Essay On Mining In Ecuador

5841 words - 24 pages

Table of ContentsBackground 2Land, People and Dominant Economic Activity 2Involvement and Activity with World Economic Organizations 3Effects of Globalization on the Country 4Industry's Legal, Economic, Labour Market Operations 4Culture and Communication 6Culture Orientation 6Cultural Dimensions 6Trompenaars' Seven Dimensions of Culture 6Prevailing Organizational Culture in Domestic Firms 7Communication Practices 8Cross Cultural Management 9Cultural Characteristics and Innovation 9Appropriate Leadership Styles 11Appropriate Motivation Techniques 12Cultural Characteristics and Ethics 13Key Challenges for Retention and Dissemination of Knowledge 14High Uncertainty Avoidance 15High Power Distance 15Low Individualism 16High Masculinity 16Competitive Forces 17The Bargaining Power of Suppliers 17The Threat of New Entrants 18The Intensity of Competitive Rivalry 18The Government 19Conclusion 19Endnotes 22Works Cited 22BackgroundLand, People and Dominant Economic ActivityEcuador is one of the smallest countries of South America. It lies on the West Coast of the continent between Colombia and Peru. The equator crosses Ecuador and gives the country its name. Ecuador is the Spanish word for equator. The mainland of Ecuador has three regions: (1) the Coastal Lowland, (2) the Andes Highland, and (3) the Eastern Lowland. The Galapagos Islands also belong to Ecuador. About half the people live in the valleys and on the plateaus of the Andes. Quito, the capital of Ecuador lies on an Andean plateau and was the first town found by the Spaniards in South America in 1534. Spanish is the official language, and more than 90% of the population belongs to the Roman Catholic Church. The Ecuadorian government requires all children from 6 to 14 years old to go to school.Ecuador's economy is mainly based on mining, agriculture, and fishing. About a third of the labour force is involved in agriculture. Grain and livestock are the principal activities. The development and exporting of oil have played a dominant role in the country's economy since the early 1970's. The discovery of petroleum made a massive increase in the country's national income, which has accounted for 40% of the country's export income and one-fourth of central government budget revenues in recent years. As a result, fluctuations in world market prices can have a substantial domestic impact. Ecuador became the third largest oil distributor in Latin America. In the late 1990s, Ecuador experienced its worst economic tragedy, with natural disasters and a sharp decline in world petroleum prices, this drove Ecuador's economy downturn 1999. Real GDP contracted by more than 6%, with shortage worsening significantly. The banking system also collapsed, and the currency decreased in value by 70% that same year. On the edge of hyperinflation, the government at the time announced it would dollarize the currency.''In March 2000, Ecuador's government accepted the adoption of the US dollar as legal tender. Dollarization stabilized the economy, and growth returned to its pre-crisis levels in the years that followed.''Between January 2003 and April 2005, Ecuador benefited from higher world petroleum prices. To date, Ecuador remains highly vulnerable to petroleum price swings and financial crisis. Other important export industries include bananas and cut flowers.Involvement and Activity with World Economic OrganizationsEcuador has been a Member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) since January 21st, 1996. Ecuador took part in the post Uruguay Round negotiations on telecommunications and financial services. ''Ecuador's commitments in those two spheres were annexed to the Fourth and Fifth Protocols to the General Agreement on Trade in Services.'' However, some non-tariff barriers still exist, such as non-automatic import licensing, lengthy customs procedures, and the use of reference prices.Ecuador has participated in 11 disputes before the WTO Dispute Settlement Body, including six as a third party. As a complaining party, it has participated in two disputes, both concerning the regime applied by certain countries for the importation of bananas (Refer to Appendix A).Effects of Globalization on the CountryAfter joining the WTO and opening its market, trade between Ecuador and the European Union (EU) in 2004, was worth 1,229 Million while EU exports to Ecuador were valued at 718 Million. The EU is Ecuador's second trading partner after the United States.In 2004, Ecuador imported approximately US $7.56 billion of services and goods from the United States and the United States (US) purchased approximately US $4.20 billion of Ecuadorian exports. The United States is the primary market for Ecuadorian exports as well as Ecuador's largest supplier of imports. Ecuador, along with Peru, Colombia, and Bolivia, are the United States' favoured trading partners, and are currently the 50th largest export market for US goods. Ecuador also belongs to the Andean Community consisting of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela. Ecuador has been highly benefiting