Differences in the American and the Saudi Arabian society


Whitehouse building Inc is a private building company in America. It has a scope of abroad undertakings and activities chiefly for American clients in Western Europe. The company has been awarded a contract 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 will hold to choose a undertaking squad comprising of company ‘s US subjects working at place and in Europe.


Whitehouse Construction Inc has suffered loss in the past due to miss of grasp about the European civilization and their manner of making concern. The company is concerned that the differences in civilizations of the West and the Arab states may be 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 understanding diverseness in civilization. There is a immense cultural difference between US and Saudi Arabia. These differences are likely to impact the building workers and their on the job capablenesss as they would be runing outside their cultural norm.

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Cultural diverseness:

Cultural diverseness is the assortment of human societies or civilizations in a specific part, or in the universe as a whole ( hypertext transfer protocol: //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_diversity ) . Communication differences related to civilization may go the beginning of misinterpretations and may take down workgroup effectivity. The diversenesss in civilizations 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. ” ( hypertext transfer protocol: //www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/acsc/97-0607c.pdf )

Differences in the American and the Saudi Arabian society:

There are many differences between the societies all over the universe. Saudi people ‘s methods are bonded by Islamic faith instructions and really old imposts. Therefore, Saudi people ‘s methods are different than American people methods, which depend wholly on development and freedom.

The Saudi civilization is a polychromatic society. In this sort of state, the natural rhythm is respected and the clip is shared. Peoples do several things at a clip, they have a really flexible construct of clip. They can easy alter programs and 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.

The United States is considered a monochromatic society. Here the things are done one at a clip and the clip is segmented into precise units. Here the clip is arranged, scheduled and managed. They will schedule meeting at a precise clip, such as 2.15 p.m. and anticipate all involved parties to be punctual. For Americans, clip is a cherished resource non to be wasted or taken lightly. The American society has non-working yearss on Saturday and Sunday while Saudi society has non-working yearss on Thursday and Friday.

Bolshevism in Saudi society is more of import than it is in the American society. Saudi people prefer group activities ; they prefer making work in the companies with a group to making it entirely. In contrast, American people prefer making their activities entirely. , at work, Saudi people expect the foreman to do all the determinations, and all they do is the accomplishing. In contrast, at work in American companies there is non every bit much difference between people of high and low position. The foreman listens to people at all degrees in the company excessively. Saudi society is near minded. For illustration, the employees in the company are ever against any alteration in the company procedures which they work in, while American company employees are more unfastened to alterations. Saudi people ne’er work devotedly without holding good dealingss exist between them and the troughs in their work. However, in American society the most of import thing at work is the work itself. They ne’er let the relationship between them and their troughs affect strongly on their work. Saudi people tend to wish holding many regulations. For illustration, at work if there were non many regulations, they would non accomplish, come to work on clip and go forth on clip, so the employer could set a batch of regulations to realizing his work. In the other manus, American employees prefer less regulations and more freedom in their work to accomplish expeditiously. ( http: //ceslae2.blogspot.com/2008/09/differences-between-saudi-society-and_13.html )

Impact of diverseness on the American workers: Diversity can move as dual edged blade. If non handled decently it could take to a immense loss which the company has faced before. Due to diverseness, the work civilization and the work environment for the American workers would be wholly different. Coping 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. In order to avoid a immense impact on the workers, they should be decently selected and sent for an appropriate pre-departure preparation programme.

Scheme and standards for choosing appropriate staff:

Face: Dignity and regard are cardinal elements in Saudi Arabian civilization and salvaging face, through the usage of via media, forbearance and self-denial is a agency by which to keep these qualities. In a civilization where confrontation and struggle are to be avoided, the construct of face is a cardinal issue of day-to-day life. 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 workers who have 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 American staff which can work good in hard state of affairs without losing their cool should be selected.

Muslimism: Islam governs every facet of a Muslim ‘s life and permeates every facet of Saudi province. As a consequence, Arabian civilization is described as item oriented, where accent is placed on moralss and expected societal behaviors such as generousness, regard and solidarity. These are societal imposts and responsibilities which besides interfere with the manner the Arabians handle concern traffics. The American staff holding high ethical values n 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 Arabia is considered 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. The American staff should be selected such that they are cognizant of these non-verbal facets of communicating in any concern scene 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.

Issues to be included in pre-departure development programme:

Successful behavior of concern in Saudi Arabia requires attitudes and accomplishments significantly different from those needed in the United States. Distinct social differences can turn winning patterns in one civilization into failures in another. Despite Saudi Arabia ‘s recent outgrowth as a affluent market place, traditional values and a alone lifestyle persist. A Distinctions between acceptable and unacceptable undertakings are much more marked than in U.S. society. The pre-departure preparation programme is a compulsory preparation for all going migratory workers which usually includes linguistic communication preparation, civilization familiarisation, stress direction, state specific orientation, wellness and safety, authorities strategies etc. hypertext transfer protocol: //www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/search/detailmini.jsp? _nfpb=true & A ; _ & A ; ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=ED304884 & A ; ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=no & A ; accno=ED304884 )

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:

By and large, concern assignments in Saudi Arabia are necessary. Appointments should be scheduled in conformity with the five day-to-day supplication times and the spiritual vacations of Ramadan and Hajj. It is customary to do assignments for times of twenty-four hours instead than precise hours as hospitable and relaxed nature of Saudi concern civilization may do holds in agenda.

The Americans have their hebdomadal off on Saturdays and Sundays. But the Saudi hebdomad begins on Saturday and ends on Wednesday. So the staff must be provided with preparation to work on Sabbatums and Sundays and take official remainder on Thursdays and Fridays harmonizing to the Arabian civilization. The office hours tend to be 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 you will be expected to get at assignments on clip.

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

In the event that you are offered a gift, it is considered impolite and violative if you do non except it.

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

The Saudi Arabian concern people prefer face to confront meetings as making concern in the Kingdom is done against an intensely personal background.

Establishing trust is an indispensable portion of Saudi concern civilization. The American staff must seek to do every attempt to set up trust and cultivate solid concern relationships before come ining into concern covering as this is the key to success in concern in Saudi Arabia.

Respect and friendly relationship are the values that are held really high by the Arabs. Americans should non bury that in concern scene, favors based on common benefit and trusts are the ways of heightening these cultural values. Often 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 Arabia 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. The American workers must maintain in head that greater regard must be shown to seniors at all times. For case, when come ining a room or recognizing your 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.

Make abide by criterions of modestness and frock suitably. For work forces, preservation concern suits are recommended. For adult females, high necklines, arms at least to elbow, and sooner long skirts below the articulatio genus.

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

Communicationss occur at slower gait and forbearance is perfectly necessary. So Americans should non hotfoot their Arabian opposite numbers during concern dialogues.

Keeping humbleness and exposing conservative behavior at all times is of import. Looking loud or excessively animated in populace is considered as rude and vulgar.

While in a concern meeting do n’t presume that the individual who asks most inquiries is the determination shaper. In Saudi Arabia this individual is considered to be least well-thought-of or least of import. The determination shaper is largely a soundless perceiver. For this ground, if American staff should maintain in head that they should non inquire all the inquiries in the concern meeting. ( http: //www.communicaid.com/cross-cultural-training/culture-for-business-and-management/doing-business-in/Saudi-arabian-business-and-social-culture.php )

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