 de abril de 2010

Is it enough to say sorry to the Stolen Generation?

First of all, I have to say that I consider the Australian aboriginal state policy a total mistake. The policy could have had a benevolent motivation: to insert aboriginals into the civil society in order to contribute to solve their marginality problem. However, the remedy resulted much worse than the disease and two great mistakes were made, from my point of view:
1. The aboriginal insertion to the white civilization should have been an option and not an obligation, as it actually was
2. The insertion should have been an option for the whole family and not just for children, because family disintegration provoked great pain.
Anyway, it is kind of absurd to talk about what could have been, but wasn´t.
I think that to say sorry is, by no means, enough to fix all the pain that state policy generated for aboriginal people. It is a good thing that the Australian government recognizes such a great mistake, but aboriginals need structural programs that help them to leave poverty or at least to live in a more proper condition.
Firstly, it is vital that the Australian government establishes different policies that aim to preserve aboriginals´ cultural expressions, since that culture was weakened during the stolen generation. The fact that aboriginals constitute a low develop society, doesn´t mean that their culture isn´t a valuable one.
The Australian nation has a great debt with aborigines and it has to offers them tangible and beneficial reparation measures
Aboriginals should be given the option to migrate to the city, but after an educational process that teach them about the benefits that it would represent for them. That option should be available for all members of the family, in order to avoid family separation.
For those who don´t want to move from their isolated territories, the government should provide them with not only basic needs covering staff, such as food and clothes; but also with structural long-terms policies, that allowed aboriginals to change their sad fate. Basically, the government should educate those people so that avoid social issues such as alcoholism, sexual abuse and violence; which are so common within aboriginal communities. Moreover, the government ought to create any labor source that absorbs those aborigines that can work, since that policy would represent several benefits: in the way that people find something to do, some social problems like alcoholism will decrease; they would feel productive and they would be able to earn some money that could help them to solve their problems. That labor sources could be related with agricultural activities

Appleton, J. (n.d.). Australia´s "stolen generation" and the extinction of aboriginality. Retrieved April 30, 2010, from Culture Wars:

jueves, 22 de abril de 2010

Best of blogs 2010 awards

After have checked some of the winners blogs of “the best of blogs 2010 awards”, I really liked the Spanish blog: La vuelta al mundo de Asun y Ricardo Nice blog for those who like to travel around the world

Trade Unions

Trade Unions have their inception during the industrial revolution, when labor negotiations were usually in favor of employers, who most of the times mistreated employees and pay them low wages. Nevertheless, since WWII there has been a tendency of European states to benefits their populations with a series of policies that look for their well-being. Those attempts from the European states have contributed to ease troubled relations between employers and employees. The last fact has driven to a situation where trade unions are starting to care about other more structural social problems (not just wage or labor hours bargaining) in Europe and they are having problems when recruiting new members. So many European countries are crossing through a period of “de-unionization” during the last 30 years. Among the causes of the last phenomenon we find: the de-industrialization, the growth of flexible employment and some changes in normative orientation from collectivism towards individualism (Towers & Terry)
In the Nordic countries and Belgium, though there has been some de-unionization process, trade unions still has a relevant role and as it is mentioned in (Towers & Terry), they played a fundamental role withstanding the socioeconomic changes and labor flexibility pressures of the 80´s and 90´s
In Italy and Germany, trade unions are still important as well, basically in institutionalized partnership relations. In Germany, for example, it is so common that managers consult some companies´ decisions with trade unions.
Finally, Portugal, Spain and France have low trade unions rates. What is paradoxical about the last situation is that labor journey in France, for example, is too short and there is a good labor environment for employees in general, despite the low trade unions rates.
To make a comparison between the role of trade unions in Europe and their role in Colombia is quite difficult because as it can be noticed from the last lines, there is not a single role for all European trade unions. However, in general terms we can say that trade unions in Colombia have a more troubled relations with employers (and the government) because they are not realists, and to fulfill their demands would mean destroy the local economy regarding the debate of the minimum wage, for example. It may sound so radical but I think that trade unions do not have a structural vision of the economy and they just look for their interests

