Cultural Difference And Its Likely Impact Management Essay

Globalization changes the operation and communicating within the company. Covering with the abroad client and pull offing the international squad along with their cultural challenges is an of import undertaking. In add-on to the professional accomplishments, it is indispensable to hold better apprehension of the cultural differences to avoid misinterpretations or even concern failures due to miss of cultural competence and sensitiveness.

Cultural facets of a concern are by and large ignored and chief focal point is merely on the proficient facets. Therefore, cultural consciousness and development of cultural accomplishments to run into the demands and demands of the abroad clients is quiet indispensable.

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In this study the cultural difference and its likely impact on the work undertaken by the company is illustrated. In the other half of the study, choice standards for an appropriate staff for the undertaking and issues to be included in the pre-departure development programme so that the members of the undertaking squad run successfully in the new concern environment is discussed.


Whitehouse building Inc is an American Construction Company. From the little beginnings the company has achieved twelvemonth on twelvemonth growing. Highly committed work force and their nisuss for betterments have enhanced the company ‘s ability to work expeditiously.

Company has a broad scope of abroad undertakings and activities chiefly for American clients in Western Europe. Company has suffered loss in the past due to the cultural differences, deficiency of grasp about the European civilization and their manner of making the concern. However, cultural difference between the states is an of import concern for the company.

Recent contract for the company is to construct a 75 storey hotel and conference Centre in Jeddah for a Saudi Arabian client. As the client is in Saudi Arabia, the company is concerned with the differences in Western and Arabian civilization, as it may turn out to be really disputing in this undertaking. It has been said that if we do n’t larn from the past, we are certain to reiterate the same errors. It holds true for the development of the understanding diverseness in civilization. There is a immense cultural difference between US and Saudi Arabia and these differences are likely to impact the American staff and their on the job capablenesss as they would be runing outside their cultural norm.

Cultural diverseness

Cultural diverseness is the assortment of human societies or civilizations in a specific part, or in the universe as a whole ( ANON, 2011 ) . Communication differences related to civilization may go the beginning of misinterpretations and may take down workgroup effectivity. The cultural diversenesss can be an advantage or an incommodiousness for the house. Indeed, different behaviors or habitsA betweenA people in the same company could be the key to success or on the contrary, the failure excessively.

“ Pull offing diverseness does non intend altering valid outlooks and criterions. It merely recognizes the fact that some groups react otherwise to different state of affairss, and we should seek to cut down the clashs that may ensue. ” ( Moon, 1997 )

Differences in the American and the Saudi Arabian civilization

The differences between the societies exist all over the universe and these differences may be due to faiths, old imposts, the value of freedom and development in the societies. Saudi Arabian civilization is bonded by Islamic spiritual instructions and really old imposts. Therefore, it differs from the American civilization, which depends wholly on development and freedom.

The Saudi civilization is polychromatic. In this sort of civilization, the natural rhythm is respected and the clip is shared. Peoples do several things at a clip and they have a really flexible construct of clip and they can easy alter programs or activities.They may put a clip to run into “ sometime in the afternoon ” and on many occasions the agenda is broken, changed or deadline unmet.

Whereas, the United States has a monochromatic civilization, here the things are done one at a clip and the clip is segmented into precise units and clip is arranged, scheduled and managed. Peoples are really punctual and will schedule meetings at a precise clip, such as 2.15 p.m. and anticipate all involved parties to be punctual. Time is really cherished resource for them and non to be wasted or taken lightly. Saudi has non-working yearss on Thursday and Friday, whereas in America non-working yearss are Saturday and Sunday.

Saudi society gives more importance to Bolshevism as compared to the American society. In a company Saudi people prefer making group activities over single work. The American people prefer working separately over working in groups.

The Saudi Arabian foreman is expected to do all the determinations and the employees merely do the work of accomplishing it. Here, the hierarchal lines play a really strong function and the concluding determination will be taken by the leader. Hence, it becomes necessary that all instructions issued should be unambiguous and complete. In contrast, at work in American companies, there is barely any difference between high and low position and foreman listens to every employee in the company irrespective of his position. In Saudi Arabia senior status is given more importance, while meritocracy is more of import in US.

