Portuguese colonialists in Brazil created an inflexible and cumbersome bureaucracy. ‘Jeitinho’ became a way of accomplishing business goals despite the bureaucracy. ‘Jeitinho brasileiro’ (the Brazilian way) essentially involves creative ways of achieving one’s goals that are quick and indirect but do not threaten the preservation of harmony. It may involve using an acquaintance to help quicken access to resources or favorable decisions.
The term was first used in the context of Brazilian soccer players. “In Brazil,” says Sergio Trindade, an award-winning Brazilian alternate energy expert, “a soccer player dribbles the ball in a ginga or a curve.” ‘Jeitinho’ (“little way out” or “adroitness”) refers to ingenuity in rapidly achieving short-term solutions to problems.
This may also include ways of handling potential difficulties with superiors in a strongly hierarchical context. In this way, ‘Jeitinho’ can be viewed as either positive or negative. The expression refers to the use of pragmatism in dealing with everyday events.
How do you see jeitinho used in a business context in Brazil?
Is the use of Jeitinho becoming less frequent with the younger generation in Brazil?