The paper "The Adaptation of Foreign Companies to the Saudi Market" is an outstanding example of a management literature review. To outsiders, Saudi Arabia seems like a country that is full of paradoxes and contrasts. The country has modern cities and the government often reiterates that the kingdom is open to doing business with the world. However, on the other hand, the strict Islamic culture of the country, which is evident in the social customs, clashes with what most people perceive as a modern business and economic realities. As Jones (2015) notes, foreign companies usually have challenges adapting to the Saudi Arabian customs because in most cases, such customs are contrary to the value systems held in western democracies.
It has therefore been observed that the successful operations of foreign companies in Saudi Arabia largely depend on how well the businesses understand and adapt to the host country’ s customs. This literature review will document and discuss existing knowledge in the literature regarding how international foreign companies adapt to the Saudi Arabian market specifics in order to gain a competitive advantage.
Specifically, the literature review will seek to understand the technological and supply chain perspectives adopted by foreign companies as they seek to attain competitiveness in the Saudi Arabian market. Adaptation is different from standardization in that through the former, businesses seek to change existing factors regarding their modes of operation elsewhere to fit into a new market. Standardization on the other hand seeks to ‘ import’ existing business strategies into a new market. While standardisation can lead to reduced costs of doing business, it has been criticised for assuming that the international market is homogenous and that one product/service would be acceptable to all global consumers (Alimiene& Kuvykaite, 2008).
Adaptation on the other hand involves higher costs since a foreign company’ s operations (including its product/service offers) must be modified to fit the unique traits of the new international market. Arguably, adaptation enhances a foreign company’ s chances of attaining competitiveness in a new market since the business operations will be modelled to address specific needs and preferences that exist therein. As will be discussed in this literature review, Saudi Arabia has unique traits that every foreign company seeking to venture into its market needs to be aware of.
Basically, the successful operation of a foreign firm in the Saudi Arabian market depends on how well those traits are considered in a foreign company’ s operation strategy in the kingdom.
Alashban, A.A., Hayes, L.A., Zinkhan, G.M., & Balazs, A.L. (2002). International brand name standardization/adaptation: Antecedents and consequences. Journal of International Marketing, 10(3), 22-48.
Al-Falag, K., Zairi, M., & Ahmed, A.M. (2003). The role of supply-chain management in world-class manufacturing: an empirical study in the Saudi context. International Journal of Physical distribution & Logistics Management, 33(5), 396-407.
Alimiene, M., & Kuvykaite, R. (2008). Standardization/adaptation of marketing solutions in companies operating in foreign markets: An integrated approach. Engineering Economics, 1 (56), 37-47.
Alotaibi, A.O., & Bach, C. (2014). Consumer awareness and potential market for e-commerce in Saudi Arabia: Challenges and solutions. ASEE 2014 Zone I Conference, April 3-5, University of Bridgeport, Bridgeport, CT.
Al-Thawwad, R. (2008). Technology transfer and sustainability-adapting factors: Culture, physical environment, and geographical location. Proceedings of the 2008 IAJC-IJME International Conference, Paper 152, Session 305, 1-15.
Anthony, S. (2011). Innovate of adapt? The challenge: Should new products be developed in-market or adapted to market? What can companies to do ensure that innovation equates to better business? Singapore Sessions & Harvard Business Review, pp. 8-9.
Busnania, I. (2014). Fashion marketing in Arab world: Brand identity vs. Adaptation. Journal of Textile and Apparel, Technology and Management, 9(1), 1-20.
Chadra, V. (2006). Technology, adaptation and exports. How some developing countries got it right. Washington, DC: World Bank Publications.
Christopher, M. (2011). Logistics and supply chain management: Creating value-adding networks (4th ed). Edinburg, England: Prentice Hall.
Daniels, J.D., Radenbaugh, L.H., & Sullivan, D.P. (2004). International business: Environments and operations (10th ed.). Upper Saddle, NJ: Pearson Education Inc.
Deresky, H., & Christopher, E. (2011). International management: Managing cultural diversity. Upper Saddle, NJ: Pearson Higher Education.
El Mallakh, R. (2015). Saudi Arabia: Rush to development (RLE economy of Middle East): profile of and Energy Economy and investment. New York: Routledge.