Saudi society is near minded and the employees in the company are loath to alterations in the working processs, while in American company employees are more unfastened to alterations. Saudi people ne’er work devotedly without good relationships bing between them and the directors in their work. However, in American company more importance is given to work and they ne’er let the relationship between them and their directors to impact strongly on their work.

It is more disputing for a adult female to make concern in Saudi Arabia as there is gender separation in the Kingdom. Many public topographic points, like hotels and eating houses have household suites where adult females are served with their hubbies. Shaking custodies with a adult female or prosecuting in colloquial organic structure contact is non common in Saudi Arabia.

Giving gifts and interchanging favors are common in Saudi Arabia as it is a manner of life. Whereas in U.S. there are rigorous regulations sing interchanging favors within an organisation because people feel that it affects impartial decision-making capacity.

Saudi people tend to wish holding many regulations at work and if there were non many regulations, they would non accomplish the marks and would non come to work on clip, so the employer could set a batch of regulations in order to realize his work. In the other manus, American employees prefer less regulations and more freedom in their work to accomplish efficiency ( Mansho, 2008 ) .

Impact of diverseness

Diversity can move as dual edged blade. If non handled decently it could take to a immense loss which the company had faced before. Due to diverseness, the work civilization and the work environment for the American squad would be wholly different. Saudi Arabia has aA desert climateA with highly high temperatures during twenty-four hours clip and a crisp temperature bead at dark. Average summer temperatures are about 45A°C, but can be every bit high as 54A°C. In the winter the temperature seldom drops below 0A°C. Therefore, get bying up with the new environment would be a immense undertaking for them which could even ensue in lessening in the end product of their work. Communication difference related to civilization may go beginning of misconstruing and may take down the effectivity of the full group. Arabic is the local linguistic communication spoken in Saudi Arabia and it is the linguistic communication of exaggeration where the virtues of others are praised and excessively commented upon. Therefore, in order to construct relationship it is of import to offer regards to the Arabian people in general. In order to avoid a immense impact on the members of the squad, they should be decently selected and an appropriate pre-departure preparation programme should be adopted.

Scheme and standards for choosing appropriate staff

To avoid immense impact on the members of the squad following standards should be adopted:

Face: The cardinal elements of Saudi Arabian civilization are self-respect, regard and salvaging face, these qualities can be maintained through the usage of via media, forbearance and self-denial. The construct of face is a cardinal issue of day-to-day life in a civilization where confrontation and struggle are to be avoided. In Saudi Arabia, the construct of face is used to avoid struggles and to avoid awkward state of affairss and to avoid discomforting others. So the American staff holding human nature and the quality to salvage the face by agencies of non-conflict steps should be selected. In concern context, forestalling face is every bit of import. For illustration, the Saudi Arabian opposite numbers would non wish it if they are placed under force per unit area that places them under discomforting state of affairs. So the staff which can work good in hard state of affairs without losing their cool must be selected.

Muslimism: Muslim ‘s life is governed by Islam and it touches every facet of society within Saudi Arabia. More accent is placed on moralss and expected societal behaviors such as generousness, regard and solidarity doing the Arabian civilization item oriented. These societal imposts and responsibilities besides interfere with the manner the Arabians handle concern traffics. The American staff holding high ethical values and societal behavior should be selected. Besides the staff should be able to bring forth every item of the building undertaking as the Arabs may demand it.

High Context Communication: Saudi Arabian civilization is considered to be a really high context civilization. It implies that the message which people are seeking to convey relies to a great extent on the other communicative cues such as organic structure linguistic communication, oculus contact instead than direct words. A peculiar accent is placed on tone of voice, usage of silence, facial looks and organic structure linguistic communication. Therefore the staff selected should be such that they are cognizant of these non-verbal facets of communicating in any concern traffics and besides the misinterpretation due to false reading of the gestures would be avoided. For illustration, silence is frequently used for contemplation and you should non talk during such periods.

