Clarke, M. and Pounder, J. (2010), "Editorial", Education, Business and Society: Contemporary Middle Eastern Issues, Vol. 3 No. 2. https://doi.org/10.1108/ebs.2010.34903baa.001Download as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Editorial From: Education, Business and Society: Contemporary Middle Eastern Issues, Volume 3, Issue 2
In a variety of ways, each of the papers in this issue explores the links between at least two of our central points of focus, namely, education, business and society. Mohammad Zakir Hossain and Khalid Said Al-Amri employ the Cobb-Douglas production model to examine the returns to scale of nine industries in Oman. The content and method of this study, in a context where oil reserves are diminishing and where the development of a robust and diverse economy is a key to long-term economic security, has obvious implications for the long-term wellbeing and prosperity of number of other Middle-Eastern societies. Meanwhile, in another paper with clear implications beyond its immediate context, Elizabeth S. Buckner and Khuloud Saba examine the educational and employment prospects for Syrian youth against the background of changing government policies and increasing global engagement. The study is particularly valuable in highlighting the future research strategies and policy directions that will be necessary if exacerbated youth disenfranchisement and alienation are to be avoided in coming years. The links between local, regional, and global contexts are also evident in the paper by Menatallah Darrag, Ahmed Mohamed and Hadia Hamdy, which investigates the recruitment practices of multinational corporations operating in Egypt, highlighting the problems, challenges and issues involved. Again, the paper suggests future research and policy directions that have relevance for human resource management in developing contexts more widely. Meanwhile, in another paper with strong resonance beyond its immediate contextual focus, Stephen S. Everhart highlights the mutuality between economy and society through the lens of the fascinating links between corruption, resource management, and economic productivity. This theoretically and methodologically sophisticated piece, which like Hossain’s and Al-Amri’s paper utilizes the Cobb-Douglas production function, highlights the benefits of good governance if resource-rich countries are to transcend the “resource curse”.
The final two papers are both located in the Gulf context and both focus on education, but in keeping with the papers above, highlight clear links to wider social issues. Tariq Elyas’ and Michelle Picard’s paper explores the complex interrelationship between language and culture, against the backdrop of shifting sociohistorical contexts, dynamic pedagogic policies and practices, and fluid educational identities. The paper highlights the need for engagement with the politically implicated, “worldy” nature of English language education – and indeed of education generally – on the part of policy makers and practitioners in the rapidly changing and interconnected world of the twenty-first century. Last, but not least, Lauren Stephenson’s paper examines the complex individual, institutional, and systemic factors shaping the professional development of educators in the UAE. The paper argues for the effectiveness of professional learning that values individual autonomy alongside collective engagement and collaboration as part of an organic, evolving and potentially transformative model. As with the other papers in this issue, important directions for future research and practice are highlighted; we hope and expect that these will bear fruit in future volumes of Education, Business and Society.
Matthew Clarke, James Pounder