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Article

Yehuda Baruch and Ingo Forstenlechner

The purpose of this paper is to provide a better understanding of expatriation, both firm-initiated and self-initiated. The authors identified factors influencing the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a better understanding of expatriation, both firm-initiated and self-initiated. The authors identified factors influencing the motives of expatriates to locate to the Arabian Gulf, and possible factors that may influence their decision to remain.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a qualitative approach, the authors conducted 123 semi-structured interviews with expatriates in the United Arab Emirates, from various backgrounds. These interviews are analyzed based on the thematic analytic approach.

Findings

The authors identified four clusters of reasoning for global assignments to the Gulf and the outcomes of the expatriation. Remuneration was the main motivator cited for the move, but an obstacle for returning to the home country. For Westerners, the second most important factor was career opportunities, whereas for expatriates from Muslim countries it was cultural fit.

Practical implications

The findings may be a valuable source of reference for individuals and for policy makers, employers, HR practitioners, and career counselors to provide an understanding of expatriation in emerging economies.

Originality/value

The paper uses evidence from the Gulf to bridge the gap between current knowledge of expatriation and the context of emerging economies.

Details

Career Development International, vol. 22 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1362-0436

Keywords

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Article

Ingo Forstenlechner

The introduction to this special issue aims to describe the papers published in this volume as well as the setting of labour markets in the Arabian Gulf as the basis for…

Abstract

Purpose

The introduction to this special issue aims to describe the papers published in this volume as well as the setting of labour markets in the Arabian Gulf as the basis for the understanding the relationship between expatriates and the indigenous workforce.

Design/methodology/approach

First, the context is explained, followed by a description of the peculiarities of the research setting. Then, the articles in this special issue are described, followed by an outlook on the future of the expatriate‐citizen relationship and suggestions for future research in this area.

Findings

Thanks to the efforts of authors, reviewers, and the editors of this journal, every single one of the articles in this volume provides valuable insights from new perspectives on the theme of this special issue.

Originality/value

This special issue expands the understanding of a truly underrepresented topic.

Details

Team Performance Management: An International Journal, vol. 16 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-7592

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Team Performance Management: An International Journal, vol. 15 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-7592

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Article

Kevin Schoepp and Ingo Forstenlechner

The purpose of this paper is to add to knowledge on the environment of self‐initiated expatriates and the importance of family in determining expatriate retention. It…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to add to knowledge on the environment of self‐initiated expatriates and the importance of family in determining expatriate retention. It seeks to explore the role of family in an environment vastly different to that of previous research, one where expatriates are outnumbering citizens four to one. Further, the paper aims to explore familial adjustment differences that emerge amongst the different demographic segments within this expatriate majority environment.

Design/methodology/approach

The analysis is based on survey data obtained from 364 self‐initiated expatriates. Beyond a thorough demographic analysis providing additional background, data to test hypotheses were analyzed using SPSS and, where suitable, independent samples t‐test or one‐way ANOVA.

Findings

Evidence was found of what can be described as an environment easing expatriate adjustment as well as questioning the impact of many of the problems previously identified in literature on expatriates. Findings show an environment where some of the stressors associated with living abroad have been mitigated and family has more or less become a motivation to stay rather than to leave. In addition, the demographic analysis of expatriate faculty adds to knowledge about the globalization of higher education.

Practical implications

Definitions of what constitutes a hardship posting for expatriates may need to be revisited, taking into account national demographic characteristics. Current thinking on the expatriate family should also consider different settings where family may actually be a motivation to remain.

Originality/value

This paper provides a new perspective, as previous literature suggested family to be almost exclusively a reason for expatriate difficulties. Further, little focus has been made on countries where expatriates represent a large share or the majority of the population such as in several of the Arabian Gulf countries.

