Organizational Culture for Small Textile and Apparel Businesses in Guatemala

Marsha Dickson and Mary Littrell
Publication Date: 
: The organizational culture of small Guatemalan businesses that produce textile and apparel products for export to the U.S. was a) profiled using field research and case study methods and b) compared with past research describing the cultures and management practices of apparel businesses located in the U.S. and abroad.
The overall profile of organizational culture included improved family well-being as a motivating force for initiating and sustaining business. Cooperative management provided mutual respect and fairness among all members. Little organizational risk-taking was evident, yet joining the group was an indicator of individual initiative. The objective of creating a successful business required new product development with wholesale customers serving as the primary source of new product ideas. Having a central workplace enhanced group communication and product quality. Similarities among the Guatemalan and other apparel and craft businesses were noted in terms offinancial need, importance of family, geographic marketing focus, product development strategies, and risk in ownership. Variables for consideration by development planners are identified.