Comparative Analysis of Kuwait and the UK
Comparative analysis is an indispensable part of modern managing. Increasing rate of globalization obliges companies to work with foreign partners, which demands thorough knowledge of the peculiarities of local cultures, traditions, social well-being and markets. The current essay compares and analyzes marketing systems of the United Kingdom and Kuwait. These two countries are not usually compared due to numerous differences in political, social, and cultural backgrounds. That is why it is necessary to understand the cultures in order to achieve success in managing the personnel and the work of the company, because neglecting even minor details might lead to managing failure.
The first issue that is crucial to analyze is the marketing system of the two countries. According to Bartels (1963), comparative analysis of marketing should consider issues like society, nation, economy, market, and agencies that have control over it. Boddewyn (1965) describes it by the following metaphor: “While comparative studies are somewhat precariously balanced between marketing itself and its environment, one must be careful not to throw out the marketing “baby” with the environmental “bath,” or smother it in a “blanket” of social context”.
No need to say that exterior factors like environment, national context, and traditional worldview of the United Kingdom and Kuwait vary considerably. Sciglimpaglia & Saghafi in their article Marketing Consequences of European Internet Market Unification: An Executive Perspective claim that European marketing strategy undergoes thorough integration and unification. It also concerns business performance and orientation (Kaynak & Jallat, 2005). Even though great Britain is not officially the member of the European Union, its economical, marketing and ideological systems are similar due to the similar cultural and historical contexts.
There is no evident difference between rich and poor countries in the United Kingdom, that is why standardization of marketing approaches can be successfully applied in these circumstances. However, despite economical homogeneity of UK society, consumer habits and tastes differ greatly from country to country. National character is also important in making conclusions about the UK market. For example, one advertising campaign might include different cultural codes for Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England. However, it is problematic to distinguish the market of the United Kingdom from the pan-European one. Political, economical, and geographical frontiers in Europe are slowly disappearing because of the mixing of lifestyles and consumer tastes.
Economical heterogeneity is one of key characteristics that can be applied to the Middle East, in a contrary to homogeneous European Union. The level of life in these countries ranges from extremely poor to prosperous. For example, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Turkey, Qatar, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates are rich countries with stable economical and political systems, while Cyprus, Egypt, Iraq, and the State of Palestine have problems in this regard. From 1945, mass production of oil started in countries like Iraq, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia. This led to a formation of OPEC (the international oil cartel) and increased wellbeing of the countries with natural resources. So, it is possible to say that that the keystone of the success of some countries in the region is the presence of natural resources. Comparing to the United Kingdom, Kuwait’s marketing system relies more on nature than on employees, and big companies have monopoly in the market of natural resources. Great Britain, in its turn, relies more on small business and middle class workers.
Political situation in the countries of Middle East has been extremely difficult in the 20th and the 21st centuries. Local wars, conflicts, and ideological confrontation of the two big countries – the Soviet Union and the United States of America – created a deteriorating environment for the development of market. Despite revolutions and wars in Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon and other countries, economical situation in the Middle East is actively improving.
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Though, Kuwait remains a comparatively calm region in the political sense and the natural resources do not seem to end there in the nearest future. That is why the market of Kuwait is extremely attractive for the investors from western countries. Kuwait offers big international companies great opportunities to increase the number of their consumers and lower the costs of production. The fact that there are many poor countries in the region leads to a decrease of average hourly payments for workers because many people immigrate to more developed countries like Kuwait to earn money there.
There is another important aspect that has to be mentioned in describing Kuwait. In comparison to the United Kingdom, where people of all religions live nearby and do not fight because of these questions, Kuwait does not have such religious diversity. The majority of people are Muslims, and in some states the spiritual leader has even more power and authority then the President. In addition, the followers of two different trends in Islam, Shi’a and Suni, start armed conflicts because of religious differences. Muslim tradition is strict towards women, which also leads to economical stagnation in some countries of the Middle East and makes the market of the region quite specific for foreign investments. In comparison to this, Great Britain offers a stable environment that is free from unnecessary risks like revolutions or civil wars.
Johnson (1963) tries to unite traditional issues he mentions in his work into one concept of social system. He also introduced the concepts of environment, function, structure, process, and actors, which help analysts create a more detailed picture of local marketing system. Bartels defines these terms in the following manner:
“The function” of an organism is the part it plays, the service it renders or the contribution it makes; its structure is the set of relationships between the organism’s actors. “Process” concerns the activities (including mere persistence) that bring the organism’s actors into interaction, and mediate the relations of the organism to its environment; process can also be conceived as the operation of the structure. “Actors” applies to the organism’s participants; while environment refers to what is outside an organism, and is neither directly controlling it nor directly controlled by it. (1970)
In the contemporary British market, the function can be referred to a consumer, to a startup as a small economic unit, and to the entire society. Different activities like advertising the production, selling, and buying it in the end create the network of relations that form the structure of the market. Businessmen, consumers, managers, and other people are the actors of a marketing system. The environment consists of numerous aspects, among which are cultural, social, economical, and political factors. All these functions of marketing structure interact with each other in indirect and direct ways.
In the case of Kuwait market, the function refers mostly to the state and big company that works with natural resources. The wellbeing of the entire society is determined by the overall state of economics in the country. As a result, marketing system that can be applied to Kuwait is shorter than the one applied to the United Kingdom. The number of managers, businessmen, and consumers falls in some states that are not highly developed. Cultural environment is extremely important in case of Kuwait, as it was mentioned in the paper. It is crucial to remember that the marketing analysis in the context of the environment is crucial in planning the managing work in the country.
The United Kingdom and Kuwait are different in various aspects. Cultural, political, and social environments create unique characteristics of local markets. Even though the UK is more homogeneous in economical terms, religious questions, and the overall political situation is predictable, Kuwait’s market is more attractive for some investors. It is growing rapidly, there is abundant workforce, and the average salary is lower than in Great Britain and other the Western countries. Despite all evident differences in marketing systems of the two regions, there are several common issues. For example, there are differences in the level of life in certain countries of the regions, which leads to workers’ immigration to more developed states. A thoroughly planned approach for managing the communication with the employees and the customers, as well as the positioning of the company on the market is impossible without analyzing the country’s marketing system and environment.