from rising oil prices in recent years. In 2005, the country's crude oil exports to the United States grew by 48.9 % to $4.2 billion. Crude oil accounted for 73.3 % of Ecuador's total exports to the United States. Other key exports like fruit and fish posted increases as well, while cut flowers declined. With oil prices expected to remain high, this translates to continuous benefits for Ecuador. Ecuador's foreign direct investment has been increasing. Excluding the oil sector, foreign direct investments totalled $83.76 million between January and April 2003, up 237 % from $24.84 million registered in the same period in the prior year. Of the $83.76 million the mining industry received $2.36 million.Industry's Legal, Economic, Labour Market OperationsThe mining industry represents 1% of GDP and less than 1% of exports. Mining began playing a small role in the economy in the 1980's, contributing only 0.7 % to the GDP in 1986, and employing about 7,000 persons. Inaccessibility of the regions where minerals were located, coupled with the incomplete exploration of resources hampered mining activities. Although observers believed Ecuador had reserves of gold, silver, copper, zinc, uranium, lead, sulphur, kaolin, and limestone, which have dominated the industry. With its growing importance, in 1985 the government passed a new law to encourage foreign exploration and investment in the mining industry. Designed to simplify industry regulation, this legislation also offered higher financial incentives for investors and lowered overall taxation. Furthermore, the Ecuadorian Institute of Minerals (Instituto Ecuatoriano de Minería--Inemin) was established under the Ministry of Energy and Mines.Effective compensation for expropriation is provided under Ecuadorian law, but is often difficult to obtain. The extent to which foreign and domestic investors receive prompt, adequate, and effective compensation for expropriations vary widely. It can be difficult to enforce property and concession rights, particularly in the mining sectors. Foreign companies often have difficulty resolving contract issues with state or local partners.''The transparency and stability of the country's investment regime are significantly weakened by the existence of numerous investment related laws, which overlap or appear to have mutually inconsistent provisions.''This judicial complexity increases the risks and costs of doing business in Ecuador. Despite it all, US foreign direct investment (FDI) in Ecuador also increased in 2003 at $1.4 billion, up from $1.28 billion in 2002. US FDI in Ecuador is concentrated largely in the mining sector.Culture and CommunicationCulture OrientationThe Ecuadorians are a hard working society with strong religious ties. Religion governs what is right and wrong, laying the path of truth before them. This culture remains strongly devoted to family and friendships. The country prides itself on its highly intelligent people with a literacy rate of 92.5%. Ecuador stands firmly behind its environmental act, and has a strong social responsibility to preserving their natural resources.Cultural DimensionsAccording to Hofstede's cultural dimensions, Ecuador has similar dimensions to other Latin American countries (Refer to Appendix D: Exhibit 1). Ecuador's most influential factor is its high power distance, with a score of 78 (Appendix D: Exhibit 2). The cultural heritage has allowed the society to accept a high level of inequality of wealth and power. The country also scored highly on Uncertainty Avoidance, and Hofstede clearly explains the reasons behind the country's aversion. (Refer to Appendix B)In Ecuador, loyalty overpowers most societal rules, putting forth a more collectivistic society than other individualistic Latin American countries. This culture attributes high importance to relationships, and members of society take responsibility for others, and help fellow group members.Trompenaars' Seven Dimensions of CulturePolitical and economical changes within the country have forced Ecuador into a period of transition. Throughout this transition, the society demonstrates both sides of a dimension. However, this analysis will pick one side, and it is thus important to keep in mind that in most cases, examples of both sides of a dimension are present. Ecuador is moving towards a market oriented society which naturally values individualistic and achievement based dimensions. This trend has contributed to the beginning of changes in Ecuador's cultural emphasis. Ecuador's collectivist society is a major dimension, however individualistic characteristics are increasingly visible as the country becomes market oriented. Another example where it is possible for a dimension to have characteristics from both sides is the Achievement vs. Ascription. Since Ecuador has a high power distance, ascription characteristics are present. Although Ecuadorians respect seniority and management, their emphasis on education is based on an achievement characteristic. (For Trompenaars' Full Analysis Refer to Appendix C)Prevailing Organizational Culture in Domestic FirmsTrust is of utmost