Group F consist of Argentina, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Iran, and Nigeria. Argentina is a South American nation and archrival of the host nation, Brazil. Bosnia (for short) is a young European nation and Iran is the only middle-eastern country represented at the World Cup. Nigeria is located in Western Africa.
Argentinians are one of the most earnest South American nations. To call someone or something “not serious” is a harsh accusation. When you manage to amuse an Argentinian, you know you have made friends with them. Argentinian conversation typically can have a lot of criticism, especially about wardrobe and weight; it is not meant to be offensive. Argentinians tend to stand close when conversing, and it important to maintain eye contact. They consider themselves a very cultured nation and tend to look down upon others. This is especially true for inhabitants of the capital, Buenos Aires (porteños), who often see themselves as being more European than American. Argentina’s relationship to some of its neighbors has been strained. Avoid conversations about who has the better meat cooking traditions or whose soccer traditions are stronger.
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 realize 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. The low score of pragmatism shows that they have a normative culture and have a need to establish absolute truth. The high score of uncertainty avoidance shows similarity to many European and Western nations. They have a need for rules and structure in their lives.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia & Herzegowina is a rather young nation which emerged after the former Yugoslavia split up. The country sits at the heart of the Balkans and is an ethnic and religious hot spot with Muslims & Christians and Bosniaks, Croats, and Serbs managing a social balance. Like most of its former Yugoslavian (and formerly socialist) neighbors, Bosnians display a high degree of power distance and uncertainty avoidance, which means that people tend to accept a hierarchical order in which everybody has a place and which needs no further justification. Hierarchy in an organization is seen as reflecting inherent inequalities, centralization is popular, subordinates expect to be told what to do and the ideal boss is a benevolent autocrat. Countries exhibiting high uncertainty avoidance maintain rigid codes of belief and behavior and are intolerant of unorthodox behavior and ideas. In these cultures there is an emotional need for rules (even if the rules never seem to work) time is money, people have an inner urge to be busy and work hard, precision and punctuality are the norm, innovation may be resisted, security is an important element in individual motivation.
Bosnians are known as friendly and hospitable people. In the house of a Muslim person, it is expected to take off your shoes and put on slippers. Three kisses on alternating cheeks is a typical greeting. Guests are expected to bring a small gift, and hosts are expected to serve refreshments.
Iran is a majority Islamic nation with 89% Shi’a and 9% Sunni; this affects the country’s culture significantly. The weekend in Iran is Thursday and Friday because of religious days, which is important to understand for business relations. During the holy month, Ramadan, expatriates are expected to not eat, drink, smoke, or chew gum in public. Businesses usually operate on reduced schedules during this time, and everything moves more slowly. It is important to understand the feud between the Shi’a and Sunni and to not bring up this topic. It is important to be overly polite in Iranian culture. If offered a refreshment, turn down the offer until the insistence becomes greater. When arriving at a host’s house, if the host is not wearing shoes, remove yours. It is greatly important to build relationships with business partners.
Iran’s very low pragmatism score of 14 indicates that it has a strongly normative cultural orientation. 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.
Nigeria is considered a super power of Africa, a common phrase showing this is, “When Nigeria sneezes, and the rest of Africa catches a cold”. When meeting a Nigerian, it is important to be sincere and pleased to meet them. Often a hand will be placed on the others shoulder while shaking hands and a smile is common. Nigeria is a religiously balanced nation with 50% Muslim, 40% Christian, and 10% indigenous; this is important to understand in business relations. Always wait for a woman to extend her hand first when shaking hands.
Nigeria has many interesting aspects to their culture. They have a high score for indulgence and power distance, and low scores for individualism and pragmatism. The high level of power distance shows that Nigerians accept hierarchy in society. Employees respect bosses more, and elders are greatly respected. Nigeria has a high score for pragmatism also, this shows that they are a normative society who focus on absolute truth, quick results, and have a lot of respect for traditions. With a very high score of 84, Nigerian culture is said to be one of indulgence. People in societies classified by a high score in indulgence generally exhibit a willingness to realize 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.
To learn more about the other 28 cultures represented at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, go back to the main article on this topic.