Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Dissertation


Telephone--Social aspects--Saudi Arabia;


The current research explores the significance of the introduction of telephone technology into Saudi Arabia. The problem addressed by the research was to identify and describe the cultural and economic significance that the telephone has had in Saudi Arabia. The purpose of the research was specifically to study the significance that telephone technology has in the three areas of family ties, business, and transportation. The methodology began with the development a data-collection document. An English version of the document was administered as a pilot test to students at the University of Northern Iowa. This pilot test revealed that the document was easy to understand and took about 30 minutes to complete. An Arabic translation of the document was administered to 15 telephone engineers in Saudi Arabia and the results were analyzed by a professor at King Saud University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to determine the validity of the document. The document was administered by telephone to Saudis selected at random from the Riyadh telephone directory. The response level was 80%. The responses were analyzed using a correlation test and a chi-square test. The conclusion reached was that Saudi culture has not been fundamentally altered by the introduction of telephone technology, but adaptations have been made by the Saudi people to incorporate the new technology into their culture in a manner consistent with traditional values. The Saudi tradition of spontaneous, face-to-face visitation among friends and family has not been replaced by telephone conversations, although the telephone is used to announce the intention to visit. The researcher also concluded that the frequency of telephone use increases with the level of affluence. Saudis do not freely engage in conversations with strangers over the telephone any more than they do in face-to-face meetings. Business in Saudi Arabia continues to be conducted mostly in person with the telephone being used to arrange such in-person meetings. Saudis traveling long distances by automobile rely upon the highway emergency telephone system. The presence of the telephone has not altered the traditional, male-dominant Saudi family structure.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Doctor of Industrial Technology


Department of Industrial Technology

First Advisor

John T. Fecik, Advisor

Second Advisor

Ali E. Kashef, Co-Advisor

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (iv, 135 pages)



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