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Approaches to Overcome Cultural Challenges in Saudi Arabia

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Anisha Shajan

on 2 June 2014

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Transcript of Approaches to Overcome Cultural Challenges in Saudi Arabia

How to overcome these cultural differences:
America vs Saudi Arabia:
Applying Hofstede's 4 Dimensions of National Culture
Role of Women in the Saudi Arabian business environment:
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
largest Arab country in the Middle East
"the Land of the Two Holy Mosques"
Is one of the world's largest oil exporter
Islam is the official religion and Arabic, the official language
Absolute monarchy, which uses its constitution and the Quran as guidelines
Islam is incorporated into everyday activities, including business deals
Foreigners interested in conducting business in Saudi Arabia should know the beliefs and values that Islam teaches, because Islam rules over every aspect of a Muslim’s life.
A-salaam alaikum
is what Saudi businessmen use as a greeting. This translates to 'peace be upon you' in English.
Alcohol and pork are banned in Saudi Arabia. Foreign business people should be aware of what of is and isn't allowed in Saudi Arabic. It's often based off of what is acceptable in Islamic law.
Anisha Shajan
Professor Boers
Maymester 2014
Approaches to Overcome Cultural Challenges in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Influence of Islam
Communication Tendencies:
* Saudi Arabi is defined as a high context culture
* The significance of a message is contained more in the context than in the message itself (academic2.american.edu)
*Nonverbal communication cues are extremely important. * Focus is given to body language
*Example: The importance of maintaining eye contact in a conversation with a Saudi person: Though the person speaking could just be shy and could have good intentions, lack of eye contact while speaking to a Saudi person, would cause a Saudi person to regard the person speaking as untrustworthy and dishonest


* The women of Saudi Arabia have little to no role in the business field
* Foreign businesspeople need to understand the role of women in Saudi society, and understand their audience before attempting to market a product in Saudi Arabia
[Marketing a dress like the one in the picture isn't such a great idea!]

* Foreign businesswomen that are allowed into the country are expected to dress appropriately, behave very reserved, and remain cautious when participating in a field that’s male-oriented in Saudi Arabia
* Interaction with men in general is extremely rare, and frequent conversations and meetings with different men are considered extremely inappropriate
America:
Saudi Arabia:
* individualist
society
* low power distance
* low uncertainty
avoidance
* moderately
masculine society
*collectivist
society
* high power
distance
* average uncertainty avoidance
* a very masculine society
Works Cited [Text]

*With so many differences, it might seem extremely difficult to overcome all these cultural obstacles, but it doesn't have to be!
*Knowledge is power!
*Research the culture and customs of a country before targeting an audience from a different country
*Keep an open mind!
*Be accepting of different values, customs, and religious beliefs
*Following these tips will make overcoming cultural obstacles much easier!


Works Cited [Images]
"Business and Social Customs in Saudi Arabia." BUSINESS AND SOCIAL CUSTOMS, SAUDI ARABIA. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 May 2014. <http://www.the-saudi.net/business-center/business-etiquette.htm>.

"Country Information- About Saudi Arabia." Country Information. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 May 2014. <http://www.saudiembassy.net/about/country-information/>.

"Cross-Cultural/International Communication." Inc.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 May 2014. <http://www.inc.com/encyclopedia/cross-cultural-international-communication.html>.

"Doing Business in The Middle East." The Translation Agency For A Complete Professional Translation Service. Kwintessential, n.d. Web. 25 May 2014. <http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/etiquette/doing-business-middle-east.html>.

"International Spotlight: Saudi Arabia." Washington Post. The Washington Post, n.d. Web. 25 May 2014. <http://www.washingtonpost.com/wpadv/specialsales/spotlight/saudi/art14.html>.
"In This Section: Business Culture in Saudi Arabia." Women in Business in Saudi Arabia; Saudi Arabian Women in Business. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 May 2014. <http://www.worldbusinessculture.com/Women-in-Business-in-Saudi-Arabia.html>.

Li, Hao. "Business in Saudi Arabia: Culture Differences to Watch for."International Business Times. N.p., 06 Feb. 2012. Web. 20 May 2014. <http://www.ibtimes.com/business-saudi-arabia-culture-differences-watch-406450>.

"Saudi Arabia: Benefits and Business Culture." Expatriate Community for Expats Worldwide. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 May 2014. <http://www.internations.org/saudi-arabia-expats/guide/working-in-saudi-arabia-15374/saudi-arabia-benefits-and-business-culture-2>.

"Saudi Arabia - Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette." The Translation Agency For A Complete Professional Translation Service. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 May 2014. <http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/resources/global-etiquette/saudi-arabia-country-profile.html>.

"Virtual Public Diplomacy- Saudi Arabia." Virtual Public Diplomacy. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 May 2014. <http://academic2.american.edu/~zaharna/evett/website/culture.html>.



picture of flag
http://www.worldatlas.com/webimage/flags/countrys/mideast/saudiarb.htm
picture of country
http://www.countrywatch.com/country_profile.aspx?vcountry=150
picture of mecca
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2221739/Extraordinary-photos-millions-joyful-Muslims-descending-Mecca-haj-pilgrimage.html
picture of Allah in Arabic
http://www.arabic-calligraphy.net/arabic-phrases-calligraphy/
picture of businessmen
http://www.econcepts.com.sa/portfolio/stc/
picture of the three ladies
http://www.kulfoto.com/interesting-things/36596/women-in-dubai
picture of Hofstede's chart
http://usdkexpats.org/theory/hofstedes-cultural-dimensions
picture of Hofstede
http://geert-hofstede.com/geert-hofstede.html
picture of US society
http://umb.libguides.com/AMST110GTang
picture of Saudi society
http://americanbedu.com/2012/04/28/saudi-arabia-harass-a-woman-go-to-jail/
picture of smiley face
https://brainbrewblog.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/smiley-face-question-mark.jpg
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