Friday 20th November 2015 – 18.00-20.00 @

Open Milano


Culture and HRM in the Middle East: A Case Study Approach

Speakers: Pari Namazie & Barbara Covarrubias Venegas

Global competition leads to globalised business and thus begs the question of how HR can best support business in the face of global integration and coordination while maintaining local flexibility. This workshop will explain the impact of culture on HRM and contribute to the on-going discussion of convergence and divergence. How HRM is developed in developing countries is examined using the framework developed by Budhwar and associates for studying cross-national HRM, with particular emphasis on the factors which influence HRM in the Middle East, with a particular focus on a case study of an international joint venture in Iran. Factors include national culture, the role of Islam and management as well as the impact of the rapidly changing demographic and socio-economic environments.

Our workshop will begin by sharing theoretical insights and then present a case study of how companies deal with global integration while maintaining local flexibility. After an introduction to our case, we will use the world café technique to open the discussion. Participants will be asked to play the scenario based on the facts presented and make organisational decisions on the best approach. After the world café we will present our conclusions and final thoughts.

Culture and HRM in the Middle East is a chapter in the forthcoming book titled the Handbook of HRM in the Middle East, edited by Pawan Budhwar and Kamel Mellahi, published by Routledge. The book examines the pace of development of HRM in different countries in the Middle East and looks at factors which are at play, including religion, national culture, socio-economic trends and so forth. The authors will share insights and key trends from the book, including what the region is facing from a macro-economic, socio-political point of view, but also what this translates to for business, HR and management in the Middle East.



Open Milano
Viale Monte Nero 6
Milano – MM Porta Romana (www.openmilano.com)


Pari Namazie

Pari Namazie (Atieh International, pari@atiehinternational.com) has over 20 years experience as an intercultural, HR and organisational development consultant to multinational and international companies. She is the Managing Partner of Atieh International, a strategy consultancy based in Vienna, dealing with the Middle East and North Africa region. She has worked with all organisational levels from senior executives to project teams providing solutions in intercultural competence, leadership, team synergy, change management and organisational development. Her strength is helping clients work effectively in emerging and risky environments, especially within Islamic and Middle Eastern countries, with a specific country focus on Iran and the MENA region. Some of her clients include Royal Dutch Shell, Statoil, Sanofi Aventis, Renault, UNODC.
Pari holds a PhD in International Human Resources Management (2007) and has published in academic journals and books. She is a regular speaker at international conferences on HRM, intercultural competence and issues relating to women in the Middle East.


Barbara Covarrubias Venegas

Barbara Covarrubias Venegas (President of SIETAR Austria, barbara.covarrubias@sietar.at, head of communication of SIETAR Europa) is a researcher and lecturer at the Institute for Human Resource and Organisation at the FHWien University of Applied Sciences of WKW. Barbara worked and studied in Austria, Spain, Italy, Chile and Mexico. After working as a marketing consultant in the tourism industry and as a Food & Beverage manager for the biggest South American Casino chain, Barbara specialized in trainings in the international context and joined the FHWien University of Applied Sciences/Institute for Human Resource and Organisation in 2010. Barbara is a visiting lecturer at several universities: among others Brno University of Technology, Azerbaijan Tourism and Management University, IPAG Business School in Nice and Paris and other Austrian universities. Furthermore she is head of academic committee and head of communication committee for SIETAR Europa.


Here are some pictures from the workshop.

Slides available in the members’ area.