• Piette, Jean-Jacques. 2004. “Understanding management German style”. Les Amis de L’ecole de Paris.
• Towers, B., & Terry, M. European Industrial Relations. Blackwell Publishing.
• Trade Unions across Europe. (n.d.). Retrieved April 22, 2010, from Federation of European employers:

domingo, 18 de abril de 2010

E-commerce and Islamism

As it is broadly known, Islamism is a so traditional religion which has a great influence in the politics of Islamic countries. From my personal point of view, Islamic principles have caused some clash between religion and the way the economy advances in modern times.
Undoubtedly, one of the phenomenons that have revolutionized the current global economy is e-commerce, an innovative way of make transactions that have made them cheaper and faster. Moreover, e-commerce has allowed the convergence of myriads of buyers and salespersons around the world in a virtual and instantaneous place.
When these two elements (Islamism and e-commerce) join, one may think that there will be a clash. The article “E-commerce from an Islamic perspective” discus until what extent that clash takes place.
According to the article, Islamism has clear and maybe harsh rules regarding negotiation processes. Actually, those rules proposed by Islamism are the same ones that almost all the societies in the world desire negotiators to fulfill, with the exception of usury, which is not well-regarded in Islamic countries contrary to what happened in the rest of the world, where usury is just as normal as ask for a sales commission. The fact is that Islamism is too rigid when trying to make people to respect bargaining principles and there is when some conflicts arise with e-commerce. For example, Islamism assigned a great importance to the proper recognition of both parties involved in a financial transaction and rejects some kind of marketing strategies that use confusing messages in order to get consumers to buy some products. Regarding the last two concepts, e-commerce may not fulfill Islamic rules.
The clearest challenge for e-commerce to penetrate Islamic nations is the fact that they do not accept usury. That has obliged companies offering products on the web to think about other ways of payment, without using credit cards since they use financial interests and it is not allowed in Islamic nations. One of those ways of payment is letter of credit, for instance.
As conclusion, I think that Islamic nations should either find the way to manipulate things (because use a letter of credit or a credit card is the same thing) in order to incorporate financial innovations within their economic activities while respecting their own rules, or open themselves to the new financial innovations of the world, otherwise they will be in a disadvantageous position since the rest of the world is benefiting from them

sábado, 20 de marzo de 2010

Colombian salesperson

Colombian salesperson
Having read the assigned Reading for last class (Leadership Behavior and Organizational Commitment: A Comparative Study of American and Indian Salespersons), I will make a description of Colombian salespeople, following the factors studied in that research.
First of all, it is important to say that even though Colombian culture tends to seem like a so cooperative culture because of our social practices, I think it is pretty evident that we are so individualistic when we are developing a labor task. But, I think Colombian salespeople are individualistic because they have problems following orders and not because they have better ideas (or at least the perception of having better ones) than those managers that planned corporate policies as it could be the case of the U.S, mentioned in the reading. Obviously, there can be exceptions.
I do not consider Colombian individualism as a good one because it doesn’t improve salesperson´s autonomy to make decisions, for example. It is so common to have a slow bargaining process with a salesperson just because he has to consult everything with his superiors.
To finish with this topic I think Colombian people have problems working together since it is so difficult to recognize someone´s leadership even if that person shows merits to be seen as a leader. I had the opportunity to live among the Latin community in the U.S and I was surprised by the fact that many factories over there preferred Colombian people when they were hiring new personnel, but on the other hand, I can say from my personal experience that inside factories, the most common conflicts were among our compatriots. The last example shows that we are great employees working alone but it is difficult for us to work together
Now, talking a little bit about affective commitment I think it is not so high in Colombian salespeople. They are not willingness to make great efforts to their companies if they are not remunerated and I don´t think corporate values are so important for them, maybe, they care about corporate goals but in a convenience way. I mean, they care about goals because achieving them is the only way to obtain economic benefits from the company. I think salespeople stay in a company while another one offers them a better salary or opportunities. But, I find this so reasonably. When talking about the labor market, we are just focusing on economic incentives, the better you feel you are remunerated, the better disposition you will have to strive yourself on behalf of the company
Finally, assess role ambiguity for the case of Colombian salespeople is very difficult because I think it has more to do with corporate policies than national culture. However, I think role conflict is so common in Colombian corporations given that salespeople normally have to deal with several labor demands coming from different superiors asking for different tasks


