Date of Award

3-2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)

Degree Program

Global Leadership - with a specialization in Corporate and Organizational Management

Department

College of Business and Management

First Advisor

Ralph Norcio

Second Advisor

Farideh Farazmand

Third Advisor

Lisa Dandeo

Abstract

Non-Arab global leaders face many cultural challenges when doing business in Arab markets. One such challenge is how to work with wasta, which is translated as networking and favoritism. The purpose of this study was to identify the relationships between wasta and a non-Arab managerial expatriates' training, personal and professional characteristics, task complexity, and cultural differences and the effect of such relationships on wasta performance of non-Arab managerial expatriates in Arab markets.

A quantitative non-experimental survey design was used to collect and statistically test data to answer the research questions. A simple random sample of 53208 non-Arab expatriates currently working in the U.A.E. were invited to participate in the study, resulting in -final sample of 175 non-Arab expatriates who are holding managerial positions (.33%). Simple and multiple regression analyses were used to test the research questions and hypotheses. Coefficient alphas and factor analyses were conducted on all scales used in the study in order to examine their reliability and validity. For the multiple regression analyses, an F Value statistical test was used to identify the model's significant predictive capability. R Square (R2) identified the variances in the dependent variable explained by the independent variables.

Findings of this study indicated significant influence of Expatriates' Training on the Wasta Performance indicator of ability to build network with Arab managers; Expatriates' Characteristics on the Wasta Performance indicators of ability to build network and relationship with Arab managers, ability to understand Arab managers' decision making, and ability to integrate in the Arab business community; Task Complexity on the Wasta Performance indicators of ability to build network and relationship with Arab managers, and ability to integrate in the Arab business community; Cross-Cultural Differences on the Wasta Performance indicators of ability to build network and. strong relationship with Arab managers and understand Arab managers' decision making.

Future research may also include non-managerial expatriates in Arab markets, focus on the differences between wasta in the Arab culture and networking in other cultures, and assess non-expatriates in other Arab countries.

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