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How Cultural Understanding Influences Business Success in Middle East and North Africa (MENA)

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

International Division Technical Session 3

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Paper Authors


Gholam Ali Shaykhian Florida Institute of Technology

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Ali has received a BS degree in Electronics, a Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Computer Systems and a second M.S. degree in Operations Research from the University of Central Florida and has received a Ph.D. degree in Operations Research from the Florida Institute of Technology (FIT). His research interests include knowledge management, data mining, object-oriented methodologies, design patterns, software safety, genetic and optimization algorithms. Dr. Shaykhian is a professional member of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), serving as the past Program Chair for the Minorities in Engineering Division. He has served as a chair, vice-chair, program chair, and program committee member for numerous conferences of ASEE.

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Jinan Ziade

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I have a PhD in Organizational Leadership with emphasis in IST from University of Phoenix, and an MBA from the same university. I have over 7 years of extensive leadership experience in advertising, marketing, strategies, and project team lead. Currently serving as Program Chair of Guild volunteer at St. Jude Medical Center and working with Memorial Foundation on philanthropic endeavors. My research interest include knowledge of cultural differences and leadership practices within global organizations and problem solving. Developed a leadership practices model that provides a suitable framework and salient business strategy component for corporations seeking to expand successfully.

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Mohd A. Khairi Najran University

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I, Mohamed Khairi, my bachelor degree in computer science. I did my Masters in system science from University of Ottawa, Canada. My PH.D was in “Master Data Management” from University of Phoenix. I have over 20 years of experience in IT industry - ten of them with Microsoft in Redmond, WA. Currently I’m assistant professor at University of Najran. In addition of teaching and Research I’m coordinator of graduation projects and field training for computer and information system college.

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How cultural understanding influence business success in Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Technological innovations in communication, transportation, and the internationalization of national markets has led leaders of corporations of all sizes to increase interconnectedness and relationships within all aspects of life. Distance is no longer a barrier, the world has been shrinking and hierarchical geopolitics are flatter; that is, the world has become smaller and national boundaries matter less. This increased integration has benefited economic growth and the interrelationship among various cultures and people. Economic interdependence has led to increased competition among corporations to achieve sustainability and expand demand for products and services to meet customers’ expectations. Geopolitical boundaries do not restrict seemingly borderless businesses in the fields of information access, education, markets, capital, products, and services. This situation is very different from 19th century railroad transportation and 20th century mass-production manufacturing in which competition operated mainly amongst neighboring regions. Three emblematic factors characterize globalization: the technological revolution, cross-regional dialogue, and cultural diversity, which have proved to be catalysts for the growth of business. Developments in technology have caused organizations to change the business culture and change how people communicate between organizations. Friedman (2005) linked information advancements to the world he described as flattened and shrinking, driven by culturally diverse organizations that value diversity of people. Noting technology’s transformative potential, Friedman (2005) explained, “With interconnectivity, work could be moved around to the four corners of the world through the creation of a global platform for a global workforce of people” (p. 67). This paper expose the importance of increased insight into cultural differences, which may enable leaders to achieve substantial results by appropriately preparing employees to accomplish organizational missions. Focusing on cultural differences could assist educators, leaders to develop strategic cross-cultural approaches to transform educators, managers into global strategic leaders. Leaders may need to seek a deeper understanding of the peculiarities of the host culture and style of leadership and management, and to look for continual improvement.

Shaykhian, G. A., & Ziade, J., & Khairi, M. A. (2016, June), How Cultural Understanding Influences Business Success in Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.27307

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