The International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX)

The International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX)

The International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) is a biannual event held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The function demonstrates the latest technology used by the armed forces across air, land, and water bodies. This paper is a compilation of the results of the cultural assessment of selected companies at the event I attended on February 19th, 2019. I visited four stands in IDEX:LeonardoS.p.A, Magistral Limited, Emirates Defence Industries Company, and Oasis Advanced Engineering, Inc. The paper will identify the potential cultures of these organizations based on clan, hierarchy, marketing, and adhocracy categories learnt in class.


I visited stand B005 manned by LeonardoS.p.A, an Italian high technology company and a major stakeholder in the field of aerospace engineering, defence, and security. This year, the company was showcasing its products related to maritime defences such as helicopters, radars, and training aircraft. The company thrives on an ever-changing technological framework. Like its peers in the high technology industry, Leonardo is anchored upon flexibility, innovativeness, and creativity of its employees. The company adopts a future-forward posture when making strategic business decisions.The company staff at the booth mentioned that the organization encourages its employees to be dynamic, proactive, and adaptable. The organization relies on providing information superiority, situational awareness, and network communications to land and naval armed forces around the world (“Leonardo”). As such, based on the information provided by the staff at the booth, I concluded that the company potentially falls under adhocracy organizational culture.

Several characteristics of Leonardo as a naval organization were definite from my interactions with the staff when I visited the booth. Apart from offering a work station which favours innovation, the organization also invests in research to identify sustainable and competitive military solutions for the market. Similarly, the company focusses on providing cutting-edge technology to their clients in a reliable, customized, and timely fashion. The fabric of the company is based on the continuous development of key technologies such as microelectronics for advanced radar sensors, unmanned surveillance, and electro-optical technologies among others (“Leonardo”). From these characteristics, the organization has diverse sub-cultures. For example, the research department is adhocracy, but the engineering group is competing since it focusses on external orientation and differentiation of products to beat the competitors of the firm.

Magistral Limited

The Russian protective glass manufacturers were allocated stand 09-C02 at IDEX 2019. The company draws from its rich heritage of producing quality bullet-proof materials for clients worldwide since the year 1992. Magistral Limitedspecializes in production of ballistics, laminated and special glass for executive cars, special vehicles, military machinery, water transport, and personal safety machinery. The company’s main products are therefore centered on armored and laminated vehicle glazing, fireproof constructions, and safety glasses. The organization is the largest special protection equipment producer in Eastern Europe and mainly serves government dignitaries. Information of the company from its profile shows itscultural group it potentially clan.

Observations at the Magistral Limited booth show the personnel working there have a team-oriented approach to handling the company tasks. Interactions with the staff further provide information on the cohesive, friendly, and family like workplace provided by the company. With the advancement of technology and innovations in the glass reinforcement and glazing, the company has consistently focussed on creating a friendly atmosphere for its employees at the workplace. As such, the characteristics at the workplace qualify the organization to the clan category(Tharp 3). Additionally, Magistral Limited regularly tracks the quality of the raw materials supplied by international firms it has outsourced. Emphasis on monitoring the quality of outsourced productsreveals that the company is keen to maintain control. Also, there is a tendency toward internal focus and integration. Therefore, the company values standardization and control, which are fundamental aspects of hierarchy organizational culture (Tharp 3). In summary, the characteristics of the firm reveal hierarchy and clan categories of culture exist concurrently in the organization.

Emirates Defence Industries Company (EDIC)

The company is an integrated defence manufacturing and services platform in the United Arab Emirates. Its main products include the provision of services to facilitate the production of military goods in the country. The EDIC Bayanat, for example, enhances a seamless interaction between private and public organizations by leveraging on its excellent capacity for integrated geospatial solutions and spatial data. The EDIC Technical Services seeks to build partnerships with world-renowned institutions to boost innovation of military hardware in the U.A.E. Lastly, EDIC MRO Land works closely with the U.A.E Armed Forces to assure equipment readiness. The EDIC is, therefore, an alliance of government-controlled corporations aimed at boosting the stature of the country’s Armed Forces in the M.E.N.A region and the global stage. Potentially, the Emirates Defence Industries Company falls under the hierarchy category of cultural organization.

The EDIC is a classic example of the stereotypically large, bureaucratic organization. High-ranking government officials head the company. Also, it exists for the sole purpose of advancing the interests of the state. The primary source of funding is the U.A.E administration. The organization undertakes all commercial interests with the aim of enhancing the standing of the country’s military. Among its major objectives, the EDIC intends to enhance the position of U.A.E. in military industries through technology transfer and development. Typical with organizations which have a hierarchy culture, the desire for stability and control by the government is well represented by the top leadership of the organization (Tharp 3). The structure responsible for decision-making and authority is well-defined. The focus of the company is on the internal focus and integration of functions. The management structure also has several layers. The evidence which exists on the cultural category for the organization is therefore predominantly hierarchy.

Oasis Advanced Engineering, Inc.

The United States-based company is primarily engaged with the research and development of combat vehicles. Its latest product is embedded gunnery training capabilities which will later be incorporated into the heavy combat vehicles used by the U.S. Army. Fundamentally, Oasis Advanced Engineering is concerned with capacity building both for the Army and the Army National Guard. The staff at the organization comprises engineers, computer scientists, and business managers, among others. The firm values cross-training of its personnel such as quality assurance, production, and field development. The intention is to make sure the staff is highly knowledgeable on combat vehicles to enable them to make necessary adjustments. The human resource at the organization is highly diverse in terms of ability. For example, the company boasts of technical know-how in the fields of software engineering, electrical design, systems design, optical design and testing, mechanical design and testing, and program management. The different skills make the workforce dynamic. Therefore the cultural category of the firm could potentially be marketing.

The company has a bias towards internal focus given the readiness to engage the employees in cross-training. Also, the continuous innovation and improvements made on the products offered by the company imply that Oasis Engineering focuses more on differentiation rather than integration. The outwards approach adopted by the business allows it to form beneficial relationships with the U.S. Army and the National Guard. The emphasis of the organization is on productivity and competitiveness. Positioning in the market is a crucial step in the strategy adopted by the American firm. As such, evidence suggests that the company cultural category for the organization is almost exclusively marketing. The obsession with differentiation and external focus also suggests that the organizational culture could be adhocracy. A combination of the two cultures is possible, although marketing dominates.

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