Running head: Culture Culture and Marketing in Saudi Arabia Insert Insert Grade Insert 11 May Culture relates to the shared norms and traditions of an organization or society. Culture influences consumer behaviour. With the advent of globalization, cultural sensitivity has become prominent in the international markets. This paper highlights the impact of cultural theories to the international market segment, specifically Saudi Arabia, and differences with USA. Hofstede’s cultural dimensions: Power distance relates to equality and inequality in the society. High power distance society accepts inequality while low does not. The Arab countries score highly in power distance where hierarchical structures are commonplace, and autocracy is usually the norm in leadership and management.
Preference to centralized decision making is common in Saudi Arabia than in America. Uncertainty avoidance connotes feeling of uncertainties in the future as threat.
Saudi Arabia scores highly on uncertainty avoidance, the belief system is largely static with change frowned upon by the society. Similarly, there is immense appreciation to rules adherence.
In America, employment is at will while firing can happen quickly if there is non performance. Assertiveness and competition take shape; thus Saudi society is masculine Long term orientation relates to the adherence to long-term commitments, there is no much divergence between the two countries.
Religious observance gains more prominence in Saudi Arabia with praying five a day a common sight. In meetings, confrontation is not common as opposed to America.
Coca cola entered into a joint venture with Olayan Group of companies to manufacture and distribute Coca-Cola in Saudi Arabia.
The Olayan group is a multi national company across the world. Coca cola marketing strategy, through a local multinational company, bore fruits despite resistance of American influences across the Arab world. Islamic values are important as is respect to traditional values; extended families are involved in management of Olayan group.
Alcohol is outlawed and only soft drinks can conduct business. An understanding of this is critical to outsiders. The study dealt with one company across different countries; hence the conclusions ignore other types of businesses. Culture goes beyond national borders. It is likely that the dominant cultures are the representatives of other countries; hence some flaws in the conclusions. There are various meanings of culture and so conclusions are from limited meaning. Interpretations of responses may be lost in translation.
This model argues that culture is traditional but changes over time when the right conditions are present. Lastly Saudi Arabia way of doing business is different from America’s, decision making is done by few individuals. However, emphasis on relationships also makes the model relevant for Americans in Saudi Arabia. Halls model of culture: This model invokes cultural factors through high and low context and communication patterns.
Individuals ought to know the rules in high context culture where non verbal communication acquires preference than in low context societies. However, this is ambiguous in modern society where information can be easily obtained. This model is significant, the understanding of context helps to decode information under different cultures.
Hall’s model presents a dilemma to Americans from high context culture where information is straight forward to be culturally sensitive, as opposed to Saudis whose culture is low context and use coded language. Trompenaars culture dimensions: The seven dimensions under this theory can help managers in making decisions under different cultural settings. They fall into the following categories; relationship to nature, people and time. The study focused on capitalism, ignoring the reality that mixed economies are common than an ideal capitalist economy. The conclusions focus on developed countries while ignoring the plight of developing countries in their analysis. Chevron petroleum’s operations in Saudi Arabia are conducted through Arabian Chevron Inc, collectivism is preferred as opposed to individualism where responsibility is jointly taken, and collaboration with the state held Oil Company reinforces this idea.
This model uses behaviour responses and therefore it helps to predict conflicts under different cultural contexts. Lastly the model talks about how people deal with issues amongst themselves, there perception of time and relationship to natural environment. It is thus, important to understand Saudi Arabia’s culture for ease in marketing.