Thesis: Social Variables in the Development and Maintenance

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¶ … Social Variables in the Development and Maintenance of Business Relationships with Libyan Companies

The Need for the Research

Expected Contribution to Knowledge

Review of the Chapters

Review of Chapter 2 (Literature Review)

Review of Chapter 3 (Research Methodology)

Review of Chapter 4 (Research Findings)

101.5.4 Review of Chapter 5 (Research Discussion)

101.5.5 Review of Chapter 6 (Recommendation & Conclusion)

101.5.6 Review of Reference List

122.1 Why the Business Relationship is Important

132.2 Social Variables in the Development of Business Relationships

142.2.1 Cultural Affinity

Trust

202.2.3 Commitment

222.2.4 Experience

252.2.5 Satisfaction

262.2.6 Communication

Stages in the Development of a Business Relationship

322.3.1 Pre-contact

332.3.2. Initial Interaction

352.3.3 Development

352.3.4 Maturity

Research Methodology

373.1 Introduction

373.2 Definition of research methodology

383.3 Research Design

393.4 Research Philosophy

423.4.1 Justification for Choosing Phenomenology as the Research Philosophy

433.5 Research Approach

443.5.1 Choice of Research Approach and Justification

443.6 Research Strategy

453.6.1 Case Study, and Justification for Choosing this as the Research Strategy

463.7 Data Collection Methods (Interviews)

503.7.1 Justification for Choosing the Semi-structured Interview as the Data Collection Methods

513.8 Translation of the Interview Protocol

513.9 Data Analysis

533.10 Research Diary

543.11 Ethical Approval

543.12 Research Administration and Pilot Study

573.13 Evaluating the Research Outcomes

583.14 Summary

Chapter 4: Research Findings

594.1 Introduction

594.2 Summary of the Demographic Data

614.3 Summary and Discussion of the Stages in Relationship Building

644.4 Summary Analysis of Stage One and Variables

674.5 Summary Analysis of Stage Two and Variables

694.6 Summary Analysis of Stage Three and Variables

724.7 Summary Analysis of Stage Four and Variables

744.8 Summary Analysis of Stages Five and Six and Variables

754.9 Summary of Stages and Variables

Chapter 5: Research Discussion

805.1 Situation of Libyan Companies in the International Market

815.2 Importance of Psychic Distance and Closeness

835.3 Roles and Interconnectivity of Social Variables in Relationship Development

835.3.1 Role of Commitment in Relationship Development

845.3.2 Role of Trust and Loyalty in Relationship Development

865.3.3 Role of Communication in Relationship Development

875.3.4 Role of Cultural Affinity in Relationship Development

885.3.5 Correlation of Commitment and Communication

895.3.6 Correlation of Commitment and Trust

895.3.7 Correlation of Commitment and Social Bonding

905.3.8 Correlation of Social Bonding and Mutual Goals

915.3.9 Correlation of Cultural Affinity (Empathy) and Social Bonding

925.3.10 Correlation of Communication and Cultural Similarity

925.3.11 Correlation of Communication and Experience

935.3.12 Correlation of Communication and Trust

945.3.13 Correlation of Satisfaction and Commitment

945.3.14 Correlation of Satisfaction and Trust

955.3.15 Correlation of Trust and Cultural Affinity

965.4 Impact of Social Variables in Pre-Contact Stage

975.5 Impact of Social Variables in Initial Interaction Stage

985.6 Impact of Social Variables in Development Stage

1005.7 Impact of Social Variables in Maturity Stage

Chapter 6: Recommendation & Conclusion

1026.1 Cultural Adaptation and Empathy

1036.2 Effective Communication

1046.2.1 Open and Clear Communication

1046.2.2 Mutual Language

1056.2.3 Non-verbal Communication

1066.3 Trust and Loyalty

1076.4 Commitment

1096.5 Experience and Satisfaction

1106.6 Mutual Goals

1116.7 Social Bonding

1136.8 Functional Proximity

References List

Chapter 1: Introduction

Libya is classified as a developing country (AMS, 2012), and although it has long had relationships with the West, it has been subject to UN sanctions for many years, essentially because of its foreign policy (BBC, 2004), which caused a rather volatile relationship with the United States and many other countries in the world. Whilst Libya was not at war with any of these countries, neither was it at peace, and there was suspicion and discomfort on both sides. All of that, however, occurred under the previous regime, which has now fallen, and with that in mind it is important to be aware of what Libya has to offer and how successful international business relationships can be established and maintained between it and the rest of the world in the future. Clearly, there are important and significant factors involved, and examining them is one way to address the issue. Once they have been explored, however, more still needs to be done. Simply saying what the issues are and then ignoring what can be done to move toward the establishment of business relationships, does not solve the problems, but we should critically investigate the current state of international business relationship development literature and then try to explore the characteristics that determines sustainable international business relationships within any business context (Schmitz, 1997; Viotti and Kauppi, 2006).