importance to Ecuadorians. As a culture, they do not conduct business with an individual unless the person proves to be trustworthy. Ecuador is a country where society influences all aspects of life. Unfortunately, Ecuador is still considered a man's world. Women just recently began to enter the workforce, though few have managed to gain positions of power. Men have not yet adjusted to the idea of taking orders from women.In Ecuador, there are two dominant yet distinct forms of organizational culture, which depend on the region. The coastal region has adopted a 'laissez-faire' style of business which is relaxed, informal and loud, where jokes and enjoying life are a priority. Conversely, in the urban areas, business is conduced in the exact opposite way, thus in a serious, calm, and rational manner.Nonetheless, few key points are crucial in any business environment. These include a strong group orientation over an individual one. The society also carries a strong belief that education opens the door to success in a person's career. Finally, titles are highly regarded in Ecuador, due to the Spanish language being hierarchical in structure.Communication PracticesEcuado rians use speech in an indirect way and enjoy non business topics. Good topics of conversation include family, history, and culture but bad topics include anything in relation to politics. Foreigners should refrain from conversing about politics. Some non-verbal aspects of the culture include: handshakes upon arrival and departure, men embrace friends and women kiss friends. "Ecuadorians exhibit a high level of nonverbal communication when talking with superiors and elders." Ecuadorians stand much closer together during a conversation than typical North Americans. Kinesics should be kept to a minimum while in the presence of Ecuadorians. They get annoyed with nervous, repetitive movements, such as knee jiggling and toe tapping. Yawning is also considered a rude gesture when in public. The formality of dress increases the further inland business is conducted. When conducting business inland, dress should be conservative, men with dark suits and women in suits or conservative dresses. The most important category of non-verbal communications for expatriates to understand is the category of time. Business meetings should never be scheduled in the morning. Ecuadorians are not morning people and can often be hours late for a meeting without reason. Time is regarded more as a guideline than as a schedule.The most profound obstacle is tied to values, such as materialism and religion. The vast majority of Ecuadorians are catholic and culture dictates societal rules and regulations. It is imperative for expatriates to understand and take these values into consideration.Two theories that best represent how to overcome the challenges Canadian expatriates experience include the Sociological Theory of Convergence and the Psychological Theory of Uncertainty Reduction. Applying the Convergence Theory helps expatriates become a part of the everyday business life of the locals. Working and communicating on a daily basis will help the expatriates openly discuss and share ideas which contribute to the creation of one united entity. In becoming one entity, the company and the locals begin to function as one fluid business that understands one another and strives to attain the same objectives. The psychological Uncertainty Reduction Theory is used by expatriates to reduce tension in the subsidiary. This theory is intended for conscientious companies to understand that Ecuadorians have high uncertainty avoidance, and thus work to reduce the fear of transition. For example, the company Corriente has hired construction made it a mission for company members to learn Spanish to ease the transition of new incoming management practices to help locals feel more at ease. The company also established clear and detailed guidelines in order to avoid any uncertainty when handling any given situation. The company seemed to have an excellent understanding and knowledge of the culture, as well as a mutual respect for the environment which was appreciated by the locals. In short, a little effort does not go unnoticed.Cross Cultural ManagementCultural Characteristics and InnovationEcuador is traditionally an agrarian culture, whose main exports include cacao and bananas. In 1972, oil developments started and in 2002 mining laws were significantly changed in order to encourage mining developments in Ecuador. These changes have provided incentives for foreign companies to invest in Ecuador. However, given newly established industries are resource based, therefore using already developed technologies, Ecuador is not a prime area for innovation.The country's political instability has also deterred innovative companies to enter Ecuador. Cultural characteristics have further contributed to Ecuador's underdeveloped innovative market. Since Ecuador's people have a high uncertainty avoidance, they are risk adverse and therefore do not easily accept change. These factors have naturally contributed to Ecuador being less innovative