Business may be fundamentally the same the world over, but management style differs greatly.
Suggestions by subordinates might be welcomed in one culture but seen as inappropriate in another. Employees in a new country may be confused if bosses are not more hands-on, or feel stifled when they are.
These concerns are particularly acute in the UAE, where expatriates make up the majority of the workforce.
“If someone’s coming from the UK they’ve got expectations or experience based on British culture and then move across to the UAE where things are slightly different, the reaction can be negative,” says Neil Payne, a director of Kwintessential Arabia. He helps run the office along with Kamran Hussain, the company’s vice president.
It is one of a small number of companies, including Embrace Arabia and Spearhead Training, offering multicultural training in the Emirates.
“What we do is really give an explanation of the differences between them, how locals prefer to manage and how to interpret certain behaviours or actions so that when these things do come up it doesn’t result in a negative response.”
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