Cooperation With Distributors in Arabic-Speaking Countries

Ammann, Paul; Drissner, Gerald (2022). Cooperation With Distributors in Arabic-Speaking Countries In: Stolz, I.; Oldenziel Scherrer, S. (eds.) International Leadership – Effecting Success Across Borders in a Boundaryless World. Uniscope series of the SGO Foundation (Foundation of the Swiss Society for Organization and Management) (pp. 79-109). Wiesbaden: Springer Gabler 10.1007/978-3-658-37306-1_5

Full text not available from this repository. (Request a copy)

In Arabic-speaking countries, Swiss exporters often work with independent distributors to sell their products. The market potential of these countries is too small to justify wholly owned subsidiaries. The leadership of independent distribution partners also selling other manufacturers’ products is, therefore, a key success factor for Swiss exporters. However, the peculiarities of the Arab business world remain alien to many Swiss managers. This study aims to determine the challenges involved in cooperating with distributors in Arabic-speaking countries, and how these challenges can be dealt with. Based on a survey of Swiss exporters, the three phases of cooperation with distributors are investigated: selection, motivation, and long-term cooperation. Although all three phases are important, the results show that long-term cooperation is the main challenge. Obstacles are that distributors fail to keep promises, receive negative feedback from customers, or do not carry out activities in the expected quality. Personal relationships are considered a key success factor for long-term cooperation. However, according to the survey, cultural differences remain a source of misunderstandings and mistakes. These are less about religious regulations than about a different understanding of time, a lack of commitment, and the different values associated with personal relationships. The authors conclude that the motives for action in the Arab world differ from those in Switzerland and are thus often misinterpreted by Swiss managers.

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)


School of Engineering and Computer Science > Institute for Data Applications and Security (IDAS) > IDAS / International Management


Ammann, Paul0000-0002-6103-578X;
Drissner, Gerald0000-0001-8066-8390;
Stolz, I. and
Oldenziel Scherrer, S.


H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management




Uniscope series of the SGO Foundation (Foundation of the Swiss Society for Organization and Management)


Springer Gabler




Paul Ammann

Date Deposited:

14 Jan 2022 11:17

Last Modified:

10 Sep 2023 01:36

Publisher DOI:


Related URLs:


Actions (login required)

View Item View Item
Provide Feedback