The Silent Language of Overseas Business The article by Hall (1960) aims at highlighting the different business environments found in many countries globally. The author specifically discussed the problems American business people faced when they carried their operations in other countries. According to Hall (1960), an American businessman travelling abroad finds it difficult to carry out business mainly because of the different variables of complex behaviors and customs of the locals. Despite, the complexity experienced still the American businessman does not appreciate the practices and customs of the foreign companies hence resulting in unsuccessful business operations.
In proving his thesis, Hall (1960) categorized the differences in five divisions calling them the languages of time, space, material possessions, friendship patterns, and business agreement. The listed categories are the differences that any businessman finds in a new country and should be analyzed for one to succeed in business in a foreign country. In the context of an American businessperson the article concludes that the categories listed are very different and the languages listed cannot be applied in a foreign country. Therefore, if an American wants to do business in Dubai which is in the Middle East, the article can be very helpful.
In the language of time, an American businessperson in Dubai would be able to understand that time does not include schedules as in America. In the country, tasks are accomplished based on the relationship between the parties involved. Hence, an American would reduce formalities and get to know the other party personally so as to develop a friendship. Once a friendship is developed then services to the American would be prioritized. In the aspect of space, an American normally would want all executives and supervisors to have the largest offices at the top of the business building.
This is not the case in Dubai where executives want to be with other workers so that they can control effectively and workers to feel included. Therefore, an American in the country would make sure that contact with employees is maximized for them to feel appreciated. Furthermore, contact through setting offices near employees would ensure that workers work effectively since In Dubai there is a belief that a supervisor must be nearby. Material possession language is also a factor that the article educates where in Dubai emphasis is connection, family, and friends as opposed to material things.
Therefore, an American in Dubai should not use material things as leverage when creating an image to potential clients. The American should instead focus on strategies that promote friendship like parties and sports with prospective client. Furthermore, business deals should be brought as the last issue of discussion proving that the interest of the client is foremost. Friendship patterns in Dubai are different compared to that in America according to the article.
This is important to note for an American businessman where loyalty in Dubai is very prominent amongst friends. This is different in USA where there is a distinction between friendship and business. Hence, a businessman in Dubai can easily take the word of a client or partner once they are friends. This aspect also can beextended to the language of agreement where a contract is not needed in Dubai as word of mouth is enough. In USA, a contract is necessary to show the degree of seriousness of a business deal.
To a businessman in Dubai, a contract is binding and shows the absence of trust. Therefore, the article is relevant to an American businessman wanting to do business in Dubai as it enables him/her to understand other people, and integrate into their subconscious thousands of behavior patterns in Dubai. In Dubai, the people are guided by loyalty and friendship in their business transactions which is the opposite of that in USA. Reference Hall, E. T. (1960). The silent language in overseas business. Harvard Business Review, 38(3), 87-96.