Alfaqeeh, K., Hossan, C., Slade, B.W.
Office of Doctoral of Business Administration, Abu Dhabi University, P.O.Box 59911, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Australian Research and Development Consultancy, 1B Conondale Street, Melbourne, Australia. La Trobe Business School, La Trobe University, Plenty Road, Bundoora, Australia.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has recently shown rapid increases in innovation compared to other parts of the world. The UAE leadership is developing both government and industry, with an emphasis on non-oil sectors, and has prioritised a focus on innovation to increase efficiency and effectiveness. This qualitative study examines the effect of Arab culture on innovation management in the UAE. The study suggests that certain cultural characteristics are enablers for innovation while others are inhibitors. The results of 20 face-to-face interviews show that high collectivism, high context, long-term orientation, and strong followership contribute to building an innovative work environment. High power distance and uncertainty avoidance are the main obstacles to innovation. This study argues that these traits should be minimised or eliminated, and positive factors should be enhanced to increase innovation. Copyright © 2019 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.