The most various and smart employees who can set themselves in the work environment of Saudi Arabia must be selected

Project squad members holding ability to manage emphasis should be selected

Members must be wide minded and must be ready to accept alterations and follow new civilization

Issues to be included in pre-departure development programme

Attitudes and accomplishments are required for successful behavior of concern in Saudi Arabia differing significantly from those needed in the United States. Distinct social differences can turn winning patterns in one civilization into failures in another. Traditional values and a alone lifestyle persist despite Saudi Arabia ‘s recent outgrowth as a affluent market place. The deficiency of cultural consciousness readying has an impact from an abashing minute to a dislocation in inter-company communicating to a lost trade or agreement. Therefore cultural consciousness preparation programmes need to be undertaken. The pre-departure preparation programme should be made compulsory for preparation of all going migratory squad members. The preparation plan must include linguistic communication preparation, civilization familiarisation, stress direction, state specific orientation, wellness and safety, authorities strategies etc ( Hashmi, 1988 ) .

Forms of pre-departure preparation include ( Hurn, 2007 ) :

Cross-cultural consciousness: This by and large includes cultural sensitisation. In these preparation session assorted facets such stereotypes, covering with ambiguity, cultural daze and developing get bying schemes are included. Tayeb ( 2003 ) outlines the stairss required for cross-cultural preparation plan: 1 ) Identifying the mark audience, 2 ) Appraisal of demands and outlooks, 3 ) Detail ends of the programme, 4 ) Decide contents of programme 5 ) Implement the programme 6 ) Measure the programme.

Cross-cultural communicating accomplishments: Effective barriers of cross-cultural communicating are explored and apart from spoken communicating preparation should include non-verbal communicating such as “ organic structure linguistic communication ”

Specific country/regional briefing: This normally covers geographics, history, economic sciences, political relations, foreign dealingss every bit good as the substructure, communications and the working environment of the state. It besides provides briefing approximately local imposts, tabu, spiritual patterns, societal conventions and struggle between local, traditional and western values.

Business etiquette and processs: In this accomplishments and processs to be adopted for making a concern is emphasised. As jobs by and large faced is due to attitudes towards clip as one civilization may be monochromatic and the other may be polychromatic.

Language preparation: Although English is going an international linguistic communication, but English is non ever spoken in concern environment. Therefore, utile mundane phrases such salutations and debuts will assist in edifice assurance and to promote future wider acquisition.

Repatriation: In repatriation preparation accomplishments, experiences and perceptual experiences of the returning directors which they had developed while working off from the place state are shared. As many directors experience some “ rearward cultural daze ” and their position alteration after a period they have lived abroad.

The pre-departure preparation programmes will assist to understand the followers:

Working patterns in Saudi Arabia: The work civilization of Saudi Arabia is different than that of America. There are many major points which play an of import function in the manner the Arabians carry out their concern. So, while covering with them these points should non be forgotten. Some of them may be as follows:

In Saudi Arabia concern assignments are necessary and should be scheduled harmonizing to the five day-to-day supplication times and the spiritual vacations of Ramadan and Hajj. Saudi concern civilization is hospitable and relaxed in nature and may do holds in agenda. Hence, it is customary to do assignments for times of twenty-four hours instead than precise hours.

Harmonizing to Arabian civilization Thursdays and Fridays are non-working yearss and Saudi hebdomad begins on Saturday and ends on Wednesday. So the staff must be informed to work on Sabbatums and Sundays and take official remainder on Thursdays and Fridays. The office hours in Saudi Arabia by and large are 0900-1300 and 1630-2000 ( Ramadan 2000-0100 ) , with some regional fluctuations.

The construct of clip is different in Arabia as compared to the western states. Time is non an issue and hence Arabians are by and large unpunctual as compared to the western criterions. So the American staff must non mind if their Arabian opposite numbers are running out of agenda. Despite this, it is unusual for meetings to infringe on day-to-day supplications and meetings should be scheduled in such manner that it does non interfere with the day-to-day supplications.

