Imane El Hakimi


This research contributes to our understanding of trust in the international business environment, exploring the development of trust, and the influence of culture, structures and hierarchies, and international business communications. The focus is on the management of employees working in foreign-owned, international businesses operating in Morocco. With few notable and very valuable exceptions, there has been very little research exploring the Arab approach to management and even fewer pieces of research focus on the development of trust in this context. A qualitative research approach was employed, as so little is understood about the context and the phenomenon. A total of 30 interviewees from various managerial and organisational levels represented the sample of the study with five participating international companies, from different sectors established in Morocco. Using a content-thematic analysis, the research shows that Moroccan employees prefer working in international companies and their preference is associated to many factors such as the work environment they belong to, the financial and social benefits they receive, career advancement and employees’ development as well as being a part of a defined and organised structure where information is well circulated and communication is encouraged. In this way, this research contributes not only to our understanding of the development of trust in an Arab context but also sheds more light on cultural aspects which was found out in the research that they were interpreted differently such as the case of Hofstede’s uncertainty avoidance dimension. In particular the research suggest that some, non-Arabic researchers, may have misinterpreted certain behaviours in Arab cultures. This leads the research to a final conclusion that clearly shows the importance of considering Arab management as a fourth paradigm to explain managerial practices in the Arab World as suggested by Weir (2008) and better understand their practices (Hutchings and Weir, 2006).

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