The culture of Saudi Arabia is often considered to be “ closed and extremely conservative” . This is likely due to the strong Islamic faith and values which have governed Saudi Arabian society for decades, where rules-oriented organizations have become commonplace to ensure unity of purpose. Saudi Arabia is also a collectivist culture, meaning that the ideas and values of groups are considered to be more paramount to individual opinion or individual business contribution. There are elements of the strong corporate culture observable at Saudi Aramco, a type of culture where “ culture is seen as an input that can be manipulated to contribute to organizational success.
It is management created and imposed on the rest of the business” . Saudi Aramco senior leadership recognizes the importance of diplomacy and cross-cultural relationships with foreign citizens and global buyers, therefore this cultural aspect is consistently reinforced from the top-down to ensure that all divisions and business partners remain focused on cultural diversity. Pless and Mack (2006) describe the culture of inclusion model where people of multiple backgrounds, beliefs and mindsets work together effectively and use their voices to be heard and accepted.
This is noticeable in multiple operational divisions from technology and R& D as well as other support services such as the Fire Protection Department. All of the internal business divisions and support services work with multi-national business leaders and foreign regulators, therefore these attitudes are considered to be some of the most primary human-oriented characteristics which lead to business success. Diversity training is ever-present in all layers of management and staff support divisions. Said one business leader of Saudi Aramco, “ We will never give up that mix of cultures which gave us such strength throughout the last 30 years” .
The term represents sophistication from a cultural perspective in which broad-based cultural understandings are consistently reinforced from senior management.
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