Explaining the success of UAE companies globally: the benefits of possessing a ‘can-do’ culture

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
In numerous markets, companies from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are among the global market leaders, and are therefore arguably ‘punching well above their weight’. This research aims to uncover some of the key factors that explain the success of UAE multinational companies. The study adopted an inductive, exploratory qualitative research methodology involving interviews with elite informants who held positions at, or near, the top of their organisational hierarchies. An iterative process of thematic analysis led to the conclusion that UAE firms tend to possess a can-do culture. Although some firms have previously been described as having a can-do culture, researchers have not attempted to identify the underlying components of this culture. We conceptualise a can-do culture as a bundle of firm attributes that together generate firm competitive advantages. The five dimensions of a can-do culture are transformational leadership, market and entrepreneurial orientations, support for innovation, and possession of dynamic capabilities.
institutional environment, state-owned enterprises, entrepreneurial orientation, innovation, transformational leadership, dynamic capabilities
Wilkins, S., & Emik, S. (2021), Explaining the success of UAE companies globally: the benefits of possessing a ‘can-do’ culture. Middle East Journal of Management, 8(4), 319-343.