in comparison to other countries, such as Canada, and the United States.According to Trompenaars dimensions, Ecuadorians feel that they cannot control nature's laws and forces, outer directed, therefore the belief that one cannot influence the world has naturally caused the country to lack innovation. Although inner directed values have begun to show up in Ecuador, it has not been enough to drive innovation, due to its traditional outer directed values. Another factor contributing to a low level of innovation is due in part to Ecuador's lack of substantial foreign investment. As a developing country, much of the financing needed for research and development would likely be produced by foreign companies. Foreign companies establishing themselves in Ecuador, have traditionally invested in resources based industries and technologies, which consequently translates to little investment toward innovative industries.According to Hofstede, highly innovative societies tend to be highly individualistic and have low power distance. Ecuador portrays the opposite, therefore supporting the reason as to why Ecuador is low on innovation.Finally, Ecuador is a culture that stresses rules. This rule based society is likely a result of high uncertainty avoidance, and risk adverse characteristics. Strict rules tend to hinder the ability for innovation to take place. An environment fostering freedom and high tolerance of new ideas is needed to promote innovation. Ecuador is lacking the required tolerance for change and freedom, which is another reason why Ecuador has lacked innovation.Appropriate Leadership StylesFor a company to be successful in Ecuador, it is best to implement an authoritative and implementer management style. Ecuador has a high power distance, it is therefore important for the Canadian company to set up a management hierarchy, avoid a flat structure, and use titles. Jobs need to have clear objectives, and managers should not delegate tasks to employees by expecting them to take initiative to get the job done. Management must be assertive and can integrate decisions and analysis on behalf of its employees. For Canadian mining companies in Ecuador, understanding these characteristics is especially important. Mining is a very dangerous task, which requires strict rules to be followed and consequently, managers need to assign specific jobs and tasks. An organization operating in Ecuador should possess a 'tall' structure, thus with many levels of management because employees expect to be told what do, and furthermore, conducts need to be regulated. These features are effective in a high power distance culture and a culture that avoids uncertainty.Corriente has been effective in operating in Ecuador partly because it established a clearly and concise booklet of conduct employed by all managers and employees at the organization. On the contrary, Ascendant does not have a clear handbook outlining methods of conduct that can be found. (For a copy of Corriente's Code of Conduct: Refer to Appendix F). Canadian subsidiaries should also work to create a family atmosphere in Ecuador. Ecuadorians' collectivist and particularistic dimensions, indicate their value for their family and for close relationships. By attributing importance to Ecuadorian's values, managers should be able to create loyalty and synergies among staff members.Appropriate Motivation TechniquesWhen attempting to motivate employees within a subsidiary in Ecuador, the best approach is to evaluate the cultural characteristics of the country. It is crucial to comprehend that traditional North American motivation techniques are not necessarily effective in Ecuador.As mentioned in the Culture and Communication section, Ecuadorians are considered a collectivist culture according to Hofstede's Dimensions. A collectivistic mentality makes Ecuadorians group oriented, therefore any rewards should be awarded to the group as opposed to an individual. Hence, motivation techniques such as monetary incentives, job enlargement and performance evaluations might not carry as much weight in Ecuador because of their collectivist culture.Another factor to consider is Ecuadorians' priority towards family life. Management should not assume tangible rewards will incite employees to work harder. If family is a main priority, it may be more important for the worker to spend time with their family as opposed to spending more time at work. When family is priority over the accumulation of wealth, the society proves to have a "just enough" mentality. Thus, any motivation tactics requiring more time at work, such as a promotion for instance, would not be an appropriate means of interesting employees.Avoiding motivation tactics involving changes within the work environment, for example job rotation, are important because Ecuadorians do not welcome change. Furthermore, Ecuadorians' high power distance means empowerment may be perceived as a weakness among management.This being said, motivation techniques must enforce and accommodate the values of the people in Ecuador. Rewards should thus be group based to avoid singling out