Socio-Cultural Environment in Uae

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Abstract

Recent studies have lent support to the idea that cultural variables such as powerdistance can influence management practices, and results found are in accordance withexpectations derived from cultural frameworks such as wasproposed by Hofstede's (1980) and Kluckhohnand Strodtbeck's (1961). Building on the concept of power distance as moderator of theparticipation/organizational outcome relationship, the current study investigates the impact ofpower distance on the orientation on employee participation, nature of job descriptions, organizational communication and decision-making, discipline and control, deference to senior employees, management development, and organizational structuring and adaptation. These relationshipswere explored using a sample of employees from a service based companyAl Fajer.

Al Fajer GroupDubai, United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.)is a nationally owned holding company established in 1970 by its Group President Sheikh Hasher Bin Maktoum Al Maktoum. Since his appointment of CEO of the group in 1998 the company has grown to a diversified business entity delivering services to a wide range of international clients. Al Fajer Group reportedly has 18,000 employees and an annual group turnover of AED 5.8 billion. The Group's business interests to date have now placed it as a market leader with the following national companies incorporated under its umbrella; Al Ahmadiah Contracting & Trading w, Al Ahmadiah Aktor LLC, Al Fajer Security & Maintenance, Lunar Electro, Al Fajer Establishment, BalmerLawrie& Co. Ltd, Al Fajer Information & Services with over 2 decades of experience in providing a complete range of organization and management services through its five divisions which are; Fairs and Exhibitions, Octanorm Displays, Shop Fittings, Design & Graphics and International Exhibit Builders. Other group members include; Al Fajer Travel & Tourism, Al Fajer Medical Supplies, Al Fajer Interiors & Decorations LLC and Al Fajer Investments & Development. Results indicated that, as hypothesized, the influence of participation on the outcome variables of orientation on employee participation, nature of job descriptions, organizational communication and decision-making, discipline and control, deference to senior employees, management development, and organizational structuring and adaptationwas moderated by individual level of power distance. A positive relationship betweenparticipation and each outcome variable was observed for the low power distance subjects,but there was virtually no relationship for those with high power distance.These results suggest that the opportunity to participate can have a positive impact onattitudinal and behavioural outcomes for low power distance subjects but does not seem toinfluence high power distance subjects.Limitations and further implications for theory andpractice are discussed.

INTRODUCTION

Socio-cultural environment is one of the most important factors affecting behaviors ofIndividuals and groups in the organisations. In an increasingly diverse workplace and in a more globalised business world, understanding the ways in which culture impacts organizational behavior has become a strategic necessity rather than mere scientific curiosity.

There are six cultural dimensions:
1) Individualism versus collectivism
2) High versus low
3) Power distance
4) Masculinity versus femininity
5) Strong versus weak uncertainty avoidance
6) Long-term versus short-term orientation

World Map of Power Distance Index - Hofstede

Power distance

It is the extent to which the less powerful merger of institutions and organisations within the country expect and accept that the power is distributed unequally. The relationship between a superior and a subordinate in a culture is charterised by a high or low power distance.Members of a culture share certain mindsets that cause them to interpret...
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