The and hiring happen within the family

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The country that is most interesting to me is Iraq.  The interest in this particular country stems from my employment with Marriott as a Director of Sales, and Government Specialist, and also having been a military wife for 15 years, with a husband deployed to this particular country multiple time.  The differences between North America business culture and Iraq are quite significant.   Having engaged directly in business with the Iraqi Special Forces through my government contractor clients stateside, I was shown first hand just how different our cultures were.Individualism and collectivism – Iraq would stand directly as a collectivistic society, allowing for minimal if any individualism.  In Iraq you do not have the ability to stand out or even start a business without the authority and authority of the government.  Iraqi culture is known to have groups where each member is liable for other members within the group.  Loyalty is predominate within their culture and disallows many other rules regarding social relations.  A violation in breaking these particular societal rules would bring forth shame and humiliation, not only to the individual but the group or family as a whole.  Promotion and hiring happen within the family link or group, and members are distinguished by their principles of proper conduct.  Promotion and hiring are deemed through their particular group.  Management is regarded as managing the in groups.    Egalitarianism and hierarchy – Iraq is a hierarchical society in regards to business.  Egalitarianism does not exist within their culture.  They do not believe that all people deserve equal rights.  Iraq’s hierarchy in business is the more superior member of each in-group will take command of any business meeting or negotiations required.  Lower ranking individuals within the group are required to authenticate incoming information, and advice the superior member of such information.  Doing business with Iraqi companies requires quite a bit of patience and understanding of their culture.  Being blunt, rude or abrupt may seem disrespectful to Americans, but in general by recognizing their cultures and societal interactions, will provide more insight to why they may act or react in certain ways.Assertiveness – The Iraq culture in general is filled with assertive leaders.  Business dealings with senior members of Iraq groups will show this assertiveness ten fold.  Iraqi businessmen are known for their blunt, direct and assertive behaviors.  My personal experience as a Director of Sales for Marriott, showed me that and Iraq General does not ask politely and expects all things to be laid out and provided ahead of time.  Having to ask for what he believes he should already have is considered disrespect in this particular culture.  Courteousness and manners, such as, “please, and thank you”, do no exist within this particular culture either.  Iraqi businessmen believe time is money, and you need to get directly to the point in presenting a deal or closing.  The value of the deal will assess just how much time they will allow in regards to meetings or negotiations.Performance orientation-  Iraqi businesses, nor their government provides rewards for superior performance in regards to business activities.  Promotion within a group due to excellence is not exhibited within their culture either.  Your ranking within a group or business in Iraq is based upon your societal ranking, or family wealth.  Iraq businessmen “live in order to work”, their superiors are required to be assertive and decisive, and conflicts and performance are determined through fighting them out.  Promotion to the superior ranking within the group, comes only if there is death, illness or a son of the higher ranking takes over the reigns.  The government will reward particular businesses that excel with a better standing within the government itself.Future orientation- Iraq tends to lean towards past orientation within their culture.  They are a traditional based country in regards to business and a future orientation is not recognized.    Humane orientation- Iraq culture does not meet the definition of humane orientation.  In rewarding for being fair, generous or friendly.  They are actually the opposite of humane orientation. Corruption and bribery happens all around the world but there is an abundance that stems from dealings within businesses and government within Iraq.Uncertainty avoidance-  Iraq tends to score high within this particular category.   Through maintaining their firm beliefs and demeanor, remaining parochial of unorthodox ideas or behaviors.  There is an abundance of uncertainty in most business dealings with Iraqi businessmen.  The hierarchy within each group can change the game at any point.  I am not sure how I would survive within this type of economic chaos, especial y with such uncertainty and lack of planning or substantial follow through.Gender egalitarianism- Businesses in Iraq or primarily male dominate.  Woman lack the ability for education, healthcare, or entrepreneurship within Iraq.  After the wars on Iraq and the changes within the government, there have been a few woman that have succeeded in moving forward in business and making a breakthrough for other women with in the country in the future.  Women are usually seen to take care of the home, the needs of their husband and children.  Even the male children show little if any respect to their mothers, or other women in general.  I seen this first hand in my association with the Iraqi general that stayed at my hotel.  He disregarded all movements i made to make his stay a pleasant one.  This particular client was very needy and his responses to questions came when a male would ask them during most interactions.  I will say that upon his departure, he did reach and shake my hand and said, “thank you”, which is almost unheard of, but was a very memorable experience.     “Iraq’s new Constitution (adopted in 2005) states that all Iraqis are equal before the law and prohibits discrimination based on sex (at Article 14).However, the Constitution also cites Islam as the basic source of legislation and forbids the passing of laws contradictory to its “established rulings”, and Article 41 allows each religious group in Iraq to govern its own personal status matters.”(Ahmed, Huda (2010) p.161)References:Marlow, L. (2002). Hierarchy and egalitarianism in Islamic thought. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Hofstede, G., & Hofstede, J. G. (2005). Cultures and organizations: software of the mind. New York: McGraw-Hill.Kelly, S., & Breslin, J. (2010). Womens rights in the Middle East and North Africa: progress amid resistance. New York: Freedom House.

Categories: Entrepreneurship

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