individuals as this could hinder group chemistry. Ecuadorians' strong family ties imply motivation may go beyond the employee. The subsidiary could gain significant approval and increased loyalty by reaching out to the families. Thus, company events should extend its attendance to families and employees' spouses could be sent small gifts during holidays. Such gestures are comforting to employees and further increase loyalty and satisfaction among employees which can lead to increased work productivity.As Ecuadorians are not necessarily motivated by intrinsic factors, the subsidiary should ensure to provide the highest quality extrinsic factors including wages, security and good working conditions. Security is particularly important, especially with Ecuador's high unemployment rate. (Refer to Appendix E for examples of Corriente and Ascendant)Cultural Characteristics and EthicsAccording to "The 2005 Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index", Ecuador ranks fairly high in corruption with a score of 2.5 on a scale up to 10, where 0 is highly corrupt. The index defines corruption as "the abuse of public office for private gain, and measures the degree to which corruption is perceived to exist among a country's public officials and politicians." This is important for a subsidiary to be aware of when conducting business in Ecuador, especially considering that Canada is ranked at 8.4 on the same scale.As Canadians, ethics play a big role in hiring practices. Canadians commit to fair and equitable hiring practices for women, minorities, people with disabilities, and aboriginal people. These are groups that may not have had an equal opportunity to employment in the past. In Canadian culture in general, equality is a fundamental value. Conversely, Ecuador possesses a high masculine culture. As mentioned earlier, women have only recently begun to enter the workforce. They still have trouble reaching positions of power because men do not like to take orders from women. This is something to consider when establishing a subsidiary in Ecuador. Some conflicts could occur if women are in positions of higher power than men. A subsidiary should not assume Ecuadorians would appreciate this equitable approach to hiring.However, Ecuador is considered to be more ethical when it comes to environmental issues. Ecuador possesses many natural resources which are the main contributors to wealth in the country. Since Ecuador's economy relies heavily on its natural resources, they consider it important to attempt to be environmentally friendly.In a comparative study between the United States and Ecuador, it was concluded that "Ecuadorian managers place more weight on the environment than their US counterparts." Therefore, when establishing a subsidiary in Ecuador, a company should be sure to follow local regulations and pay extra attention to conducting business in an environmentally friendly manner. In fact, Ecuador implemented "Cotachi Ecological" in April 2001 which "prohibits or severely restricts commercial activities with significant environmental impacts."Key Challenges for Retention and Dissemination of KnowledgeWhen dealing with the mining industry in Ecuador, there are many different challenges that companies face. Each of these key challenges are displayed when looking at two companies, Corriente Resources Inc. and Ascendant Copper Corporation, both mining companies operating in Ecuador.High Uncertainty AvoidanceEcuador has a high uncertainty avoidance, which means they do not easily accept change, and are risk adverse. The society is governed by many laws, as a result of their need to avoid uncertainty. This can create possible challenges for a company because foreign companies can be seen as a threat to their current ways of life. They are unaware of foreign companies' intentions, and they are going to be very sensitive and may not take lightly to the fact that this company has entered Ecuador. Another challenge that an organization could face is the introduction of new ideas, such as training. Detailed examples regarding training is crucial in Ecuador, because many companies perform on the job training when dealing in the product and service industry, but because the job descriptions aren't as clear cut, it will be very hard for the Ecuadorians to understand exactly what they are expected to be doing, without proper guidelines. Corriente has been successful by using their strict public guidelines to lower the amount of perceived uncertainty by the local communities.High Power DistanceEcuador has a high power distance, which means that they except high inequality between power and wealth in society. The high power distance means that for a company to succeed in Ecuador they should use a tall organization and refrain from using a flat organization and empowering too many employees. This is a very important dimension because many issues stem from a high power distance, such as pay structure, type of leadership, motivation techniques, and employee relation policies. Therefore, for a company operating in Ecuador, an authoritarian management style should