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.
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?
It is very true that Arab society like Saudi Arabia is predominantly a male society where women are not allowed to take important business. But, with the influence of western culture and education, the situation has now started to change in Muslim countries.
The purpose of the negotiation is to strike a deal with a potential Saudia Arabian client. In international businesses, we have to be culturally sensitive and aware of business practices and customs ...
It is very true that Arab society like Saudi Arabia is predominantly a male society where women are not allowed to take important business.