Managing employees from different cultural and national backgrounds within international business organizations is one of the greatest challenges that mid-level leaders face in the new millennium because of the broad range of communication difficulties that can arise (Cox, 1991; Cupach & Imahori, 1993; Fitzsimmons, 2013; Ietto-Gillies, 2005; Lisak & Erez, 2015; Oliveira, 2013). The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine and evaluate the effectiveness of the communication strategies and tactics of mid-level leaders in one major multinational company with a sizable multinational workforce, Saudi Aramco. The theoretical framework for this study was Communication Accommodation Theory (e.g., Giles, 2014; Giles, Coupland, & Coupland, 1991, 2007). The principal survey instrument employed was the Communication Satisfaction Questionnaire (Downs & Hazen, 1977). Only 7 demographic variables (education, age, gender, nationality match, language match, income, and duration of time with the company) had any significant correlations with the Seven Dimensions Of Communication Satisfaction proposed by Downs and Hazen (1977), but the strength of all those correlations was weak, with the exception of education. The more education the participants had, the more satisfied they were with their job. Interestingly, in a culture in which gender differences play such an important role, there were no significant differences by gender in the workforce at Saudi Aramco. It was notable however, that the most satisfied employees were those who had been at the company the longest. National and language differences also played almost no role in employee satisfaction, most likely because the whole workforce is fluent in English. The employees did place some significance on what Suchan (2014) describes as Arabic styles of persuasion, which favor: (a) the use of repetition and paraphrasing to make a point, (b) the use of highly ornate and metaphoric language, and (c) the use of strong emotion. Finally, in comparing the employees’ responses to Goleman’s (2000) Six Styles of Leadership, the researcher discovered that the workers at Saudi Aramco relate most of all to Goleman’s affiliative, coaching, and democratic leadership styles.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Dissertations (EdD) -- Organizational leadership; Middle managers -- Saudi Arabia; International business enterprises -- Employees; Job satisfaction
Date of Award
Graduate School of Education and Psychology
Al-Shammari, Susan, "How do mid-level leaders communicate with white collar workers in a multi-national setting?" (2018). Theses and Dissertations. 955.