be used, and a tall organizational structure should be implemented. A manager needs to ask for strict goals and supervise work issues.Low IndividualismEcuador ranks very low on Hofstede's individualistic cultural dimension, which means they are a very collectivistic society. A challenge that a company needs to be prepared for when dealing with a collectivist culture, is the affect on employees. This is paramount in their everyday functions throughout society and means that loyalty among groups takes precedence over many issues. Challenges that could affect the transfer of knowledge, that stem from their collectivist society include their competition, work hours, and working conditions. However, there have been individualistic values that appear in Ecuador. Managers have to keep that in mind as Ecuadorians become more educated. An example of how a collectivist culture can affect the workplace is in regards to illnesses in the family or friends. The employee will potentially leave work early, or show up late, because their familial relationships are more important to them. Finally, certain job tasks in the mining industry will require them to work alone in a particular area, and with Ecuador being a collectivist culture, they may be more hesitant to fall in line with this practice because they will be standing out in the crowd.High MasculinityCurrently, Ecuador is a high masculine society; recent developments have begun shifting this lower. As previously mentioned, women have just recently entered the workforce, although men have still not adjusted to this new way of business. This presents a large issue for the company coming into Ecuador, especially if they have a lot of representatives who are women. Ecuador's high masculine culture translates to mean that they are still very hesitant to take orders from a female, which can be very harmful when trying to retain and disseminate the knowledge of the company. Employees won't be listening to what the females have to say because these males feel they have more power over the woman. This high masculinity is also related to the high power distance in that Ecuadorians don't believe that everyone is equal. Company's going to Ecuador need to make sure that if they are sending female representatives, male representatives will also accompany to reinforce their power within the company.To see the affects of how cultural differences in Ecuador can impact Canadian companies and how different companies have responded to these challenges, please refer to Appendix E. An examination of Corriente Resources Inc. and Ascendant Copper Corporation will show how two companies have differed in their approaches, and how results have also differed.Competitive ForcesThere are many competitive forces at work when you are dealing with a Canadian company, who has a subsidiary in Ecuador. An analysis using parts of Porter's Five Forces can help to explain the attractiveness of the Ecuadorian mining market. This analysis will attempt to tie in cultural issues to the applicable forces. Although they don't all have a large influence on the success of a subsidiary, it is beneficial to analyze all forces, and determine whether or not they will have a significant impact on their success.The Bargaining Power of SuppliersEcuadorians have characteristics of a particular society, which means that if companies must have strong relationships with suppliers in order to succeed. Since universal characteristics are present also, working with locals and catering to their needs is also important. Ecuadorians value the relationships they make with people, and therefore the key to success for a subsidiary coming in is the fact that they must form strong relationships with their suppliers, and also with the rest of the communityo Corriente Resources Inc. formed relationships with their suppliers and communities, and also took into consideration their environmental issues that the country has. This company was able to overcome this force, and be successful in this mining industry.o Unlike Corriente Resources Inc., Ascendant Copper Corporation didn't form a strong relationship with the leaders throughout the country, or locals, this has cause public outcry.The Threat of New EntrantsTo protect the environment, and Ecuador as a whole, there are many laws and regulations that companies must abide by, in order to be successful in the mining industry, and it is therefore very difficult for new entrants to come in. First, land is limited in Ecuador, most potential mining properties are already owned by companies, and therefore threat of new entrants is not strong. Second, due to its cultural differences, many companies would not be prepared in entering Ecuador. Companies already in Ecuador will hopefully have created strong relationships; therefore new entrants will be placed at a major disadvantage in Ecuador.The Intensity of Competitive RivalryCompetition is always intense in the resource industry. However due to the lack of available land in Ecuador, there can only be so many companies. The most important aspect of competitive rivalry is how companies