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Voicing perceptions of local job seekers and employees toward workforce nationalization and employment

Tamer H. Elsharnouby (Department of Management and Marketing, College of Business and Economics, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar)
Heba Younis (London South Bank University, London, UK)
Said Elbanna (Center for Entrepreneurship and Organizational Excellence, College of Business and Economics, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar)
Nasrina Mauji (College of Business and Economics, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar)

Employee Relations

ISSN: 0142-5455

Article publication date: 27 December 2022

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Abstract

Purpose

This study explores local Qatari job seekers' and employees' perceptions of the workforce nationalization strategy to address an inadequacy in the workforce nationalization literature in Gulf Cooperation Council countries. It also unpacks the factors that attract or discourage local job seekers and employees when considering a new job.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected through in-depth interviews with 28 local job seekers who were either currently unemployed or employed and seeking another job at the time of the interviews.

Findings

The data revealed that nationals perceive Qatarization as a means to replace expatriate employees with nationals, particularly in the public sector and leadership positions. This misinterpretation of the strategy leads to complications, such as the waithood phenomenon and a sense of entitlement for guaranteed employment. The findings also provide insights into nationals' attitudes toward employment, including job attraction and discouraging factors.

Research limitations/implications

The results provide policymakers with insights into the misinterpretation surrounding nationals' perceptions of workforce nationalization and remedies for better implementation of the strategy.

Originality/value

The study addresses two clear gaps in the workforce nationalization literature: (1) examining how nationals perceive the workforce nationalization strategy and (2) unpacking the factors that make employment attractive or unfavorable for nationals.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This paper was made possible by the NPRP grant # [12S-0311-190314] from the Qatar National Research Fund (a member of Qatar Foundation). The statements made herein are solely the responsibility of the authors.

Citation

Elsharnouby, T.H., Younis, H., Elbanna, S. and Mauji, N. (2022), "Voicing perceptions of local job seekers and employees toward workforce nationalization and employment", Employee Relations, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/ER-04-2022-0178

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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