Agarwal, Sanjeev, Thomas E DeCarlo, Shyam B. Vyas, & Source:. 1999. Leadership Behavior and Organizational Commitment: A Comparative Study of American and Indian Salespersons. Journal of International Business Studies, 30(4): 727-43.

lunes, 8 de marzo de 2010

Managerial Styles Comparisson Chart

The goal of the following chart is to make a comparisson among Colombian, American and Korean Managerial Styles taking into account key concepts regarding Management Strategies

Lee, J., Roehl, T., & Choe, S. What makes Management Styles Similar and Distinctic Acroos Borders? Growth, Experience and Culture in Korean and Japanese Firms.

domingo, 28 de febrero de 2010

Best blog visited

I was checking some of my classmate´s blogs and it was really good to compare my personal ideas with theirs. In order to accomplish the blog activity of this week I want to say that from those blogs that I visited the best one is the Maria Camila Ojalvo´s blog ( As I just posted on her blog, I think she is pretty concise exposing her ideas and she really knows how to use didactic aid (images and videos), using them when it is necessary and not just putting a lot of visual information that may disturb readers. She goes to the point with strong arguments and in a pragmatic way

martes, 23 de febrero de 2010

Class Activity


1. Sinbad: He took advantage of a desperate girl and use a dirty trick to get his own pleasure
2. Abigail: She provoked all the problem with her lack of right criterion
3. Slug: He was so offensive and hit Gregory who anyway had not asked Abigail to cross the river at any price
4. Gregory: He lacked some compassion for Abigail and even if he didn´t love her, he should have done something else for her and not just rejected her
5. Ivan: He just did nothing

sábado, 13 de febrero de 2010

Are corporations by themselves the only cause of our problems?

With the following lines I try to analyze until what extent we can blame Corporations as the only actor that has been damageing the life quality of humanity. The ideas presented here were generated from the film “The Corporation” which makes a critique of the role that corporations play in our societies (Achbar, Abbott, & Bakan, 2004)
Specifically, a lot of people argue that corporations are kind of monsters which just care about generate profits for their stockholders and they do anything, from manipulate consumers, do not respect public assets and common rights to harm the environment, when they are implementing their methods to achieve their goals.
I don´t totally disagree with the last statement because it is so obvious that corporations, many times, commit abuses that go against people well being. I am not going to talk too much about this aspect because as I said before it is so easy to notice and almost everybody agrees with that point.
However, I want to see the other side of the coin. I think it is a total mistake if we just affirm that Corporations are the only ones responsible for the current world´s problems and we ignored the positive aspects that have helped to improve our lives.
There is a basic principle in economy which says that in order to be a supply, there must be a demand. So, those corporations that damage the maritime ecosystem in order to fish some animals are not doing that just because they want to, instead, because they have a great market to serve. Of course, I understand that the great majority of people are not asking to stop that industry but to regulate its functioning in order to damage the environment as little as possible, but anyway, myriads of consumers continue consuming products from the fish industry even when they know how it operates. Fortunately, it seems that consumers are getting more aware of the situation and they are starting to appreciate those companies that work under friendly-environmental guides.
Consumers are a restriction or a limit for corporations because they are indispensable for the last ones. The final goal of corporations is to generate profits, but they can, by no means, do so if they are not supported or accepted by consumers who are the ones that decide how profitable a company should be
I think it is time to recognize (as consumers) our liability in the way that our world is being managed and also be aware that consumers have great part of the solution in their hands for what I just said in the last paragraph, we are indispensable for corporations. Of course, it has to be a common effort and not just an effort of some part of the population, as it is right now, because in that way it is impossible to think that corporations are going to treat our UNIQUE world in a better way
It is said that corporations, through their advertising campaigns, manipulate consumers; it is time for consumers to manipulate corporations in order to stop the devastation of the Earth.
I invite you to don´t forget that it is thanks to corporations that there are cures for many diseases that killed millions of people in the world, it is thanks to corporations that millions of people can go to work so that feed their families, it is thanks to corporations that great part of the most wonderful world´s constructions have been carried out

Achbar, M., Abbott, J., & Bakan, J. (Directors). (2004). The Corporation [Motion Picture].

domingo, 7 de febrero de 2010

Relationship between National Identity and Corporate Culture

It is so important for International Negotiators to understand two fundamental concepts which play a vital role when any business is planed to be taken beyond national borders. They are National Identity and Corporate Culture.

