The Arab model of business management is molded by their national culture. For this reason, the Hofstede five-dimensional model is the most feasible cultural framework to use in evaluating a Coca-Cola company in the UAE. In Middle East countries, family is the basis of their social structure (Browaeys and Price, 2010). The family is led by a competent authoritarian father, which explains why most Emirati businesses display high power distance in their management (Browaeys and Price, 2010). According to Epps and Demangeot (2013), the Arabian culture embraces strict hierarchy and centralization of power. It is also expected that a Coca-Cola company in UAE will value collectivism over individualism (Reynolds, 2019). This is because Emiratis make decisions based on group interests rather than individual needs (Reynolds, 2019). Another characteristic of UAE-based companies is the constant devotion to the preservation of the environment. The Emirati culture is long-term oriented in that it focuses more on future generations rather than the present (Browaeys and Price, 2010). A Coca-Cola company in UAE also considers value systems, such as communication and personal relationships.
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Needs for Cross-Cultural Training
There is a need for cross-cultural management due to the high number of expatriates living and working in the UAE. The UAE population is rapidly growing due to the high number of foreigners migrating into the country owing to its strategic trade relations (Epps and Demangeot, 2013). This has sequentially led to the emergence of multiple cultures in the country. Diversity in culture leads to the loss or weakening of the local language, religion, and code of conduct (Browaeys and Price, 2010). It also brings about conflicts concerning prices, professional etiquette, communication, and leadership styles used in business (Reynolds, 2019). The Emirati business culture is slightly different from that of other countries (Reynolds, 2019). For that reason, cross-cultural management will be instrumental in helping the Coca-Cola company manage employees from different cultural backgrounds while still upholding the Emirati culture (Emirates Nature, 2019). It is also influential in the development of multicultural teams, a factor that makes a business more creative and competitive (Reynolds, 2019).
According to Hofstede’s model of layers of culture, the organization leaders need to consider the national UAE culture (Barta, 2015). The national culture informs the leadership style used, that is, the centralization of authority. It also provides insight into marketing products, thus preventing issues like price rows (The National UAE, 2012). More importantly, the Coca-Cola company should schedule cross-cultural training to promote intercultural communication. Multicultural teams give the company a competitive advantage (Reynolds, 2019). Hofstede’s model also ensures that the company leaders know the business model most suitable in this country. Thus, future decisions made should ensure that the company directives are in concert with employees’ culture.
Activities Required for Implementation
To implement the necessary changes, the Coca-Cola company needs to first assess vulnerabilities that may compromise its operations. Issues about communication, teamwork, appearance, and cultural diversity that affect employee performance should be prioritized. The stakeholders would then identify goals and changes that would help the business better its performance. Additionally, the relevant stakeholders should also plan and authorize the budget for the implementation of needed measures. The next activity would be designing curative measures and establishing corrective plans. This may involve scheduling regular cross-cultural training, modifying the general business model, or formulating culturally diverse approaches (Epps and Demangeot, 2013). The last activity would be monitoring implemented changes to ensure that they achieve their intended purpose.
Barta, N. (2015). Cross-cultural theories. [online] Beyond Cultural Differences. Web.
Browaeys, M.-J. and Price, R. (2010). Understanding Cross-Cultural Management. 3rd ed. Harlow CM20 2JE United Kingdom: PEARSON EDUCATION LIMITED.
Emirates Nature (2019). Regeneration of Wadi Shees | Water and Environment | Coca-Cola. [online] en.coca-colaarabia.com. Web.
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Epps, A. and Demangeot, C. (2013). The rainbow of diversity versus the rain of fragmentation: the futures of multicultural marketing in the UAE. Foresight, 15(4), pp.307–320.
Reynolds, K. (2019). 13 benefits and challenges of cultural diversity in the workplace Hult Blog. [online] Hult Blog. Web.
The National UAE (2012). Coke, Pepsi to be removed from UAE shelves over price row. [online] The National. Web.