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Article
Publication date: 2 February 2021

Hayfaa A. Tlaiss and Maura McAdam

The aim of this paper is to explore how Arab Muslim women entrepreneurs construe success, their identity as successful and the influence of Islam on these construals in…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to explore how Arab Muslim women entrepreneurs construe success, their identity as successful and the influence of Islam on these construals in the country-specific context of Lebanon.

Design/methodology/approach

To achieve our aim, a qualitative interpretative methodology, drawing upon 25 in-depth, semi-structured interviews with Muslim women entrepreneurs was adopted.

Findings

Equipped with Islamic feminism, Arab women entrepreneurs experienced Islam as a malleable resource. Islam allowed them to construe success and their identity as successful at the juncture of their lived experiences as business owners, Muslims of good character and standing and Arab females. Ultimately, Islam unfolded as a dynamic religion that supports women's agency in a landscape dominated by deeply entrenched patriarchal societal and cultural norms and gender-based restrictions.

Originality/value

First, we contribute to research on the effect of Islam on entrepreneurship by demonstrating the influence of Islam on women's identity construction as successful and their construals of success. Second, we contribute to research on how entrepreneurs construe success beyond situating their construals of success in opposing camps of either objective or subjective success. Third, we contribute to research on identity construction and identity work by demonstrating how Muslim women entrepreneurs' identity as successful is construed at the intersection of their personal and social identities.

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 27 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2020

Hayfaa Tlaiss

Despite the proliferation of studies on talent management (TM), few studies focus on the perspectives of human resource management (HRM) representatives. Furthermore…

Abstract

Purpose

Despite the proliferation of studies on talent management (TM), few studies focus on the perspectives of human resource management (HRM) representatives. Furthermore, there is a dearth of studies that explore talent philosophies and TM in practice in private organizations in emerging economies, such as those of the Arab Middle East (AME) region. Consequently, the purpose of this study is to explore talent philosophies and TM in practice in the country-specific context of Lebanon.

Design/methodology/approach

This study was exploratory in nature and followed a qualitative interpretive methodology. It capitalized on in-depth, semi-structured interviews with HRM representatives.

Findings

The findings of this study indicated relative consensus in talent philosophies across organizations in four industries; talent was largely perceived as exclusive, despite disagreements on whether it was stable or developable. Differences were identified in terms of how TM was understood in organizations and also how it was executed in practice in terms of talent identification and recruitment, training and development, performance assessment and talent retention.

Originality/value

This study is the first to empirically explore talent philosophies and TM in practice in the context of Lebanon. It is also among the few studies to extend the use of institutional theory (IT) to talent philosophies and TM practices. The originality of this study is also derived from its focus on the practices of HRM departments through using feedback from HRM representatives.

Details

Employee Relations: The International Journal, vol. 43 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

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Article
Publication date: 8 May 2017

Ahmed Al-Asfour, Hayfaa A. Tlaiss, Sami A. Khan and James Rajasekar

Few studies have explored the work challenges and career barriers faced by women in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Drawing on Institutional Theory, the purpose of this…

Abstract

Purpose

Few studies have explored the work challenges and career barriers faced by women in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Drawing on Institutional Theory, the purpose of this paper is to explore the experiences of employed Saudi women through in-depth interviews.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper employs a phenomenological qualitative approach drawing on 12 in-depth semi-structured interviews with Saudi women.

Findings

The findings reveal a significant number of prominent societal and organizational structural and attitudinal barriers to the advancement of Saudi women in paid employment. Among others, these barriers include a lack of mobility; the salience of gender stereotypes; gender discrimination in the workplace; limited opportunities for growth, development, and career advancement; excessive workload caused by a lack of family-work balance; and gender-based challenges related to dealing with pregnancy.

Research limitations/implications

Despite the contributions of this study, it also has limitations, particularly the convenience sampling approach and the focus on the KSA. The small sample size means that the findings cannot be generalized to all women employed in Saudi Arabia and should be generalized within Saudi Arabia and other Arab societies only with caution.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the understanding of work challenges and barriers of Saudi women in the workforce. It provides fresh insights to the issues surrounding women in Saudi Arabia and the need to address them in order to provide support for their career advancement.

Details

Career Development International, vol. 22 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1362-0436

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Article
Publication date: 5 June 2017

Hayfaa A. Tlaiss, Pascal Martin and Mahrane Hofaidhllaoui

While multinational corporations appear to understand the importance of talent retention (TR) for maintaining their competitive advantage, they continue to struggle to…

Abstract

Purpose

While multinational corporations appear to understand the importance of talent retention (TR) for maintaining their competitive advantage, they continue to struggle to identify and develop strategies to retain talent. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to explore how talent is identified, and more importantly, how it is retained within the context of a multinational firm in France.

Design/methodology/approach

This study is exploratory in nature and capitalizes on a case study methodology through which in-depth, open-ended interviews with partners and managers were conducted.

