Cultural Analysis of Saudi Arabia and New Zealand

1 January 2017

In terms of cultural dimensions, basically, culture elements are everywhere in our life no matter where are you from. Also, the uniqueness and differentiation of culture in diversified countries are influencing and fulfilling our large communication community—world, people involved in this harmonious place communicate, share ideas, cooperated and integrated every cultural diversity so as to make it better. “A culture is a society’s personality and our membership in a culture plays a big role in shaping our identities as individuals” (Solomon, Russell-Bennett. 010).

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The accumulation of shared meanings, languages, rituals, norms and customs, also a range of traditions among the world enriches the cultural diversity. The increasing communication of global events and businesses provides an opportunity for the people who from different regions to learn, understand, embrace and respect every distinct culture element, so that to enhance cultural adaptability in business communication, therefore ensuring cooperation succeed.

The following parts would be demonstrating Saudi Arabia and New Zealand two different cultures in terms of four dimensions: Individualism, power distance, uncertainty avoidance and masculinity. All this four dimensions could be explicitly displayed upon customs, language, religion, values and attitudes, manners and even aesthetics. * Individualism Individualism focuses on the degree the society reinforces individual or collective, achievement and interpersonal relationships. A High Individualism ranking indicates that individuality and individual rights are paramount within the society. –New Zealand.

A Low Individualism ranking typifies societies of a more collectivist nature with close ties between individuals. These cultures reinforce extended families and collectives where everyone takes responsibility for fellow members of their group—-Saudi Arabia (Hofstede, 2012). When it comes to Saudi Arabia culture, the apparent opinion is a really diversified culture that formed by a range of rules, regulations and principles. However, “As is seen in their naming conventions, Saudis are cognizant of their heritage, their clan, and their extended family, as well as their nuclear family.

Also, they take their responsibilities to their family quite seriously. Families tend to be large and the extended family is quite close” (kwintessential, 2004). The emphases on the family and member group make it to be a high Collectivist culture, according to the Geert Hofstede Analysis for Saudi Arabia on individualism, which ranked at 38, compared to a world average ranking of 64 (see appendix2), it means that Saudi Arabia contribute to highly commitment on family and groups community. New Zealand, with a score of 79 ((see appendix1) on this dimension, is an individualistic culture.

This translates into a loosely-knit society in which the expectation is that people look after themselves and their immediate families. In the business world, employees are expected to be self-reliant and display initiative. Also, within the exchange-based world of work, hiring and promotion decisions are based on merit or evidence of what one has done or can do. (Hofstede, 2012). Individualism is highly manifested in New Zealand culture, individually, as the wealth and social status are not crucial for them, personal achievement is more important for them, as they believe everyone has the same opportunity to compete.

For a range of young people, even the direct family is also important to them, but independent character makes them to persuade individual opportunity to enhance capacity, not only dependent on family. * Power Distance and Uncertainty Avoidance Power Distance focuses on the degree of equality, or inequality, between people in the country’s society. A High Power Distance ranking indicates that inequalities of power and wealth have been allowed to grow within the society. These societies are more likely to follow a caste system that does not allow significant upward mobility of its citizens. —-Saudi Arabia.

A Low Power Distance ranking indicates the society de-emphasizes the differences between citizen’s power and wealth. In these societies equality and opportunity for everyone is stressed—-New Zealand (Hofstede, 2012). Uncertainty Avoidance focuses on the level of tolerance for uncertainty and ambiguity within the society, such as unstructured situations. A High Uncertainty Avoidance ranking indicates the country has a low tolerance for uncertainty and ambiguity. This creates a rule-oriented society that institutes laws, rules, regulations, and controls in order to reduce the amount of uncertainty—-Saudi Arabia.

A Low Uncertainty Avoidance ranking indicates the country has less concern about ambiguity and uncertainty and has more tolerance for a variety of opinions. This is reflected in a society that is less rule-oriented, more readily accepts change, and takes more and greater risks—-New Zealand. According to the Geert Hofstede analysis for Saudi Arabia, which showed Large Power Distance (PDI) (95) and Uncertainty Avoidance (UAI) (80) (see appendix2), demonstrated that their Muslim faith plays a large role in the people’s lives. Large power distance and uncertainty avoidance are the predominant characteristics for this region.

Such high result of power distance and uncertainty avoidance can be explained a range of aspects. First of all, in terms of the religion, plays a vital role in the everyday life, ranging from setting moral guidelines, arranging social hierarchies, and a way for salvation after death. Religion also plays a major role in the executive area of government, deeply integrated in the laws of the country. Even the five stated daily pray times could display the strict of religion rules. There are a large number of principles or rules, regulations for Saudis in their daily behaviours, in order to stick to the religion principles.

For instance, during the holy month of Ramadan all Muslims must fast from dawn to dusk and are only permitted to work six hours per day. Fasting includes no eating, drinking, cigarette smoking, or gum chewing. So many restrictions like forbidding alcohol, not pork eaten and even women are not allowed to drive indicate that Saudi Arabia is a so strongly based in Muslim religion, also such strict rules, laws, policies, and regulations are adopted and implemented is aiming at controlling everything in order to eliminate or avoid the unexpected.

In terms of this two analysis, New Zealand scored 22 and 49 (see appendix1) respectively on Power Distance and Uncertainty Avoidance. The low power distance shows that New Zealand even has hierarchy operating system, which the Queen is in the pinnacle of power distance, however, the shared ideas and opinions in different parties make it more democratic. In small power distance organizations, “Subordinates and superiors consider each other as or less equal even there is a difference in education level. The hierarchical system can always change depending on the circumstances.

