Understanding business and management in Venezuela
The thesis seeks to offer knowledge and insight into management and business in the South American state of Venezuela. We have been at pains to context this characterization; so the thesis begins with sections devoted to the history, society and economy of Venezuela and seeks to emphasize factors which have served to shape business practice and values. This is followed by presenting the results of the first episode of field work, interviews carried out in Germany with managers having business and management experience in Venezuela this material being used to form a preliminary characterization. This concludes Part I of the thesis. In Part II the results of quite extensivef ieldwork on Venezuelai tself are presented.T his fieldwork was in the form of numerous company visits and executive interviews, supplementedb y periods spent as an observeri n one or two Venezuelano rganizations and by interviews with others having relevant knowledge of business practice in Venezuela, for example, consultants and management educators. The discussion illuminates some key features including personalism, the importance of social networks, the emphasis on the human aspects of management, and the expectation of employees that bosses will be both decisive and paternal. We also highlight factors that have tended to restrain entrepreneurialism and management proactivity, including the effects of oil wealth.