Industrial buying behavior in the Middle East : a cross national study
Abstract: This study tackles industrial buying behavior in a socio-cultural context. The main purpose is to explore the influence of socio-cultural forces on industrial buying behavior in the Middle Eastern selected countries: Iran, Syria and the United Arab Emirates.A combination of qualitative and quantitative methods, called triangulation (integrative) approach is used. The empirical data upon which the study stands, consists of: 108 in-depth interviews, 7 case studies, 4 document analysis and 279 questionnaires. Qualitative and quantitative analysis are carried out as complementary. Factor analysis and regression analysis are the statistical techniques used for quantitative analysis.A conceptual and analytical model for analysis of socio-cultural characteristics in Islamic nations has been developed. Accordingly, socio-cultural traits of Islamic nations consist of values from: tribalism, Islamic religion and westernization systems-TIW model. Each system, in turn, consists of three dimensions. Tribalism consists of macrocosmic perception, microcosmic perception and familism; Islam consists of practicality, determinism and time horizon; westernization consists of Western techniques and technology, Western life style, and male/female equality.A multidimensional process model for purchasing industrial capital goods has also been developed. This model includes the stages of purchasing process as well as technical, commercial and social dimensions. The process includes stages for "decision-making" and for implementation of purchasing decision.Socio-cultural characteristics and industrial buying behavior in the studied countries are analyzed and compared; similarities and differences are discussed. These similarities and differences are found to be related to variations of their socio-cultural traits.The influence of socio-cultural forces on industrial buying behavior has been examined. Tribalism has been found to have influence on all dimensions of buying behavior; westernization has influence on technical dimension. However, Islam, surprisingly proves to have limited influence on the commercial and technical dimensions. Tribalism (familisrn dimension) has dominated the social dimension. This is why business in the Middle East is generally based upon interpersonal relationships.
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