Globalisation, Technology and Sustainable Development Book Series
BUSINESS EXCELLENCE AND COMPETITIVENESS IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Allam Ahmed


Preface

We are pleased to present the second volume of a series of books devoted to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

The first volume of the series entitled "Science, Technology and Sustainability in MENA" examines the complex relationship between science, technology and the environment. The objective of this volume is to outline key factors that are influencing and influenced by the business environment in the MENA region and that are essential for achieving business excellence and competitiveness in the region. In doing so, a holistic approach is used to analyse and assess the performance of the different countries in the region against each other and the rest of the world using different international indicators and measurements.

Unlike all regions of the world, there is a growing interest in the MENA region and its culture over the past years. Many people across the world consider MENA as the most important part of the world in the 21st century. MENA is also strategically very important as it produces the majority of the world’s oil. What happens in the region will therefore have direct and indirect effects all over the world and that is why the region is rarely out of the headlines in all international news. In general, governments in the region heavily regulate most social and political activities and preserve an active involvement in business affairs. However, understanding the nature of problems, challenges and opportunities in the region is a very difficult task for many people outside its territories.

This volume represents the outcome of many comprehensive research programmes undertaken in different countries in the MENA region and other parts of the world since 2004. We have received more than 50 chapters for possible inclusion in the book covering a wide range of focus and scope of the theme to the extent that we had a difficulty in deciding the chapters that are to be included in this volume of the series. We have finally selected 22 chapters with an interesting profile for this volume after a blind peer review process.

The different chapters in this volume cover a wide geographical spectrum and written by more than 50 renowned international experts from all over the world. However, it is important to note the fact that it is not possible to have contributions from important countries in the region such as Iraq and Palestine due to the current situation in both countries.

The six main sections of the book are:

Strategic Co-operation and Integration (3 chapters)
Competitiveness and Effectiveness (6 chapters)
Technological Transformation (3 chapters)
Finance and Banking (4 chapters)
Organisation Behaviour and Culture (3 chapters)
Entrepreneurship and Small Business (3 chapters)

It is hoped that the ensemble of chapters presented in this volume will help to stimulate debate amongst scholars, researchers and policymakers within and outside the MENA region with a view to defining common, effective responses to tomorrow’s challenges. This book is intended as a first step in paving the way towards further reflection on the future position and role of the MENA region in the World.

Finally, we hope this book will be utilised as a guide by policymakers and senior managers to enhance their ability to think strategically towards achieving sustainable development.

Allam Ahmed
Brighton, September 2007