The cultural and economic background of every society determines the manner in which individuals communicate, interact, and conduct their business. There are stark differences in the manner in which people express their thoughts, interact, and the business they conduct based on their cultures. In conservative societies, people are more reserved and they normally do not express their opinions to their seniors, whereas, in liberal ones, they are open to new ideas and conflicting opinion (Edmonds, 2014). This paper will analyze the cultural and economic differences between the United States and Saudi Arabia and their influence on how individuals from these countries negotiate.
The United State has a progressive culture; therefore, most individuals are open to diverse thoughts, ideas, opinions, and behaviors. On the contrary, the kingdom of Saudi Arabia is conservative and its people are reserved and highly religious. In the United States, it is common for people to use expletives in their communications even though some individuals find these words being abusive, arrogant, and harsh (Meyer, 2014). In Saudi Arabia, people do not use profane language in their communication because the country is conservative; therefore, most individuals restrain from using words that may be perceived as being abusive.
The United States and Saudi Arabia have significant differences in their non-verbal communications. In the United States, men greet each other by the hand, and if they are close friends they may hug. Normally, the greetings are the same between a man and a woman; however, at times, the man may add a kiss on the cheek of the woman. Women greet each other with a hug and a kiss (Meyer, 2014). In Saudi Arabia, only close family members are allowed to greet a woman, which is restricted to verbal communication (Meyer, 2014). The greetings among men are usually a handshake, a hug, and in some cases, a kiss on the cheek may be added. Women greet each other in a similar manner as men.
Since Saudi Arabia is a highly conservative country, individuals usually consider the social and religious repercussions of their decisions. Consequently, there is usually a collective approach when a person is making a decision. In Saudi Arabia, individuals normally seek the approval of their families because it plays a central role in the society. On the contrary, people in the United States normally consider the probable personal gains they can make based on their decisions. As a result, most individuals normally consult experts before making a decision (Edmonds, 2014). For example, before opening any business, a Saudi Arabian citizen will evaluate if it is accepted by his/her religion and seek the approval of his/her family, an American; however, will get advice on the viability of the investment from a financial consultant. Therefore, Americans are mostly individualistic while Saudi Arabians are more concerned about their religion and community.
An understanding of the culture of the people where my business is located will assist me to know how I should negotiate with them. My company manufactures and sells luxurious clothing and shoes locally and in foreign markets. Since my business is located in Saudi Arabia, I will be polite when communicating with my customers, suppliers, and employees. In addition, I will embrace the country’s culture and avoid actions that may be offensive to the society such as selling alcohol or greeting women by hand-I am a man. The understanding of the country’s economy is also essential for the success of my business. In Saudi Arabia, most individuals have a lot of income due to the huge reserves of natural gas and oil in the country. Therefore, I will stock my company with high-quality and luxurious products, which Saudi’s may be requiring.
An understanding of country’s culture is important for fostering proper communication between an individual his/her clients, suppliers, and employees. Moreover, it helps the person to determine the type of products that may be required by his/her clients. Therefore, my understanding of Saudi Arabia’s culture will help me to have a fruitful relationship with individuals that I will interact with in the country.
Edmonds, C. (2014). The culture engine: A framework for driving results, inspiring your employees, and transforming your workplace (1st ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Publishers.
Meyer, E. (2014). The culture map: breaking through the invisible boundaries of global business. New York, NY: PublicAffairs.