are able to integrate them in to Ecuador's culture. Since there are many cultural differences in Ecuador, the foreign company that can become most "Ecuadorian" will succeed. Corriente is an example of a company that has been able to integrate themselves in to Ecuador's society and become well received by local communities. For any further information on how Corriente and Ascendant have dealt with the cultural differences please refer to appendix E.The GovernmentEcuador has gone through political instability and economic chances, which means that the government is important to the success of a foreign company. Ecuador values its environment, therefore the Government has enact ordinances to make sure mining industries do not hurt the environment drastically. It is important for companies to adhere to these laws. This goes with the fact that Ecuadorians avoid uncertainty, so for a company to succeed they must adhere to the Government and be perceived as a possible threat to the Ecuadorian society.Ecuadorians are risk adverse; they will not want to allow unprepared companies into the country and possibly hurt the Ecuadorian economy. Hence, Canadian companies must take their time to fully prepare themselves and to understand the Government's needs and wants. The Government has a lot of power regarding properties in Ecuador; therefore poor relationships with the Government can greatly hurt a resource company.Corriente Resources Inc., came into Ecuador, and followed all of the rules that the government laid out for them to make them a legal mining company. They also went out of their way to assist the local people and community in this collectivist, risk averse, environmentally friendly society.ConclusionEcuador is not an attractive place to conduct business and make foreign investments. This is mainly due to its political instability, cultural differences, and legal matters. The only ideal companies that would consider Ecuador are mining and energy companies, because of its plentiful resources and low cost labour. Besides those industries, Ecuador is not an ideal place in which to invest.The theories used in class have given fundamental ideas on how to analyze the cultural differences in countries. The theories present very clear ideas and outline ways in which to be successful in foreign territories. The materials covered establish a path to follow, and allow foreigners to gain a perspective of issues to consider when attempting to improve the probabilities of being successful abroad.However, as the world is becomes a more global market place, many different dimensions and issues arise. Through this transition, countries including Ecuador can show both sides of a dimension despite what research has shown. For example Trompenaars dimensions. In this specific case, Ecuador could traditionally be looked at as an ascription based culture. This can be seen by its high power distance and its value placed on family and relationships. Conversely, Ecuador is moving towards a market oriented society and education is becoming increasingly important. Naturally, this trend has created a move toward achievement based values. This trend is exemplified by Ecuador's emphasis on education.The theories presented in this course have focused on two extremes of each dimension. However, there should be greater emphasis on how cultures can share characteristics of both sides when looking at a specific dimension. This recent display of both sides of a dimension is likely the outcome of globalization. Considering many of these studies are very recent, they might not account for the impact of globalization on cultures. Consequently, the potential for cultures to change as a result of globalization as well as the advancement of democracy, may not be sufficiently examined.The readings and course materials lack in terms of catering to Canadian University students. Since Canada is a country of different cultures, many students are exposed to different lifestyles and cultures. They realize that when approaching different people, communication differs. The course material seems to be geared toward an audience relatively unaware of the meaning of cultural differences.Something that would have been nice to discover throughout the research of the project would have been to learn more about the actual interactions and activities that took place within the company's Corriente and Ascendant. Difficulties in completing the report include having to make assumptions which seem inadequate without personal experiences. Assumptions regarding Ascendant and Corriente were made based on released information. Thus, these assumptions could have been interpreted slightly differently.Although attempts were made to contact people from both companies, due to their size and less developed customer service relations, it was difficult to contact anyone with relevant knowledge related to the issues at hand. There was no further attempt to pursue contacting anyone as there appeared to be sufficient information available to analyze the findings.Endnotes


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