Fatani, A.H. (2009). The state of translation industry in Saudi Arabia. Translation Journal, 13(4). Retrieved from http://translationjournal.net/journal/50saudi.htm
Hise, R., & Choi, Y-T. (2010). Are US companies employing standardisation or adaptation strategies in their international markets. Journal of International Business and Cultural Studies, 1-29.
Hofstede, G., Hofstede, G., & Minkov, M. (2010). Cultures and organisations: Software of the mind: Intercultural cooperation and its importance for survival (3rd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill Education.
International Business Publications. (2009). Saudi Arabia investment and business guide. Washington DC: International Business Publications.
Jones, R. (2015). Foreign retailers bend to conform to Saudi religious rules. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from http://www.wsj.com/articles/foreign-retailers-bend-to-conform-to-saudi-religious-rules-1434421369
Kapurubandara, M., & Lawson, R. (2006). Barriers to adopting ICT and e-commerce with SMEs in developing countries: An exploratory study in Sri Lanka. CollECTeR, 06. Retrieved from http://www.researchgate.net/publication/228613508_Barriers_to_Adopting_ICT_and_e-commerce_with_SMEs_in_Developing_Countries_An_Exploratory_study_in_Sri_Lanka
Khanum, A.K., Fatima, S., & Chaurasia, M.A. (2012). Arabic interface analysis based on cultural markers. Retrieved from http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1203/1203.3660.pdf
Latham & Watkins LLP. (2010). Doing business in Saudi Arabia. Retrieved from https://www.lw.com/upload/pubContent/_pdf/pub3507_1.pdf
Mahajan, V. (2012). The Arab world unbound: Tapping the power of 350 million consumers. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Mahajan, V. (2013). Understanding the Arab consumer. Harvard Business Review, May issue. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2013/05/understanding-the-arab-consumer.
Sait, M.S., Al-Tawil, K.M., & Hussain, S.A. (2004). E-commerce in Saudi-Arabia: Adoption and perspectives. Australian Journal of Information Systems, 12(1), 54-74.
Simchi-Levi, D., Kaminsky, P., & Simchi-Levi, E. (2008). Designing & managing the supply chain. Concepts, strategies & case studies (3rd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.
Sohail, S.M. (2004). Saudi consumers’ perceptions of foreign products in the new millennium: an analysis of country images. Retrieved from http://faculty.kfupm.edu.sa/coe/sadiq/proceedings/SCAC2004/09.ASC074.EN.Sohail.Saudi%20Consumers%20Perception%20of%20Foreig%20_1_.pdf
Sohail, S.M., Sayeed, M.A., Al-Fadhil. A., & Sahin, O.G. (2009). Strategic supply chain integration and its impact on organizational performance: Perspectives from an emerging nation. International Journal of Integrated Supply Management, 5(1), 62-80.
Srinivasan, M., Stank, T., Dornier,P-P., & Petersen, K. (2014). Global supply chains: Evaluating regions on an EPIC framework – economy, politics, infrastructure, and competence. New York: McGraw-Hill Education.
Stank, T., Burnette, M., Dittman, P. (2014). Global supply chains. A report by the Supply Chain Management Faculty at the University of Tennessee. 1-52. Retrieved from http://globalsupplychaininstitute.utk.edu/publications/documents/GSCI-EPIC-paper.pdf
Theodosiou, M., & Leonidou, L.C. (2003). Standardization versus adaptation of international marketing strategy: an integrative assessment of the empirical research. International Business Review, 12, 141-171.
Virvilaite, R., Seinauskiene, B., & Sestokiene, G. (2011). The link between standardization/adaptation of international marketing strategy and company performance. Inzinerine Ekonomika-Engineering Economics, 22(1), 106-117.
White, G.R.T., Afolayan, A., & Plant, E. (2014). Challenges to the adoption of e-commerce technology for supply chain management in a developing economy: A focus on Nigerian SMEs. In E Lacka, H.K. Chan, & N.K.T. Yip (Eds.), E-Commerce platform acceptance: Supplies, retailers and consumers (pp. 23-39). Geneva, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.
Wills, J., Samli, C., & Jacobs, L. (1991). Developing global products and marketing strategies: A construct and a research agenda. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 19(1), 1-10.