Cultural Integration with Strategic Decision-Making Process in Determining Innovation Performance: Evidence from an Arab Country Setting

Cultural Integration with Strategic Decision-Making Process in Determining Innovation Performance: Evidence from an Arab Country Setting

Ekaterini Galanou (Qatar University, Qatar) and Marios Katsioloudes (Qatar University, Qatar)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1837-2.ch025
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This chapter presents an empirical study that examines the co-alignment between the Strategic Decision-Making Process (SDMP) and cultural contextual factors in developing a more completely specified model of innovation performance in a different setting from the Arab Middle East, namely Qatar. The key variables in this model consist of four strategic decision-making process dimensions (speed, degree of rationality, political behavior, and individual involvement), four culture attributes (locus of control, decision style, collectivistic orientation, and hierarchy), and innovation performance as an outcome variable in terms of process and product/service practice. The survey from 140 public and private organizations improves our understanding in three major issues: first, that SDM practices have a direct and more significant impact on process innovation performance than product/service innovation performance; second, that innovation performance is both process- and context-specific; and third, certain characteristics of the location support culture-specific awareness.
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As international interactions increase in frequency and importance, there is an enduring need to know how managers make decisions in different parts of the world, despite the recognized existence of different decision-making approaches (Nutt, 1984; Brouthers et al., 2000; Dean and Sharfman, 1993;, Dean et al., 1993) . This knowledge is critical since a distinctive prevailing decision style reflects differences in cultural values and the relative needs for achievement, affiliation, power and information (Abbas Ali 1989; M. Martinsons & R. Davison, 2007). Particularities of cultures give birth to respective management practices and decisions, personal motivation, and the ways in which information is interpreted (e.g. Laurent, 1983; Hickson and Pugh, 2001; Whitley,2000; Hofstede, 2001; Hayat Kabasakal, e.t.c, 2012; House et al. 2004; Trompenaars 1998). Despite the fact that the influence of societal (or national) values on how decisions are made, research literature is lacking for determining the effect of cultural factors on the Arab strategic decision making process (J. Hammoud,2011 ; A. Ali, 1995; A.J. Ali, 1995; Mellahi, 2003;Mellahi et al, 2010; Riddle et al, 2007; S. Elbanna & J. Child, 2007). Therefore, this bundle of evidence is significant because of the increasing interest of Western nations concerning the growing affluence of Arab countries, especially that of the Gulf States as a critical part of the world economy. Despite the profound interest in the theme, the influence of Arab business culture remains unclear (J. Hammoud, 2011; A. Ali, 1995; Mellahi, 2003;Mellahi & Budhwar, 2010). But, Arabs have not been static in the face of globalization and other changes that have challenged their world (Baraket, 1993; Hill et al., 1998).

This study aims at contributing to the body of knowledge regarding the role of culture in the SD making process in terms of determining performance. It extends traditional cultural studies to explore the within-nation cultural specificities of a particular country and enhance the development of cross-cultural theories and methodology. This procedure builds upon the significance of the executives’ cultural values in shaping SDs, by exploring a number of specific national characteristics of the top level managers (e.g. locus of control, decision style, collectivistic orientation, hierarchy) as well as a number of dimensions characterizing the process of making SDs (e.g. degree of rationality, speed, political behavior, individual involvement).

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