The Arab Business Code  book cover
1st Edition

The Arab Business Code

ISBN 9780367265021
Published March 3, 2020 by Routledge
226 Pages

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Book Description

Finalist in The International Book Awards 2020 in the Business: General category:

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are some of the richest and most dynamic emerging markets in the world. But they are tough markets! International companies must think seriously if they want to do business there – the barriers can be numerous and difficult. But the opportunities are phenomenal and rewarding. The key to success is to plan and take the right steps. This book shows how to do this by decoding, using case studies, and suggesting relevant solutions.

For Judith Hornok, it’s not about dry theories or mind games. Instead this book is based on numerous case studies drawn from the lives of well-known Arab and international business people. The reader can grasp the opportunities and avoid the pitfalls by knowing and understanding the Arab Business Code (ABC): "learning the A-B-Cs." This book offers a study with practical measures, a toolkit of easy-to-learn and simple-to-use techniques that pave the way for business success in the Gulf.

Over fifteen years of research is boiled down into a clearly structured, compact book. Judith Hornok presents the insights of her studies by decoding the behavior of Arab business people in the Gulf using innovative techniques and new approaches, which can be easily implemented by the reader. For the first time Judith also presents her creations – the figures of The Seven Emotional Hinderers.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements, About the Cover Image, About Judith Hornok, Foreword: Why I wrote this book, About the illustrations – the Seven Emotional Hinderers, - Background: how the Emotional Hinderers evolved, - The curtain is lifted: where to find the seven characters in the book, Chapter 1 – The basics of the Arab Business Code (ABC), Your readiness – Are you ready to work in the Arab Gulf? Start to prepare yourself! Your homework, Relate – Respect – Relationships, Your personal attitude toward the Arab Gulf, Check your mindset! The survival masterplan, 1.3. Your professional competence – would an Arab Gulf expert recruit you? The ideal employee in the Gulf Region, Who am I – and how do Arab business people see me? Strengths and weaknesses analysis with the ABANA strategy, Becoming an ideal international partner for Arab businesses – management of expectations, The 5-step program for managing your expectations, Chapter 2 – Finding a partner – the search for the ideal business partner, 2.1. The desired business partner, 2.2. Falling in love with a picture, 2.3. Reality check: Arab Business Code, Chapter 3 – Two innovation strategies for the Arab Business Code (ABC), 3.1. The FITO technique, 3.2. The Gas-Shift-Brake technique, Chapter 4 – Three golden rules of the Arab Business Code (ABC), 4.1. Golden Rule No. 1 – Chemistry, Key Code 1 – The sixth sense in the Arab Gulf, Key Code 2 – Communicate authentically from the inside out, 4.2. Golden Rule No. 2 – Family, Key Code 1 – The power of the word "family", Key Code 2 – The entire Arab Gulf is "one great family" – the Arab Business Club, Key Code 3 – A good reputation comes first, 4.3. Golden Rule No. 3 – Respect, Key Code 1 – Clarity and truth in communication, Key Code 2 – Use the building blocks of the Arab negotiation culture, Key Code 3 – Long-term commitment and patience, Key Code 4 – Three cultural no-goes of the Arab Business Code, Chapter 5 – Communication culture with the Arab Business Code (ABC), 5.1. Silence with the Arab Business Code, - Benefits of using silence, 5.2. Small Talk with the Arab Business Code, - Benefits of small talk, - How to master the art of small talk, 5.3. Humor with the Arab Business Code, - Humor and its stumbling blocks, - No-goes in humor, - How to master humor, - How to turn failed attempts at humor into opportunities, 5.4. Active listening with the Arab Business Code, - Why "active listening" in the Gulf is so important, - What makes listening with the Arab Business Code so challenging, - Three classics of "reading between the lines", 5.5. Signs and body language with the Arab Business Code, - Understanding the Arab Business Code with today’s sign language, - Learn to better read body language, - The importance of eye contact, - Why Arab business people find it hard to say, "No", 5. 6. Praise with the Arab Business Code, - Three techniques of praise, - A list of praise , 5.7. Inquiring with the Arab Business Code, - Pushing solutions through inquiries, - Acquiring new contracts through inquiries, - Successfully carrying out projects in the millions, by asking questions, Chapter 6 – Conclusion: the commitment, Appendix – More on the Seven Emotional Hinderers when doing business in the Arab Gulf and page directory of the characters

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Judith Hornok is the decoder and founder of Hornok & Partner, an internationally recognized innovations company for business success in the Arab Gulf. She has worked as a journalist in Europe and the Middle East, writing about people and business, as well as producing TV documentaries such as The Makers Behind the Stars The Man Behind Michael Schumacher. She is famous for her lectures in the Library of Congress, IDEO/Stanford University and the European Forum Alpbach, amongst others. She is the creator of the figures of The Emotional Hinderers.


"Impressively informative, expertly written, organized and presented, The Arab Business Code should be considered mandatory reading for any corporate executive wanting to do business with any or all of the Arabic gulf nations and/or their collective associations (including OPEC)." - Midwest Book Review.

The full review can be found here:

"Judith Hornok’s long standing study of the people in this region and the decoding of their communication styles has given her a deep understanding of their behaviors. This becomes apparent in reading this book. My experience with Judith is that she is a great communicator and very knowledgeable with respect to business norms. The Arab Business Code is a must read." – David M. Kelley, Founder of the Silicon Valley based global innovation firm IDEO.

 "She’s an engaging, informed coach, and business-minded readers will find much here that’s worth considering when it comes to avoiding pitfalls and managing expectations in cross-cultural deal-making." – BookLife, a branch of Publishers Weekly.

"In this book, Hornok draws on a long experience working in Arab countries to counsel readers on the most effective ways to deal with businesses in the region. The guide begins with a psychological approach to establishing interpersonal connections, urging readers from other cultures to understand their own mindsets and enter into interactions from an open and nonjudgmental perspective. (Problematic emotions are personified throughout the volume; examples of what Hornok calls "Emotional Hinderers"—"Relentless Judgment," "Aggressive Inner Critic," and "Incensed Anger Rascal," among others). Taken together, the book’s elements offer a step-by-step guide to establishing the relationships that make business transactions succeed; as the anecdotes provide many stories of deals and sales achieved through understanding local norms and methods....A detailed, helpful, and well-written guide to developing and sustaining cross-cultural partnerships." - Kirkus Reviews. The full review can be found here:

"Impressively informative, expertly written, organized and presented, "The Arab Business Code" should be considered mandatory reading for any corporate executive wanting to do business with any or all of the Arabic gulf nations and/or their collective associations (including OPEC). While especially recommended for corporate, college, and university library International Business collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of MBA students, academia, entrepreneurs, governmental policy makers, corporate executives, and non- specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Arab Business Code" is also readily available in a digital book format." -James A. Cox,Editor-in-Chief, Midwest Book Review