As we saw in the last class, National Identity is the construction of a specific kind of culture through the regulatory and socializing institutions of the states. For example, law, education system and the media.

According to Gregory (2007), Corporate Culture describes the whole collection of assumptions, practices and norms that people in an organization adopt over time. That means that employees have to buy into them, eventually getting to the point where they take them for granted and pass them on to new hires.
Taking into account the last definitions, I consider that the Corporate Culture is limited by the National Identity.

The last statement can be analyzed from four points of view, in my opinion. They are the three institutions that were cited as examples above and the effect that they produce over the national population, which eventually will become the labor force that has to adopt the Corporate Culture. In other words, the National identity can be regarded as a framework and the Corporate Culture must adapt to it.

 Law: It is so obvious that any company, before establishing those practices and norms which are going to compound its Corporate Culture, has to be sure that they get along with the law. For example, a company which is established in Colombia can not determined as corporate practices the payment of some salaries under the legal minimum wage. Neither could a company hire people under contracts of “Prestación de Servicios” and force them to work under specific schedules because it is against the Colombian labor law.

 Education System: How workers are educated is an important fact to have in mind when managers want their workers to fulfill the company´s assumptions and practices because there may be a difference between what managers consider are important aspects and what workers think since the educational system of the country doesn´t teach the importance of those aspects, it will be so difficult for them to change their customs since personal behavior is mostly shaped during the student times. For example, Latin American people don´t consider punctuality to be so important and even though we see how vital it is for other developed cultures, we just don´t change that bad habit because we don´t learn the importance of punctuality from the educational system. Of course, the academic aspects also play an important role. It is easier to build a good corporate culture in a country with a high quality educational system because it gives workers a better understanding of how important companies are for their nation development and the policies that companies have to undertake in order to be more productive.

 Media: Nowadays media acts as a judge. A company has to take care when defining its Corporate Culture in order to make it compatible with what media considers correct. I mean, a company cannot risk its image creating a practice that the media may consider unethical. The problem with media, at least in Colombia, is that, in great part, it doesn´t have any moral pattern of behavior and they just care about get news and they may manipulate the content of a fact in order to make it popular. Therefore, companies may find limitations when creating corporate policies because of the role of media. Anyway, media is a necessary disease.

 Now, talking to the effect that the last institutions can produce over the population of a nation we can consider some examples. For instance, a country which is so close and not open minded, because institutions spur such sentiments, may be a hard place for a foreign company to establish because workers could be reluctant to adopt new ideas that come from a place different than their country. Another example could be the following. A country whose population feel so engage with the development of their nation may be a good place for a company to build a corporate culture based on productive elements

Millman, Gregory J. 2007. "Corporate Culture: more myth than reality?" The Free Library 23:44-47. Millman, Gregory J.

martes, 2 de febrero de 2010


• Culture is the group of lifestyles; beliefs (values), customs, knowledge and degree of artistic, scientific and industrial development of a community, country or region
(Vallejo & Zwerg, 2008)
• Culture is a collective programming of the mind that distinguishes the members of one group or category of people from another
(Texas A & M University)
• Culture is a shared, learned, symbolic system of values, beliefs and attitudes that shapes and influences perception and behavior
(Eastern Oregon University)


1. (n.d.). Retrieved February 2, 2010, from Eastern Oregon University:
2. (n.d.). Retrieved January 31, 2010, from Texas A & M University:
3. Vallejo, P., & Zwerg, A. M. (2008). International Business: The Pocket Guide. Medellín: Fondo Editorial Universidad Eafit.

jueves, 28 de enero de 2010