Findings

The findings suggest that TR is approached in an arbitrary and ad hoc manner. They also reveal that TR practices are mostly motivated by the direct costs associated with a failure to retain talent, and less with the indirect costs and loss of tacit knowledge. Of considerable interest is the finding that despite the use of utilitarian power via incentives to promote TR, the focus is mostly on normative power via workplace culture and organizational norms.

Originality/value

This study is the first to explore TR in the context of one of the Big Four accounting firms in France and among the few to extend the use of Etzioni’s (1975) model of compliance to TR research and to a French context. The originality of this study is also derived from its ability to explain the factors impacting TR, how talent is retained in practice, and the gap between the ideals and reality.

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 39 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

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Article
Publication date: 3 August 2015

Hayfaa Tlaiss

Few studies examine the career success of women in the Arab Middle East. With that in mind, the purpose of this paper is to explore the conceptualizations of the career…

Abstract

Purpose

Few studies examine the career success of women in the Arab Middle East. With that in mind, the purpose of this paper is to explore the conceptualizations of the career success of women managers in Lebanon. Drawing on the individual, behavioral, and structural approaches, this study also investigates the women’s approaches to career success. Capitalizing on the institutional theory (IT), the current investigation accounts for the complexity of the local context by illustrating how a diverse set of socio-cultural values and norms, institutional constraints, and individual agency impact the overall experience of career success among Arab women.

Design/methodology/approach

This study is exploratory in nature and draws on a qualitative approach. In-depth, face-to-face, open-ended interviews were conducted with women managers across the managerial hierarchy in a wide range of industries, sectors, and organizations.

Findings

The findings suggest that the Lebanese women managers’ career success was not conceptualized exclusively using the objective or the subjective measures. Rather, it was conceptualized on a continuum between these measures, thus challenging the rigid objective/subjective dichotomy in the context of Lebanon. The results also suggest that the career success of these women managers is better predicted and explained by the individual and behavioral approaches than by the traditional, structural approach. This empirical work sheds light on the gendered working conditions that women experience and how they capitalize on their individual agency to survive the hegemonic masculinity embedded in their workplaces, along with the inequalities that it promotes.

Originality/value

This study is the first to explore the conceptualizations and the determinants of the career success of women managers in Lebanon. However, the originality of this paper is not only limited to its contribution to the limited research on the careers of Arab women; it also extends to its usage of various approaches to predict career success as well as to adapt IT as a theoretical framework for capturing the myriad of factors that impact women’s careers and success. The originality of this study also lies in advancing the theoretical concept of hegemonic masculinity into studies looking at Arab women’s career experiences by shedding some light on how the reproduction of gender, gendered working practices, and agency impact their career success.

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 37 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

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Article
Publication date: 5 January 2015

Abdallah M Elamin and Hayfaa A. Tlaiss

Cross-cultural studies suggest that while organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) and organizational justice have received considerable attention in Anglo-Saxon…

Abstract

Purpose

Cross-cultural studies suggest that while organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) and organizational justice have received considerable attention in Anglo-Saxon contexts, the same cannot be claimed in non-Western, Arab Middle Eastern contexts. The purpose of this paper is to attend to this knowledge gap by exploring OCB in the context of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its relationship with organizational justice.

Design/methodology/approach

In cognizance of the extant literature, the study explores the perceptions of Saudi Arabian managers of the five conceptually different dimensions of citizenship behaviour – conscientiousness, sportsmanship, civic virtue, courtesy, and altruism. It also explores their perceptions of distributive justice, procedural justice, and interactional justice. In addition, the current study investigates the relationship between organizational justice and OCB. Using the survey questionnaire method, data was collected from more than 250 Saudi managers at different levels of the managerial hierarchy and working in a wide range of organizations and industries.

Findings

The results indicate that Saudi Arabian managers reported exhibiting OCB at work. They also suggest the salience of various forms of organizational justice in Saudi Arabian organizations as motivated by Arab cultural values and Islamic teachings. In regards to the relationship between the two constructs, our results indicate that interactional justice is most frequently associated with various dimensions of OCB for various reasons, including the emphasis that Islam and Islamic teachings give to demonstrating respect and courtesy in dealings with others.

Originality/value

The literature on OCB and organizational justice is thin in the Arab world. With that in mind, the current study is the first to explore OCB in Saudi Arabia. It is also the first to investigate the relationship between citizenship behavior and justice in Saudi organizations. The findings of this study highlight the need for academics and human resource experts to account for the role of socio-cultural factors and Islam when examining these constructs in the Arab world. The implications of the findings for academics and practitioners are discussed.

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 37 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

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Article
Publication date: 4 November 2013

Hayfaa A. Tlaiss

The purpose of this paper is to explore the career success of women in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The paper examines the interplay of some of the macro-national and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the career success of women in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The paper examines the interplay of some of the macro-national and meso-organizational factors in explaining the micro-individual experiences of career success.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on in-depth interviews with 26 women managers in large private organizations in the UAE to explore whether they experienced their careers as successful or not and the measures they used to operationalize their career success.

