Posted: March 24th, 2023


The globalization is extensively being experienced in today’s world. Consequently, international companies face the cross-cultural integration issues. Therefore, it is important for executives and staff members to understand the various cultural factors that may affect proper communication among employees in order to make firms productive. According to Professor Geert Hofstede (1987), three cultural dimensions contribute to a well-established interaction in the global market. Especially, Individualism Versus Collectivism (IDV), Uncertainty Avoidance Index (UAI), and Power Distance Index (PDI) are relevant elements that help to explore the intercultural acts of communication at the workplace. In addition, the analysis defines the contrasts in communication between an individual from the American and Saudi Arabian descents to the three cultural factors.

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Firstly, the Power Distance Index (PDI) is explained as the acceptable existence of inequality between people in power and those that are not (Hofstede, 1987). Therefore, my interaction with a low PDI American culture led to constrained communication. In fact, the issue was that my colleagues were too fore fronted considering that most of the times they were candid at initiating dialogue and action with me and those in authority. On the other hand, I was always inclined to obeying the directives and guidance to take up tasks that I considered unimportant in the absence of the managers.

Secondly, Individualism Versus Collectivism (IDV) refers to the binding ties and its strength in people within a community (Hofstede, 1987). Therefore, with my Saudi Arabian Low IDV culture, I always suppress negative feedbacks to ensure that politeness and harmony were adhered to. However, my American colleague with a high IDV culture always encouraged me expressing my own ideas and feelings whenever an individual felt insulted.

Thirdly, Uncertainty Avoidance Index (UAI) was also another cultural factor that led to communication issues at the office. In particular, UAI refers to the ability of a person’s culture to value predictability (Hofstede, 1987).  In fact, being from a high UAI culture, there were issues that always arose because I would set clear and concise goals while, on the other hand, my expectations at work were not to be met. In addition, my American colleague from a low UAI culture never felt a sense of urgency in any matter despite the need to reach the organization’s goals.

As it is evident from the above analysis, the cultural factors are the leading causes of strained communication within organizations. Therefore, the central line context indicates that one’s culture could either be high or low. In essence, the discussion has shown how American and Saudi Arabian individuals may collide due to the differences in their cultural factor dimensions.

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