Demographic Background of Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia is the largest country in the Middle East, consuming an area of approximately 830 thousand square miles. Saudi Arabia is bordered by Jordon, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Oman and Bahrain. The Red Sea lies to the west and the Persian Gulf lies to the northeast of Saudi Arabia. The geography of the country varies from the humid western coastal region to sandy lowlands in the east. In the southwestern region there are mountains as high as 10 thousand feet and having a climate that promotes the growth of a large variety of plant life. The “Empty Boarder” desert in the south contains very little life. The capital is Riyadh and is also the largest city. The official language of the country is Arabic. The government is an Islamic absolute monarchy, ruled by the son and grandsons of the first king, Abd Al Aziz Al Saud. Saudi Arabia has a population of roughly 28 million with 9 million being foreign nationals. The estimated gross domestic product is approximately 438 billion with forty five percent coming from its vast petroleum reserves. (al-Rasheed)
Cultural Variables of Saudi Arabia
Culture in its basic form can be defined as a system of values and norms that are collectively shared between individual groups of people. The shared ideas form a basis for the way a particular group lives. Culture within a particular group or as is the case for Saudi Arabia, an entire country, can have an enormous impact on the way business is conducted. Culture influences managerial styles and management decisions. Culture affects the nature of how negotiations are made. The behavior of managers is driven by his or her culture.
Managers must understand how culture might affect the various management functions. For example, if a culture places an emphasis on people being unequal in physical and intellectual capabilities, they may be more prone to having a wide gap between the importance of superiors and their...