Culture and Gender.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia adheres to strict Koran laws. Among them is the veiling of women, structuring of their work and lives away from men, and driving (Wikipedia, 2007). Though education in the West is slowly changing this, it is not in any way translated to policy changes or reforms (Bradley, 2006).
We aim to ink a deal with the Saudi government for the setting-up of a supermarket chain. To be successful, the negotiators must show respect to the country’s laws and norms. The Saudi government- through the religious police- is the primary proponent and advocate of strict laws and norms pertaining to women hence they should be dealt with sensitively.
I choose the budding male executive over the veteran female to head the team. In the country, women are not expected to work in positions which allow them to interact with men. Sending a woman as head of the negotiating team would be an insult to the Saudis with their deeply-entrenched conservative values.
Should the CEO insist on sending her, I will ensure that she will not be the front liner. She will still head the negotiations but the spokesman will be the male executive. She will still make the decision but through the latter.
My decision will send a message to within and outside the company that we are serious in our business transactions. It is by complying with the norms and laws of wherever you do business which wins deals. As a leader, it will show my flexibility in matters not wholly congruent to traditional norms of conducting business.
Part II- Power Corruption Cycle
Power Corruption Cycle is an organizational phenomena characterized by the use of rank to intimidate or bribe the lower-echelons to allow an illegitimate or corrupt practice to happen and/or continue. When the latter become managers or executives themselves, they apply the same corrupt practices which also influence those with lower positions. This cycle- if uninterrupted by new management- would go on and on. It poisons an organization in that the quality of service/s and/or products will be compromised which will eventually lead to its downfall.
An example is on the awarding of contracts to bidders in government projects. The members of the bids and awards committee are all corrupt and have a mutual understanding of granting the contract not to the one which offers the premium bid but to the one who can offer the largest kickback. A young, newly-hired assistant to the committee intends to follow stated rules in bidding but soon finds out about the “unwritten rules”.
He is co-opted and fits permanently into the organization. The people- recipients of developmental projects- suffer through sub-standard infrastructure and incoherent development projects and services. This leads to mistrust and enmity towards the government which will create a longing in society to reform, if not replace the government in power and/or the system.
ReferenceBradley, J. (2006). Saudi Arabia exposed: Inside a kingdom in crisis. NY: Palgrave Macmillan.
Wikipedia Online Encyclopedia. 2007. Islam in Saudi Arabia. Retrieved Feb. 13, 2008, from
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