Initial meetings are by and large long in continuance and treatments to go acquainted with the opposite numbers. Sufficient clip should be allocated for such meetings as they are conducted at a easy gait over tea and java as they form an indispensable portion of Saudi Arabian concern civilization.

It is considered impolite and violative if a gift is offered in the event and it is non accepted.

Work relationships in Saudi Arabia: For any successful concern it is critical to keep healthy work relationships. The sort of relation may depend upon the civilization and background of the states involved.

Face to confront meetings are by and large preferred by Saudi Arabian concern people.

The key to success for concern in Saudi Arabia is set uping trust and it is an indispensable portion of Saudi concern civilization. Therefore, before come ining into concern covering every attempt must be made to set up trust and construct a solid concern relationship.

Respect and friendly relationship are the values that are held really high by the Arabs. Staff should non bury that in concern scene, favors based on common benefit and trusts are the ways of heightening these cultural values. Personal connexions and household influence take precedency over the regulating factors in the concern of Saudi Arabia.

Structural hierarchy in Saudi Arabian companies: There exists a duality between subsidiaries and directors within the Saudi Arabian companies.

The people with authorization are accepted and expected to publish complete and specific directives to others.

Age plays an of import function in the civilization of Saudi Arabia and greater regard must be shown to seniors at all times. For case, while come ining a room or recognizing a Saudi opposite numbers for the first clip, you should agitate custodies with most senior individual foremost. You should recognize each of your Saudi opposite numbers separately, doing your manner in the room in anti-clockwise way.

Saudi Arabian concern etiquette: There are certain do ‘s and don’ts in every concern civilization. It is ever good for the concern traffics if we follow the etiquettes as they may work in our favor.

It is necessary to stay by criterions of modestness and frock suitably. Work force should have on conservative concern suits. For adult females, high necklines, arms at least to elbow, and sooner long skirts below the articulatio genus are recommended.

Keeping a strong oculus contact and maintaining a closer distance during conversation at both concern and societal scenes are the ways to beef up trust and show regard in Saudi Arabia.

Communicationss occur at slower gait and forbearance is perfectly necessary so Arabian opposite numbers should non be rushed during concern dialogues.

Keeping humbleness and exposing conservative behavior at all times is of import and looking loud or excessively animated in populace is considered as rude and vulgar ( Gorrill, 2007 ) .


For successful behavior of concern in Saudi Arabia and to avoid likely impact of the cultural differences on the employees and their working capablenesss it recommended that staff selected must be appropriate for the occupation. The staff selected should set in different state of affairss such as working good in hard state of affairs without losing their cool, should hold ability to manage emphasis, he should be able to pass on and negociate with Saudi Arabian client, ready to follow alterations in work environment, etc. However, pre-departure preparation programmes need to be held to do the squad aware of the Saudi Arabian civilization and do them familiar with working patterns and relationships in Saudi Arabia, their concern etiquettes and their ethical values and behavior. The preparation plan must include linguistic communication preparation, civilization familiarisation, stress direction, state specific orientation etc. The general signifiers of pre-departure preparation Sessionss such as Cross-cultural consciousness, Cross-cultural communicating accomplishments, Specific country/regional briefing, Business etiquette and processs, Language preparation, Repatriation is recommended.


Globalization changes the manner the company operate and communicate with the abroad clients. The failure of abroad undertaking due to miss of professional or proficient accomplishments is really rare. The undertakings tend to neglect more due to the cultural differences. In the yesteryear, company had suffered in their undertakings due to hapless apprehension of civilization and deficiency of cross-cultural accomplishments of employees. However harmonizing to this study assorted cultural issues and differences between USA and Saudi Arabia were discussed and hence it was found that proper choice standards and scheme for choosing the staff of the undertaking is to be adopted. Better understanding and consciousness of the civilization by the pre-departure programmes will assist the undertaking squad to run successful in the new environment.

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