1 Going global: How to succeed in International Business! (29 pages)

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Going Global: How to succeed in international business! 1

1 Going global: How to succeed in International

We don’t see things as they are,

We see things as we are


Anaïs Nin (French-American writer, 1903-1977)

I am in the lobby of a 5-star business hotel, travelling as a con-
sultant with top managers from the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Tour-
ism. We are on a tour of German luxury hotels to learn about qual-
ity management processes, and to adapt them to standards that
are suitable for Saudi Arabian guests. We travel as


guests’. My customers are dressed in Western clothing. The re-
ceptionist, a young woman, collects the necessary check-in infor-
mation from all the guests, making photocopies of passports and
scanning credit cards. When this procedure is complete, she an-
nounces that our rooms are actually not yet ready! This causes
quite a stir amongst our group of mystery guests. One of the Ara-
bian men explodes with anger, and to be honest, I was relieved
that he didn`t have a gun with him. From this A

rab man’s cultural

perspective, the check-in receptionist had violated his privacy and
ignored the hierarchy and the respect that he feels he deserves
and what is afforded him in his home country.

Another scene: A Western European construction company is
very active in the Arab world as well as in South Eastern Europe.
When recruiting for subsidiaries in partner countries, the company
makes use of human resource policies and tools that work in the
Western offices. However when the company uses assessment
tests in Russia to determine the best candidates for leadership
positions, the Human Resources Manager faces extreme re-
sistance. The employees do not want to be interrogated! The

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