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Conceptual Complexity and Cultural Embeddedness of Wasta in the Middle East

aPôle Universitaire Léonard de Vinci, France
bNewcastle University Business School, UK

Informal Networks in International Business

ISBN: 978-1-83982-879-9, eISBN: 978-1-83982-878-2

Publication date: 5 August 2022


Interpersonal and informal ties and networks, known as wasta in the Arab Middle East region, remain a major force in Middle Eastern societies, determining most economic, social and political outcomes. Yet the literature on informal ties and networks is largely characterized by a lack of contributions from the Arab world, despite the adverse effect that lack of understanding of the wasta phenomenon is having on the effectiveness of expatriate managers and subsequently on business performance. This chapter therefore aims to shed light on the meaning, characteristics, structure, and role of wasta in establishing and maintaining successful business relationships. It ends with recommendations for foreign investors and international managers who wish to establish and maintain successful business relationships in the Middle East on how to capitalize on interpersonal networks within this process.



ALHussan, F.B. and AL-Husan, F.B. (2022), "Conceptual Complexity and Cultural Embeddedness of Wasta in the Middle East", Horak, S. (Ed.) Informal Networks in International Business, Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 129-146.



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