Merkin, Rebecca. “Middle Eastern Impression-Management Communication.” Cross-Cultural Research 46.2 (2011): 109-132.
This study examines Israeli and Syrian impression management (facework), drawing on Hofstede’s theory of cultural dimensions. Using a MANCOVA design while controlling for social desirability and gender, it measured the influence of country on direct, aggressive, competitive, and harmonious facework strategies from self-report questionnaires (n = 176) collected in Israel and Syria. Consistent with the hypotheses, Israelis exhibit more direct, aggressive, and competitive facework strategies than Syrians. Israeli facework strategies corresponded to cultural individualism and a low power distance, whereas Syrian facework corresponded to cultural collectivism and a high power distance. Contrary to expectation, Israeli facework is more harmonious. A unique contribution of the present study is the identification of changes in facework necessary for avoiding a loss of face among two populations whose previous diplomatic efforts have not succeeded.