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Harmony and participation in Arab and Western teams

Harmony and participation in Arab and Western teams Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to make a cross‐cultural comparison of team harmony and participation of a collectivistic Middle Eastern sample of women and an individualistic Anglo sample of women. Design/methodology/approach – Two independent female samples are compared – Anglos and Arabs. Respondents completed a self‐report survey regarding their perceptions of recent team experiences as well as their own participation within those teams. Findings – The findings revealed greater sensitivity to inter‐member conflict on the part of the Arabic sample, coupled with increased incidence of behaviors to promote team harmony through the suppression of individual opinions and ideas. Research limitations/implications – Further research should be conducted to differentiate the interaction between role and gender. From a practical standpoint, quasi‐experimental research on interventions to reduce the participation problem would be important. Practical implications – Team performance and retention of Emirati employees within the United Arab Emirates context can be enhanced to the extent that managers understand the perceptions and participation of local employees. The findings of the current study aid managers in understanding the key role of team harmony sensitivity among Emiratis and its subsequent impact on their participation in team processes. Originality/value – The paper addresses a significant issue, team member participation, in an understudied but increasingly relevant setting, Middle Eastern teams. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Education, Business and Society: Contemporary Middle Eastern Issues Emerald Publishing

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1753-7983
DOI
10.1108/17537980810929957
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to make a cross‐cultural comparison of team harmony and participation of a collectivistic Middle Eastern sample of women and an individualistic Anglo sample of women. Design/methodology/approach – Two independent female samples are compared – Anglos and Arabs. Respondents completed a self‐report survey regarding their perceptions of recent team experiences as well as their own participation within those teams. Findings – The findings revealed greater sensitivity to inter‐member conflict on the part of the Arabic sample, coupled with increased incidence of behaviors to promote team harmony through the suppression of individual opinions and ideas. Research limitations/implications – Further research should be conducted to differentiate the interaction between role and gender. From a practical standpoint, quasi‐experimental research on interventions to reduce the participation problem would be important. Practical implications – Team performance and retention of Emirati employees within the United Arab Emirates context can be enhanced to the extent that managers understand the perceptions and participation of local employees. The findings of the current study aid managers in understanding the key role of team harmony sensitivity among Emiratis and its subsequent impact on their participation in team processes. Originality/value – The paper addresses a significant issue, team member participation, in an understudied but increasingly relevant setting, Middle Eastern teams.

Journal

Education, Business and Society: Contemporary Middle Eastern IssuesEmerald Publishing

Published: Oct 3, 2008

Keywords: Women; United Arab Emirates; Team working; Cross‐cultural studies; Group dynamics

References