From Hamburgers to Enchiladas: The changing demographics of american business

In a country founded by immigrants organizations must adapt or be replaced

English: Tacos de carne (beef tacos) from Los ...

As the republican party learned during the last two presidential elections the U.S. is experiencing a social revolution that could potentially compete with those of the equal rights, and the women’s rights movements of the past. According to the latest U.S. census figures, the hispanic population reaching over 50 million now, has already become the second largest group in the country. This growth has not only affected the standard census statistics, but it is starting to affect the economic and political landscape of the country, something CXOs and politicians should take into consideration if they want to remain competitive.

Politicians

The latino population growth in the U.S. could be considered responsible for the election and re-election of president Obama, after their overwhelming support of the democratic party in the last two elections. According to the election figures latinos voted for Obama 71% of the time, basically 3 of every 4 latinos decided that the republican candidate didn’t represent their interests across the border. These statistics can highlight not only the substantial ideological divide between the two parties, but also the disruptive potential of the cultural background of the changing U.S. population mix.

Companies

US - LBPinfographic-latinobrandingpowerWhile latinos may represent 16.3% of the U.S. population, they are no close to those figures in the corporate world, as it still happens with the rest of the U.S. minorities and women. It seems that the old boys network is still closing their ranks and promotions to the CXO level are still being managed through the political and social networks of back rooms in Washington, New York, and even Silicon Valley, ignoring the growing impact of the demographic and economic changes affecting the population and the world at large. While the companies rank and file, and first line management has potentially become more diverse, these trends need to continue since the only way to remain competitive is to learn to meet the needs of their customer base, and if the customer base is changing so should the composition of the organizations at large.

The impact of changing demographics

Demographics represent the primary factors that define a population, or a country. Different from the almost exclusively monocultural case of the majority of the countries in the world, the culture and set of expectations of an immigrant based country like the U.S. could be continuously affected by its changing population trends. Because there is a recognized dependency between an individual cultural background and his/her set of expectations and values, the changing demographics of the U.S. population can forecast a substantial change in the overall expectations and behaviors of the country at large.

Česky: Čerpání anhydritu

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While the U.S. economy is still the largest one in the world, its potential growth substantially lacks that of the so called BRIC countries, and even that of many of its smallest neighbors south of the border, with potential severe consequences for its near and long term financial and economic development. Growth rates of 4%, 7%, and even 9% are not unheard of in South and Central America, and only dreams in the U.S. and European countries today. While U.S. companies used to send their junior executives to manage countries in South America as the training field, today highly educated, experienced, and very competitive Latin America executives are visiting the U.S. to size up their competition and even in some cases starting to expand into the U.S. market directly competing with the established brands (Cemex, Telmex, and others).

Currently I am conducting a doctoral study of the potential impact of cultural background of immigrants on their set of expectations and by extension on their productivity and contributions to the business. With this study I attempt to determine how can companies better identify and address the challenges and opportunities brought by globalization and the growing demographic changes in the U.S.

I look forward to hear from you if you have any questions about the impact of these demographic changes, or will like more information about the impact of cultural diversity on an organization’s performance. If your organization is interested in participating in the next version of this research you can contact me by sending an email to “info @ inloso.com”

About Inloso

Inloso offers strategic business consulting in Latin America, specializing in outsourced field operations, IT, and telecom. We have over 20 years of experience and can help you expand your business, improve your profits and customer satisfaction, and/or reduce your costs of operations. Please visit our contact page if you are interested in our assistance in any of these areas.

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