Details

Team Performance Management: An International Journal, vol. 16 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-7592

Keywords

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Article

Mohammed A. Al‐Waqfi and Ingo Forstenlechner

The uncompromising preference of citizens for public sector employment throughout the Middle East is not new. However, with the recent saturation of the public sector job…

Abstract

Purpose

The uncompromising preference of citizens for public sector employment throughout the Middle East is not new. However, with the recent saturation of the public sector job market and demographic pressures, it has grown to become a problem of unpredictable economic and social consequences. This paper aims to explore the factors determining career choice behaviour and the underlying career expectations and perceptions of young citizens in one Middle Eastern country, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where the preference for public sector employment is not only very strong, but is also perceived as increasingly problematic.

Design/methodology/approach

Semi‐structured interviews were conducted with a total of 60 UAE citizens in the age group of 18‐23.

Findings

The authors explore and discuss cognitive, social, and institutional factors that influence the job‐seeking behaviour of young Emiratis and lead to negative attitudes towards the private sector. They further suggest potential causes of the very low private sector employment levels among UAE citizens and discuss their implications for policy makers. The authors argue for two main approaches: first, a focus on training and orientation of young citizens to enable them to confidently pursue job opportunities in the private sector. This may also include ways for providing young UAE citizens with private sector exposure, as 98 per cent of the national workforce is currently working in the public sector and a lot of what young UAE citizens think they know about the private sector is not founded in reality. Second, interventions to address structural and institutional challenges hindering employment of citizens including gaps in employment conditions and remuneration levels for citizens between the public and private employment sectors.

Originality/value

While much previous research in this field has focused on the perceptions of employers, this is the first paper to actually explore the perceptions of those at the centre of the discussion – young UAE citizens themselves.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 41 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

Keywords

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Article

Ingo Forstenlechner and Yehuda Baruch

The contemporary nature of careers has changed significantly in Western societies, yet studies on the nature of this change in different cultures are sparse. The aim of…

Abstract

Purpose

The contemporary nature of careers has changed significantly in Western societies, yet studies on the nature of this change in different cultures are sparse. The aim of this paper is to explore how career theories and concepts from Western origin fit the Middle East, particularly within the emerging Arabian Gulf economy, putting in context explanatory propositions expanding the Western view of career theory and applying it to the environment of a rapidly changing society.

Design/methodology/approach

This research uses a conceptual analysis approach.

Findings

Owing to demographic changes, and increasing awareness of the societal, economic and political concerns, the country cannot maintain that implicit promise. The old psychological contract has been breached as the country cannot keep offering similar jobs to the growing number of young people entering the labour market.

Originality/value

This paper is the first aiming to explain emerging Middle Eastern countries' labour markets in their entirety, using existing Western career theories and concepts. Implications for individuals and employers in the global private sector who may consider a move to the Gulf are offered.

Details

Career Development International, vol. 18 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1362-0436

Keywords

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Article

Ingo Forstenlechner, Fiona Lettice and Mike Bourne

The purpose of this paper is to present the results of an empirical study to analyse the impact of the introduction of knowledge management (KM) practices on the financial

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present the results of an empirical study to analyse the impact of the introduction of knowledge management (KM) practices on the financial performance of a multinational law firm and to refine the KM Balanced Scorecard being used by the organisation.

Design/methodology/approach

A case study approach was taken using multiple sources of evidence from within the organisation including internal surveys on KM services, performance measures, usage data for KM systems and tools and organisational financial data. Stepwise regression and correlation analyses were used to test causal relationships within the KM Balanced Scorecard.

Findings

The most important predictors for financial performance (fee income) are the value perception of KM, quality of counsel and legal opinions, ease of use of know‐how systems, quality of service from the KM team, usage of news and current affairs, personal know‐how exchange with peers, lawyer commitment and KM staffing.

Research limitations

This research was limited to one law firm and used the existing KM Balanced Scorecard for analysis. The results may therefore have limited generalisability to other organisations.

Practical implications

The results have been used within the case study organisation to improve KM services and to improve the ability to measure the impact and return on investment for KM activities.

