Business etiquette is a code of behavior that describes the way businesses operate in a country. It differs from one country to another due to differences in the political and socio-economical factors. Business etiquette requires one to know the names of his/her fellow employees and also develop relationships with them. It is also follows that one should clearly follow the evaluator rule which prevents people from discussing their own personal impressions during meetings. The modern day etiquette prevents employees from criticizing one another (Fox, 2008). This essay tries to compare business etiquette in UAE and USA.
USA business structures tend to be varied but they have some common characteristics. They companies are assumed to be entities that have their own rights and they actually exist separately from the employees. This clearly indicates that the employees come and go and they are only supposed to perform the tasks that allotted to them. The employees are supposed to leave when they are not required in the organization. In the US companies there is a transactional relationship between the employee and the employer.
According to the American organizations the chief executive officer holds the highest post in the company. It is also realized that the senior management team in the organization is highly entrenched to personality. They are required to have the necessary traits which enable them to act as leaders. Therefore the status is not in any way determined by family relationships or money but through qualifications. The boards of directors in most of the companies have no significant input to the daily processes of the company. This in turn implies that the chief executive officer should be involved in ensuring continuity of the business life.
Some of the business in the UAE are controlled and owned by family members. It is also evident that nepotism is prevalent in most of the Arabian businesses. Most of the important positions in the companies are filled by members of the family. This is because they have the notion that they can only trust their family members. Most of the companies are organized in hierarchical lines which follow a vertical approach. Most of the powers are held by the top officials in the organization who are mostly the older male members of the family. The vertical approach implies that decisions are made by the top officials and passed down to the subordinates. Generally in some of the organizations employees may fail to snatch the top levels in the organization if they are not related to the senior officials. UAE companies must comply with the Sharia law which implies that the company is strictly compliant to the Islamic law. The companies’ actions are therefore managed by the Sharia council which comprises of Muslim clerics who help in monitoring the organization activities.
Therefore according to the Americans punctuality is necessary for all meetings. Attending meetings when late is perceived as disrespect. People should take meetings seriously because most of the business strategies and goals are clearly discussed. Those who make presentations are supposed to be straight to the point. Americans are in most cases daunted by the use of hard data therefore one is required to use statistics to support their claims. Most business factor in time during their meetings and therefore they are carried out rapidly. It takes a little time of talk before the meetings start (USA – Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette n.d.).
The workers are supposed to attend meetings in time and should not avoid them. This ensures that most of the intended information is passed to the workers in time. According to the Arabian style meetings should be scheduled to start in time although it takes some time before the meeting begins. This in one point of view shows that less strictness in factoring time as compared to the American style where meetings are assumed to resume immediately with little time allotted for talks before meetings start. In most of the UAE countries business meetings are conducted in hotels were people can get some refreshments and interruptions are assumed to be few.
In USA hand shakes are preferred to be the most common type of greeting. The handshakes are supposed to be brief, firm and confident and it is required that people should maintain an eye contact during greetings. Men can hand shake with women as the customs do not restrict this. Greetings in United States are assumed to be casual. In UAE there are unique greeting styles in the business. Men should avoid shaking hands with women. According to the Arabian customs men are not supposed to shake the hands of their fellow female work mates unless they prefer to be greeted. UAE customs further extend to capture that people are prohibited from eating pork and drinking alcohol (Business Etiquette in the U.A.E. | U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council, n.d). In United Arabs Emirates a week usually starts on Sundays and ends on Thursdays. Fridays and Saturdays are considered to be rest days. This is no the case in United States because people consider working on Fridays. Since most of the workers in USA comprise of Christians they prefer resting on Sundays (Noack, 2009). Americans usually prefer working for long hours.
In UAE women are required to put on long trousers and skirts of knee length size. This is meant to show that most of their body parts are covered. According to the customs of the Muslims women should ensure that most of their body parts covered. For men they are supposed to wear smart casual. They must put on nice suits as they attend their jobs. They are supposed to put on long trousers during work hours. Shorts are only preferred during times of exercising. In USA people dress casually on Fridays and most of the high technology companies require that workers can put on casual clothes during the days of work. Women usually wear dresses, pantsuits and business suits. It is evident that most of the women working in the business offices do not necessarily wear long skirts as it might be in some Muslim business in UAE. They do not have to cover most of their body parts but they must be neatly dressed. Most of them we be realized that they prefer wearing dresses during working days. Men on the other hand should wear business suits during the working days. This clearly shows that they should be neatly dressed throughout the days of work (Engel & Peterson, 2001).
Americans usually give gifts during anniversaries, birthdays and in important holidays. During Christmas most of the Americans give out most of the gifts. US business gifts may extend to include simple cards or notes, potted plants and flowers. Personal gifts are also accepted. Most of the gifts are opened when received. It is good to note that most businesses in the US may not prefer gifts. This is because they regard gifts as some forms of bribes to them. Therefore this is an indication that some businesses according to their stipulations may fail to accept gifts in some occasions.
In UAE gifts are highly appreciated and most of the businesses prefer receiving gifts. It will be noted that most of the gifts in United Arab Emirates are very cheap than any other part in the whole world. This makes most of the businesses to issue out gifts to other non rival businesses. They believe that any gift should be affordable. Gifts presented to other businesses should be wrapped and should not be opened in public. For the Arabs traditional perfume is one of the highly appreciated gifts. In many occasions personal gifts have a personal touch and many senior leaders may provide or not provide gifts.
Business etiquette is very important because it helps in building strong relationships within the organization and creating a good working environment. It is also good to note that business etiquette helps in preventing misunderstandings in the organization and clearly reflects the confidence of the workers.