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Understanding Morocco’s Business Culture

Moroccan Trade and business

By Karthik Krishnan

Rabat- No two countries have the same exact business culture. Some are overly ambitious and rake more risks while others tread with caution.

One way to prove this is to look at the banking policies of different countries. Compare homeowner loans of the UK and those of Morocco for instance. You will see a wide variation of the two.

According to the Hofstede 6-D Model, the deep drivers of Morocco’s cultures in respect to Power Distance, Individualism, Masculinity, Uncertainty Avoidance, Long Term Orientation, and Indulgence are as follows:

Power distance

Hierarchy in an organization is a reflection of inherent inequalities. Centralization is common, and subordinates expect guidance and direction on their roles.  The ideal boss is a benevolent autocrat.

Morroco is a hierarchical society. This means that people accept a hierarchical order in which everybody has a place and in which there is no need for further justification. This hierarchical pedigree is, however, less obvious in Morrocco in comparison to other countries.

Individualism

 Morocco is a collectivist society. It manifests itself in the close long-term commitment to the group a person belongs to based on loyalty and trust, which overrides other societal rules and regulations.

Moroccans are strongly dependent on relatives and to a lesser extent on friends, in certain settings such as family and tribe. Moroccans tend to be more collectivist. But in a business environment, individualism prevails.

Another interesting aspect is the perception of offense. In collectivist societies offense leads to shame and loss of face.

Masculinity

A masculine society (high score) gets drive from competition, achievement, and success. It starts in school and continues to prevail in other organizations.

On the other hand, a feminine society (low score) is a society in which people care most about the quality of life.

Morocco gets an intermediate score of 53 on this dimension.

Uncertainty avoidance

Countries exhibiting high uncertainty avoidance maintain rigid codes of belief and behavior and are intolerant of unorthodox behavior and ideas. In these cultures, there is an emotional need for rules (even if the rules never seem to work), there is resistance to innovation, and security is an important element in individual motivation.

Morocco has a very high preference for avoiding uncertainty; it scores two times higher than Asian countries. I think that it is mainly due to the role religion plays in Morocco.

Long Term Orientation

With the very low score of 14, the Moroccan culture is clearly normative. People in such societies have a relatively small propensity to save for the future and a focus on achieving quick results.

Although Moroccans prefer working with past acquaintances, they do not emphasize at the beginning on establishing a long-term business relationship.

Contrast this with the Chinese culture where long-term orientation is a crucial part in carrying on a successful business deal, and only time can help establish trust in business relationships.

Indulgence

Morocco has a culture of restraint. Restrained societies have the perception that their actions are restrained by social norms and feel that indulging themselves is somewhat wrong. The only difference that I can highlight is the fact that the Moroccan restraint has its roots in religion rather than simply social norms and tradition, as in other restrained countries.

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