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
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.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.