Findings

The findings presented in the paper support the use of a multi-level research design to capture the complexity of women's experience of career success. The findings illustrate how local cultural values, societal expectations, and organizational attitudinal and structural factors influence the experiences and the conceptualizations of career success of women in this research context.

Originality/value

The originality of the paper is threefold. First, the value added of this research lies in exploring whether the women experienced career success or not and the reasons underscoring their experiences, before looking into how they measured that success. Second, the originality of the paper lies in adapting a relational multi-level framework that is commonly used in diversity management studies, to capture the multiple factors that impact the experiences and operationalization of career success of women. Third, the paper contributes to the limited research on the career experience of women in the UAE and the Arab Middle East in general.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 32 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 14 September 2015

Hayfaa A Tlaiss and Abdallah M. Elamin

Few studies consider the relationship between organizational justice (OJ) and trust in Non-western contexts. In an attempt to address this gap, the purpose of this paper…

Abstract

Purpose

Few studies consider the relationship between organizational justice (OJ) and trust in Non-western contexts. In an attempt to address this gap, the purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between organizational trust (OT) and OJ in Saudi Arabia. First, the authors examine two foci of trust and explore whether trust in an immediate supervisor/manager is correlated with trust in an organization. Second, the authors test the relationship three widely used constructs of OJ and two aspects of OT. Third, the authors examine the mediating role played by trust in immediate supervisor in the relationship between the various aspects of OJ and trust in an organization.

Design/methodology/approach

Using Social Exchange Theory, this study reports the responses of 231 junior and middle managers from eight organizations in Saudi Arabia. Data were collected through a structured survey questionnaire that used standard scales on distributive justice, procedural justice (PJ), and interactional justice (IJ), as well as trust in immediate supervisor and trust in organization.

Findings

Consistent with studies conducted in western contexts, the findings revealed a positive, significant, direct relationship between trust in immediate supervisor and trust in organization. However, contrary to what has been reported in the majority of western studies, among the three dimensions of OJ, IJ was the only predictor for trust in immediate supervisor. PJ and IJ were predictors of trust in organization, with PJ the stronger predictor. Finally, trust in immediate supervisor mediates some of the relationship between OJ and trust in organization.

Originality/value

The current study is the first to explore the relationship between OJ and OT, with the latter being measured in more than one focus, in the Arab Middle East. Therefore, this study contributes to bridging the gap in the understanding of the relationship between OJ and OT in non-western, Arab and Muslim Middle Eastern contexts. The interconnectedness between the organizational experiences of Saudi Arabian managers and cultural values highlighted in this study has significant implications for researchers, managers, and HR departments.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 34 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 7 June 2011

Hayfaa Tlaiss and Saleema Kauser

Frequently used in fostering the career progression of individuals this paper aims to explore the concept of wasta and its significance in the career advancement of…

Abstract

Purpose

Frequently used in fostering the career progression of individuals this paper aims to explore the concept of wasta and its significance in the career advancement of individuals in the Middle Eastern region. The paper also seeks to compare wasta with networking and mentoring.

Design/methodology/approach

The argument is based on relevant literature, the authors' own knowledge through conducting research in the Arab world, informal interviews and survey data conducted across the Middle Eastern Region.

Findings

The research clearly shows that on balance wasta remains traditional in its influence in the career advancement of individuals and business life and social life and is unlikely to diminish in the near future, despite the perception that it is an unfair practice. Wasta also displays similarities and differences with networking and mentoring.

Research implications/limitations

Fundamental knowledge on wasta is limited precluding reliable conclusions on how wasta compares with networking and mentoring. Further research needs to be conducted with a larger sample, across a range of industries.

Practical implications

The paper suggests the need for human resource departments of Middle Eastern organizations to create conditions that encourage managers to develop social relationships given the lack of interactive support mechanisms.

Originality/value

Given the token status of systematic management studies in the Arab world, this research is important as it extends knowledge in wasta practices in the region, and also in comparing wasta with networking and mentoring. Overall, the paper argues that wasta is a lucrative area for future research.

Details

Journal of European Industrial Training, vol. 35 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0590

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Article
Publication date: 21 June 2013

Hayfaa A. Tlaiss

The aim of this study is to fill a gap in the literature on job satisfaction in the Middle East, reflecting on the experience of women managers from Lebanon.

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this study is to fill a gap in the literature on job satisfaction in the Middle East, reflecting on the experience of women managers from Lebanon.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey questionnaire was designed and administered to a sample of women managers in the banking sector. The survey covered several aspects including objective, subjective, and overall job satisfaction.

Findings

Overall, the findings revealed that the respondents were satisfied with the subjective aspects of their careers, but not the objective ones. Work‐related factors seemed to better explain the job satisfaction of women managers in the banking industry in Lebanon when compared to individual personal factors.

Originality/value

Given the limited research on job satisfaction in the Middle East and the importance of job satisfaction on performance and retention, this study adds to the little that is known about the effect of individual and work‐related factors on job satisfaction of employees in the Arab Middle Eastern region. The implications of this study can be of great importance for public policy initiatives, practitioners and academic scholars.

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 35 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

Keywords

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