Doing favors in the Arab world

BERGER, Ron (2019). Doing favors in the Arab world. International journal of emerging markets.

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Abstract

This qualitative study analyzes the role of Wasta, a culturally based system of social networks of exchange among in-group members in the Arab world, as exemplified by three groups of Arabs in the Palestinian Authority, and then compares it to Guanxi (China), Sviazi (Russia), and Jaan-Pechaan (India). The use of social networks is a common business model around the world to accomplish business objectives and is especially relied upon in emerging economies where formal institutions are weak. It is important to understand the commonalities and differences in the use of reciprocity in various cultural contexts in order to conduct business effectively. Little research, however, has focused on the use of Wasta in the Arab world, a gap which this article addresses. We do so by analyzing the views of Wasta held by three important groups – leaders, business people, and students. While each type of reciprocity has its own unique characteristics, we focus on three interrelated constructs that have been found to underlie the use of reciprocity in various cultures. In the Arab world, these are Hamola, which incorporates reciprocity; Somah, that incorporates trust; and Mojamala, which incorporates empathy through social business networks. The aim of the paper is to illustrate the structure of Wasta and how it is perceived and constructed among three Arab social groups, and then compare and contrast it with social business models in three other high context cultures.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1505 Marketing; 1503 Business and Management
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 20 Mar 2019 10:38
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2019 15:00
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/24270

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