The hierarchies are flat with a decentralized organization and a small number of supervisors who are expected to be accessible for their subordinates” (International Business Cultures, 2010). Even in a family structure, or a small group activity, New Zealanders present a high integrated, direct and participative communication without any formal class structure. Although, there is another different Maori culture in New Zealand, which has own language, rituals, customs, etiquette, the power distance in terms of kiwi and Maori is till low.

Maori and English are used throughout the country in various television and radio programs. As with other regions in the world where two cultures have been mixed, English has influenced Maori and Maori has influenced English. Not only the language is greatly impacted mutually, but also the politics and economic, culture. The Uncertainty Avoidance score is 49 (see appendix1), which is practical in different aspects. It shows New Zealanders believe both generalists and experts are needed. Emotions are not shown much in New Zealand; people are fairly relaxed and not adverse to taking risks.

Consequently, there is a larger degree of acceptance for new ideas, innovative products and a willingness to try something new or different, whether it pertains to technology, business practices, or foodstuffs. (Hofstede, 2012). * Masculinity Masculinity focuses on the degree the society reinforces, or does not reinforce, the traditional masculine work role model of male achievement, control, and power. A High Masculinity ranking indicates the country experiences a high degree of gender differentiation.

In these cultures, males dominate a significant portion of the society and power structure, with females being controlled by male domination—Saudi Arabia. A Low Masculinity ranking indicates the country has a low level of differentiation and discrimination between genders. In these cultures, females are treated equally to males in all aspects of the society—-New Zealand (Hofstede, 2012). In Saudi Arabia, there is a range of restrictions and regulations for women, such as Women are expected to be very feminine, and obey male authority. They are expected to grow up, and become wives/mothers.

Besides, It is unacceptable in most social circles for women to voice their opinions about many things or question their male guardian’s authority. Furthermore, the labor is assigned by gender; strict gender segregation is sanctioned by the state and society, for instance, “Women are employed in girls’ schools and the women’s sections of universities, social work and development programs for women, banks that cater to female clients, medicine and nursing for women, television and radio programming, and computer and library work”( Countries and Their Cultures, 2010).

New Zealand has a low masculinity ranking, they understood their obligation to the people who worked to establish and maintain the society. In 1893, this British Commonwealth gave women the right to vote, which means Femininity has equal status in diversified organisations. In terms of a company structure, basically the Femininity authority means the organization cares more about employees and even corporate social responsibility rather than profits. Summary

The cultural dimensions comparison between Saudi Arabia and New Zealand attempts to develop a tool to measure the different countries’ society structure and development model in terms of individualism, power distance, uncertainty avoidance and masculinity. The comparison shows that Saudi Arabia religion element exert an enormous impact on not only social aspects, but also human rights in gender. Moreover, it present a short cut for international marketers to realize understanding a country cultural uniqueness is good for mutual cooperation, and is able to decrease the unpredictable mistake or conflicts possibility.

Furthermore, the cultural dimensions analysis presents a snapshot of country structure and social ecology in terms of diversified customs, etiquette and values. The cultural elements is not only exerting impacts on dwelling’s behavior, but also influence countries’ development. Advertising recommendations Doing advertising for exporting lamb from Australia to Saudi Arabia is an inevitable but at risk assignment. Saudi Arabia as a crucial lamb exporting market for Australia, the burgeoning economy and long history of lamb consumption motivate Australia to adjust market strategy to looking for niche markets for lamb products.

In terms of the Saudi Arabia population, which growing at the rate of 3. 8% per annum, the demand of importing lamb would increasing. It is an great opportunity for Australia to make huge progress on exporting lamb to Saudi Arabia if the advertisement could be thoroughly demonstrated in terms of the Saudi Arabia culture dimensions. The biggest problem facing Australia exporters of lamb is that religious beliefs require a revamp of the production process to accord with cultural preferences. First of all, the advertising content should comply with the local religious belief and display the qualification of product.

Since Islam has a major impact on the preference for lamb in the market, they regarded a range of western countries such as Australia not qualified in normal slaughterhouse techniques. Therefore, it is such crucial to make sure the techniques in slaughterhouse could meet the stipulations. The equipment for slaughtering and also technique certification should be presented in the advertising to get the trust from Saudi Arabia. Secondly, a thorough understanding of Saudi Arabia religious beliefs and culture customs is particularly essential for developing an outstanding advertising in the market.

For instance, the reason why Japanese company able to made such successful achievement in Saudi Arabia market is based on their qualified advertising. They did a range of researching on Islam custom and rituals, knowing that the comparison advertising is not welcomed by the local consumers, therefore, they never come up with the similar advertisements. In the contrary, a major tea company alienated Saudi customers after it aired a commercial that showed a Saudi host serving tea with his left hand to one of his guests.

Moreover, the guest was shown wearing shoes while seated, which is considered disrespectful by traditional Saudis. Thirdly, advertising content should be simplified but concentrated. In order to establish a long term brand and image-building, advertising content should be able to get the trust from Saudi Arabia customers, as the religious word-of-mouth effects, the high quality lamb product would be accepted by consumers in a long term. In addition, cooperating with local large media agency to come up with effective advertising based on religious customs could be more easily access to target audience.

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