This is a story about two countries and two cultures. One IBM employee from the Netherlands prospect a client from Saudi Arabia. While they were in the meeting, somebody who introduces them always appears. This made IBM employees uncomfortable. But, soon after they signed the contract, the third person did not engage in any meeting anymore.
After several years, the Dutchman resigned from IBM and moved to another company, still in the computer business. He said goodbye to his former client, including the Arabs. But, suddenly, the Arabs said that they would move their engagement to his new employer, IBM direct competitor. The Dutchman felt strange, but for The Arabs, it was just fine. For the Arabs, they do business with a real person. IBM is not a real person; he is the real person. They continue business with whom they believe. He was, not IBM, the person whom they believe.
This behavior is driven by culture. Geertz Hofstede is the first scholar, whoever conducted large-scale research asking about the difference in culture among nations. Nowadays, his research can explain and solve many problems regarding human cultural differences.
What makes this research great: It is unique research and one of the first study about the cultural difference among nations. It uses very large data (more than 117 thousands subjects). All subjects are different (personality, nationality, cultural background et cetera), except one: they are employee of IBM, the largest multinational company at that time. It makes them ideal to be subjects of this grand-scale research.