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    Discussing Culture, Gender and Leadership

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    Culture, gender, and leadership can be closely intertwined. In most cultures, even Western cultures, leadership is associated with males. This is even more the case in many Arab Muslim countries where women play a limited role in public and business life.

    As a leader of a business division, you face the choice of selecting the leader of a negotiation team to draft a new deal with a potential Saudi Arabian client. By far your best, most experienced, and most skilled negotiator is one of your female executives. She has, for many years, successfully negotiated deals within the United States and in several Western countries. Her second in command is a promising, but relatively young male executive who still needs to develop his skills and experience (Nahavandi p. 27).

    In 3-4 paragraphs, answer the following questions. It is suggested that you research Saudi culture first:

    - It is your understanding that women in Saudi Arabia do not even drive, let alone participate in business. Is this still true, or is it changing?
    - What is the purpose of the negotiation? How will that affect your choice of negotiators?
    - Who will you send to Saudi Arabia as head of your team? Why?
    - If your CEO is insistent on sending the female executive, what adjustments might you make to ensure that the deal is not put at risk?
    - What are the implications of your decision for your business and the message you send as a leader?

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    Solution Preview

    It is your understanding that women in Saudi Arabia do not even drive, let alone participate in business. Is this still true, or is it changing?

    In my understanding that women's participation in business in Saudi Arabia is changing, Even though in the past women have faced segregation and were not allowed to participate in business, inheritance laws have allowed Saudi women to inherit considerable wealth and invest it in business. This has led to a thriving business community in Saudi Arabia. Currently there are about 15,000 companies owned by Saudi women. The areas of business include clothes, makeup, home decor, food and gourmet items. Currently women in business are entering private education, training and contracting. In fact the Government of Saudi Arabia is promoting women in business. .

    What is the purpose of the ...

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