Management characteristics and organisation context in Saudi Arabia
The purpose of this research was to compare the characteristics of both Western and Saudi senior management in Saudi Arabian business organisations. The author investigated management characteristics, and the differences between Saudi and Western managers in their styles and management practices. In addition, he investigated the underlying causes of ineffective management and ineffective organisational context and systems in Saudi Arabia. Some sources have claimed that Saudi managers are ineffective in their management styles. Yet no effort was made by these sources to compare Saudi and non-Saudi managers. In addition, no study has been made to compare non-government and government business corporations. Also, little has been said elsewhere regarding the social and organisational environments and their effects/impacts on both management and corporations. The present study has attempted to do this. Difficulties in developing management and organisation have arisen because of Saudi Arabia's rapid development from a traditional society towards industrialisation and modernisation. Field research was conducted in several cities of Saudi Arabia from June 1989 to August 1991. Methods of eliciting data included questionnaires and interviews. Data-processing was done by Loughborough University of Technology computer centre. The author found that most Saudi managers lack effective skills and relevant knowledge. They were autocratic, exhibiting an authoritarian style for their personal interests, yet demonstrating people-concern for keeping subordinates happy. By contrast Western managers were high short term task-oriented, with low people-concern, but were strongly influenced by the Saudi Arabian environment. Recommendations for change or improvement may be topics worthy for further study.