This study addresses the issue of which factors underpin successful business relationships and the stages in the development of such relationships. In considering these factors, it examines the extent to which they can be applied in the current Libyan context and examines the process from the Libyan point-of-view. This is done by analysing the impact of such variables and establishing their potential for use as a yardstick to measure business challenges within Libya in its new phase of national development.

1.2 Research Background

Libya is located in North Africa bordering Egypt to the east, Tunisia and Algeria to the west, and Chad, Niger and Sudan to the south. It has a population of 5,323,000 inhabitants, and covers a total area of 1,759,540 square kilometres (CIA, 2006). The Libyan economy is dominated by hydrocarbons and the total GDP for 2009 was U.S.$99.673 billion (Global Finance, 2011).

Much of Libya's industry is controlled by the state and state-run machinery. Most companies are based on a hierarchical structure where generally, decisions are made by individuals at the top of the ladder, rather than on the appropriateness of certain individuals to participate in the decision-making (Wallace and Wilkinson, 2004).

In terms of work culture, Libya resembles the countries of Asia and Africa (especially in north of Africa) more than those in Europe, or the U.S.A., in as much as planning is short-term and not pragmatic. Only when it comes to large-scale projects does strategic thinking dominate.

As previously a stated the economy is dominated by the hydrocarbons sector which accounts for over one-third of national output and generates over 95% of total foreign exchange earnings. The sector provides employment to just 2% of the population, and the contribution of agriculture remains negligible. The exploitation of oil and gas reserves has funded the development of most other sectors (Global Finance, 2011).

1.3 the Need for the Research

There are number of factors that make this study a valuable area to investigate:

The dearth of research on business relationship development in Libya.

Poor Libyan global experience in business relationship development.

Studies showing variables and stages in business relationships are not in short supply, and include those by Juttner and Wehrli (1994), Dion et al. (1995), Dawar et al. (1996), Holm et al. (1996), Selnes (1998), Ali and Birley (1998), Conway and Swift (2000), Wright (2004), Powers and Reagan (2007), and Brooks (2008). However, such studies are generally undertaken in developed countries, and Libya is classified as a developing country.

As already mentioned, Libya has been subject to sanctions from the U.S.A. And UN for many years, and this situation has arrested its development. Moreover, recently there has been civil war in many cities in Libya (BBC, 2011), and the establishment and maintenance of business relationships has not been at the forefront of people's minds. However, in the aftermath of the civil war, the atmosphere is calmer, and the interim government has started to establish a new plan for Libya, to include elections has taken place in July 2012 (Libya Alhurrea, 2011).

Nonetheless, despite the new forward-looking interim government's plans, most Libyan companies lack experience about trading internationally. This is an issue since following the government drive for internationalisation there are many international firms trying to invest in Libya, especially in oil, communications, tourism, and the food industry (Libya Alhurrea, 2011). Consequently, Libyan companies find themselves with a need to improve their knowledge and experience, to allow them to participate in international business more successfully. At the same time, foreign companies wishing to invest in Libya need to be aware of the prevailing business environment, the national culture, and the expectations of foreign investors such that they can develop their strategies that are not in opposition to these fundamentals.

Given what has been said so far about Libya's absence from international trade for many years, it is expected that the results of this study will show that there is much work to be done between Libya and other countries when it comes to international business relations. It is also expected that the results will indicate that culture is the largest problem when it comes to overcoming the issues that are causing strained international business relations with Libya. Once such results are obtained, a strategy to dissolve the difficulties can be properly formulated and implemented.

1.4 Research Outline

1.4.1 Aim of the Study

The aim of the study is to conduct an exploration of the social variables involved in the development and maintenance of business relationships with Libyan Companies. This implies an investigation of the stages within the development of business relationships and the mechanisms required to ensure these relationships are sustained.

1.4.2 Objectives

In order to achieve the above aim, three specific… [END OF PREVIEW]

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