The major elements and dimensions of culture in the UAE
The elements and dimensions of culture include communication (language), religion, ethics, values and attitudes, manners, customs, and social structures and organizations. The understanding of these principles, relative to culture, is imperative to the success of international businesses, marketing scholars, and practitioners alike. Within this insight lies approved goals and objectives to meet the needs of merchants and consumers internationally. Social Structure of the UAE
The UAE is one of six members belonging to the Gulf Corporate Council (GCC). It is also a member of the United Nations (UN), International Monetary Fund (IMF), Oil Product Exporting Countries (OPEC) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) (Rees, C. J., Mamman, A., & Braik, A., 2007). Compared to other nations in the Middle East, the UAE is regarded as the most politically stable (Akoum, 2008). After declaring its independence from British parliament in 1971, the UAE formed a federation of seven independent emirates (Akoum, 2008). Those emirates are: Abu Dhabi, which is the largest city and capital of the UAE, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Qaiwain, Ras Al Khaimah, and Fujairah. Governed by Hereditary rule, each emirate consists of a Sheikh from the supreme council of rulers who work alongside a Crown Prince and a deputy ruler (Rees, et. al., 2007). These rulers control general policy and federal laws. Values and attitudes
In keeping with Islamic tradition, families in the UAE share the view that men are guardians over women (Crabtree, 2007). They also believe that marriage is a means for procreation and to promote social stability. Patriarchal views are dominant throughout the region as well. Sons are valued more than daughters, a viewpoint that can be seen through the celebrations that occur following births. For example, two goats are slaughtered for the birth of a son as opposed to one for a daughter (Crabtree, 2007). This notion is contradictory to Islamic teachings which have been credited with raising the status of women compared to their position in pre-Islamic societies (Crabtree, 2007). Family sizes are considerably larger than those of Western societies with an average of five or more children.
Ethics play an important role in developing a business’ strategic plan, as it serves as the backbone of the firm’s principles. The firm’s goal is to provide services and products, and acquire profits through the business’ sales and operations (Goby & Nickerson, 2012; Ethics Resource Centre 2009). In spite of the business’ goal to acquire profits and get a good return of investment, it is important that the strategies they employ in their operations in the UAE region are bound by moral and ethical standards for their stakeholders (Lewis 2002). Such measures are not only applicable to their customers, but also to their employees, the community they operate in, the government, and the media (Johnson 2004; Elango et al 2010). However, common business practice in UAE dictates ethics and corporate social responsibilities may not be overlooked due to the firm’s drive to increase sales and revenue. The launch of marketing campaigns and sales advertisements as a means to market their products and services must be bound by ethical guidelines, which would then ensure the safety of the stakeholders, without compromising the effectiveness of the company’s operations (Ferrell and Ferrell 2011; Lewis 2002).
Culture presents the standard, or the defined collective norm that serves the guide to which individuals are expected to follow in terms of the behavior they should display. Based on the construct of normative structure, a strong culture possesses a normative structure; as such cultures define the proper behavior that must be demonstrated within the organization or state. In the UAE, businesses aim to share a common set of values and principles,...
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