Originality/value

This research provides empirical evidence for the positive impact of KM on fee income within a law firm.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

Keywords

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Article

Ingo Forstenlechner

This paper sets out to identify HR‐relevant recommendations for workforce localization in the context of emerging Gulf economies. While previous research has focused on…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper sets out to identify HR‐relevant recommendations for workforce localization in the context of emerging Gulf economies. While previous research has focused on topics such as commitment or the influence of stereotypes, this paper aims to suggest concrete steps to help organizations in addressing the full scale of localization from recruitment to retention.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected predominantly through in‐depth, semi‐structured interviews with HR managers from both the public and private sector.

Findings

With a multitude of definitions and approaches to Emiratization, best practices are yet to be established. The paper provides a potential stepping‐stone towards these by identifying some of the adaptations needed to key HR processes to foster localization.

Research limitations/implications

There are difficulties in generalizing the data due to the limited sample size and there were significant difficulties in accessing relevant personnel, with another limitation being the tendency towards socially acceptable responses.

Practical implications

The paper puts forward several recommendations, the realization of which could positively influence the chances for successful localization – as opposed to widespread tokenism practices. This might support meaningful localization aiding both the employer and the employee by providing locals with meaningful and suitable work, while at the same time increasing the returns on human capital investment.

Originality/value

There has been no previous research which provides recommendations across key HR practices.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 39 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

Keywords

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Article

Mohammed Al‐Waqfi and Ingo Forstenlechner

Even though initiatives to increase the participation of citizens in the workforce have been in place for more than a decade in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the results…

Abstract

Purpose

Even though initiatives to increase the participation of citizens in the workforce have been in place for more than a decade in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the results are not impressive. Citizens' workforce participation – it is argued in the literature – is hindered by structural as well as attitudinal concerns. A key concern of this paper is to explore stereotypes which – as anecdotal evidence in the literature suggests – are a key hindrance to successful localisation.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey was completed by 310 expatriates and citizens. Exploratory factor analysis was used to understand the key factors describing how UAE citizens are perceived and stereotyped and ANOVA analyses were used to understand the determinants of such perceptions.

Findings

Findings confirm the general belief that Emiratis are negatively stereotyped by expatriates in the UAE labour market. Four themes or factors regarding perceptions of citizens were identified: generally negative perceptions with regard to skills and competencies, work ethics, cultural disposition, and perceived effectiveness of Emiratisation.

Research limitations/implications

The sample was not ideally balanced as it included more citizens compared to the overall composition of the labour market.

Practical implications

The implications of these negative stereotypes on intergroup relations and expected impacts on Emiratisation are discussed. Ultimately, this paper provides a new subject perspective on immigration, presenting the case of citizens being a minority in need of acculturation to their own country's work environment.

Originality/value

This paper is the first to empirically assess stereotyping and negative perceptions of citizens and its implications on workforce nationalisation in the GCC region.

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 32 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

Keywords

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Article

Ingo Forstenlechner and Fiona Lettice

The purpose of this paper is to present and discuss the findings of research into the different means of motivating knowledge workers to participate in and contribute to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present and discuss the findings of research into the different means of motivating knowledge workers to participate in and contribute to knowledge exchange and creation.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey was conducted among more than a quarter of the 2,500+ strong lawyer multinational law firm with 25+ offices in 15+ countries and analysed to provide insight into the differences on motivation and value perception across the cultural dividing lines. The results were analysed at regional level as well as organisational/generation level and analysed by statistical means and descriptive statistics. The key outcomes were analysed against literature to provide an in‐depth understanding on how to foster knowledge sharing.

Findings

Respondents showed distinct reactions towards the means to motivate them to share knowledge. Career prospects, authority, provision of charge codes, recognition among peers or one‐time incentives have a very diverse impact around the world.

Research limitations/implications

This survey itself was limited to one law firm. Thus, even though this firm is among the largest three firms in the world and considered a leader in knowledge management, this research is therefore not representative of the entire professional service sector or the law firm sector.

Practical implications

The results have been used within the case study organisation to improve the efficiency in motivating lawyers to share knowledge and lessons can be drawn for comparable organisations operating on a global scale.

Originality/value

Prior to this paper there has been little research into the motivation of global knowledge workers within the professional service environment.

Details

Equal Opportunities International, vol. 26 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0261-0159

Keywords

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