November 4th, 2010
Communication in Saudi Arabia differs drastically from that of western cultures because of many comparable deviations in the cultural, psychocultural, and sociocultural aspects of their society. Differences are also stated throughout studies of cultural dimensions on an international level. We will take a look at many different value orientations and compare them with the cultural levels of communication.
The first and most important come from an international business study that has been referenced in many scholarly writings for the past few decades. Geert Hofstede’s cultural dimensions have been analyzed through a study of different cultures. Saudi Arabia has been studied along with many different countries in the Arab World. [ (Hofstede, 2009) ] Many of the numbers, though relevant, may not fully describe the orientations of the people in Saudi Arabia since there are more countries than just Saudi Arabia under the Arab World’s cultural dimension scores.
The individualism score for Saudi Arabia is a score of 38, which indicates a low-individualistic score. This translates into a highly collectivistic society. In this type of society, people do things for the good of the group. In this culture, groups can involve family, work, and society which create communication differences in several different ways. Westernized cultures often have an individualistic value, which means that everyone does what is best for them, not the group. [ (Arvind V. Phatak, 2009) ] Loyalty to a particular group can hinder communication between two people if the communicators do not realize what values the other believes to be right. This can also translate into the sociocultural level of communication. A highly collectivistic society will have close family relations, work relations, and more mixed role relations. In these types of societies, a family reunion once a week is a commonality.