Panama is a country that prides itself on having strong family values and close connections with neighbors, colleagues, and friends. According to the GeertHofstede Cultural Dimensions study, Panama ranks the third lowest in the world in terms of individualism. The research shows that Panama is a highly collectivistic which explains their natural inclinationfor integrating the views of others into their own personal beliefs. Being a collectivistic society beings many implications, both societal and economical.
Collectivism Affecting Culture in PanamaPanamanians often focus on the needs and wants of the group that they are apart of, not their individual desires. Loyalty is their number one most valued characteristic and, with that said, familycomes before anything else. Along with loyalty Panamanian’s also value sharing and belonging. While in the United States we focus on the word “I”, Panamanian’s focus on “we”. This fact along qualifiesthe significant differences between individualistic and collectivistic cultures.
Collectivism and its Effects on Business
Advertising and Marketing
More importantly, collectivism has majorimplications in the business realm. When it comes to advertising and marketing, Panama is considered to have high context communication level. According to Edward Hall, in many instances, Panama’sadvertising focuses on expressions, symbols, and most importantly emotions. These aspects of advertising incorporate visualization which in turn reduces the need for direct language. The receiver of the messagecan thus acquire an understanding of the message without the use of language. The flow of information is automatic with little effort required to understand. Furthermore, increasingly more evidencehas shown that Panamanian’s respond better to advertisements that include endorsements and testimonials. Once again this example of collectivism, essentially “following the pack”, is brought into...