Jamaica – One People

Jamaica – One People

Jamaica is the fifth largest island in the Caribbean, measuring 10,990 square kilometres. The indigenous people, the Taíno, called it the Land of Wood and Water or the Land of Springs. The country’s motto is “Out of many, one people”, reflecting the many different nationalities who make up the population of 2.8 million.

The economy survives on exporting coffee, bananas and sugar, as well as the tourism industry, with over a million visitors per year.

The global economic downturn affected Jamaica as much as anywhere else but things are now improving. In April 2014, the governments of Jamaica and China signed the preliminary agreements for the first phase of the Jamaican Logistics Hub (JLH) – the initiative that aims to position Kingston as the fourth node in the global logistics chain, joining Rotterdam, Dubai and Singapore, and serving the Americas. When completed, the project is expected to provide many jobs for Jamaicans, economic zones for multi-national companies and much needed economic growth.

Businesses retain hierarchical structures and the person with the most authority generally makes the decisions. Even though there is a hierarchy within each organization, there is a natural tendency for Jamaicans to poke fun at or even playfully challenge the person in charge.

In many smaller companies, the management style is paternalistic, with the manager wishing to guide their employees and help them achieve their personal and professional goals. When empowered and encouraged to do so, Jamaicans can be extremely creative and work well in teams.

Women often play significant management roles; indeed, Jamaica has a female prime minister, Portia Simpson Miller. Once they have attained these higher positions, women’s opinions are generally well respected and they can be tough negotiators.

Share your Jamaican business experiences

Sources: Wikipedia, Kwintessential

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