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Article
Publication date: 21 September 2010

Ingo Forstenlechner and Mohammed A. Al‐Waqfi

The purpose of this paper is to examine workplace discrimination in the context of immigrant employees and job seekers, with a specific focus on perceived discrimination…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine workplace discrimination in the context of immigrant employees and job seekers, with a specific focus on perceived discrimination resulting from affiliation with a specific religious group.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 40 Muslim immigrants in two host countries were interviewed regarding their perception of discrimination and the consequences for their workplace experience. For the analysis, responses were clustered to identify emerging themes using NVivo.

Findings

Results indicate that Muslim immigrants encounter treatment at the workplace that they perceive as discriminatory. On the other hand, findings show high levels of commitment where employees were not discriminated against – contrary to their almost inherent expectations that they would be.

Research limitations/implications

Because of the exploratory nature of this study, the results need to be treated with caution. The small sample size may limit the generalisability of findings. Also, it is possible that both religion and race/ethnicity are confounded in causing the reported incidents of perceived discrimination.

Practical implications

Beyond moral or ethical considerations, workplace discrimination has a negative impact on employee motivation and performance. Accommodation of basic religious needs can significantly improve commitment to the employer at virtually no cost.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors's knowledge there are a limited number of studies in previous literature looking at employment discrimination in the context of religious affiliation. There are very few studies addressing perceived workplace discrimination against Muslims.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 39 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 7 March 2016

Khaldoun I. Ababneh and Mohammed A. Al-Waqfi

Building on organizational justice and privacy literatures, the purpose of this paper is to test a model capturing the impacts of potentially inappropriate/discriminatory…

Abstract

Purpose

Building on organizational justice and privacy literatures, the purpose of this paper is to test a model capturing the impacts of potentially inappropriate/discriminatory interview questions on job applicant perceptions and behavioral intentions in a developing economy context with a multicultural workforce.

Design/methodology/approach

An experimental design using senior undergraduate students (n=221) seeking or about to seek jobs in the United Arab Emirates was used to examine interviewees’ reactions to inappropriate/discriminatory interview questions. A questionnaire was used to collect the data. Structural equation modeling and bootstrapping were used for data analysis and hypothesis testing.

Findings

This study demonstrates that inappropriate/discriminatory interview questions influence privacy invasion perceptions, which in turn influence job applicants’ fairness perceptions and behavioral intentions. This study also demonstrates that privacy invasion perceptions fully mediate the effect of inappropriate/discriminatory employment interview questions on fairness perceptions. Moreover, the findings show that privacy invasion directly and indirectly, via fairness perceptions, influence litigation intentions. On the other hand, findings of this study indicate that privacy invasion influence organizational attractiveness and recommendation intentions only indirectly, via fairness perceptions.

Originality/value

This is the first study to examine the impact of inappropriate/discriminatory interview questions on applicant reactions in a developing economy context with social, cultural, and legal environment that is different from those prevailing in developed Western societies. This study demonstrates that privacy invasion is an important mechanism to understand job applicant reactions to inappropriate interview questions.

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2015

Mohammed A. Al-Waqfi and Ibrahim Abdalla Al-faki

The labor force participation rates of females have been increasing steadily over the past few decades in the UAE and other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and…

Abstract

Purpose

The labor force participation rates of females have been increasing steadily over the past few decades in the UAE and other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and are expected to continue to increase due to increasing levels of education and social change. While, there is a substantive amount of literature on the issues of gender gap in wages and employment conditions in Western developed economies, the evidence from developing economies – especially in the Middle East – remains very scant. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to contribute to bridging this gap by examining gender-based differences in employment conditions for local and expatriate workers in the context of the GCC region.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors utilize a data set from the 2007 cross-section Dubai Labor Market Survey which covers a stratified random sample of employees in the UAE labor market. In addition to descriptive statistics and cross-tabulations of the data by workers’ gender, nationality, and various characteristics of their employment conditions, two empirical models intended to investigate factors that influence access to employment and wage determination of male and female workers in the UAE labor market were estimated.

Findings

The findings of the study reveal that there are gender-based differences and inequity in employment in the UAE labor market. The authors highlight specific impacts of contextual factors on the employment conditions of women compared to men. The gender gap in the UAE context is compounded by nationality effects; whereby gender-based differences become less apparent in the case of foreign workers compared to UAE nationals.

Originality/value

This paper is one of very few studies that addressed the gender gap in employment conditions in the Arab Middle Eastern or GCC context. The paper uses quantitative data from a large random sample of workers in the UAE.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 36 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 27 July 2012

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
Publication date: 13 March 2017

Valerie Priscilla Goby, Hamad Mohammed Ahmad Ali, Mohammed Ahmad Abdulwahed Lanjawi and Khalil Ibrahim Mohammed Ahmad Al Haddad

The aim of this study is to conduct an initial investigation of information sharing between the vast number of expatriate employees and the small minority of local…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this study is to conduct an initial investigation of information sharing between the vast number of expatriate employees and the small minority of local employees in Dubai’s private sector workforce. Research on the impact of the workforce localization policy has highlighted the frequent marginalization of locals within the expatriate-dominated private sector. One form of this is the reluctance of expatriates to share information with local recruits, and the authors conducted this study to assess the reality and extent of this phenomenon.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors designed a brief interview survey to probe how Emirati employees secure workplace information and whether they experience information withholding on the part of expatriate colleagues. The authors also explored whether any such experience impacts on their attitudes to working in the private sector since this is a key factor in the success of the localization policy. Complete responses were received from 0.9 per cent of the total local private sector workforce.

Findings

A notable lack of information sharing emerged with 58 per cent of respondents reporting their expatriate colleagues’ and superiors’ reluctance to share information with them, and 63 per cent describing experiences of discriminatory behavior.

Research limitations/implications

The authors identify key cultural and communication issues relating to localization within Dubai’s multicultural workforce. These include the broader cultural factors that determine how Emiratis conceptualize information sharing. Future research can pursue this issue to help inform the development of supportive information sharing practices. Such practices are an essential part of the creation of a diversity climate, which is necessary to sustain localization.

Originality/value

This study is a pioneering attempt to empirically investigate the information sharing practices that Emirati private sector employees experience. It suggests that the exclusion of citizens from the workplace through practices such as “ghost Emiratization” reverberates in the workplace through a lack of information sharing.

Details

International Journal of Organizational Analysis, vol. 25 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1934-8835

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 27 August 2020

Abu Elias Sarker and Mohammad Habibur Rahman

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the rationale for using social engineering as a tool to impact the nationalization of workforce in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the rationale for using social engineering as a tool to impact the nationalization of workforce in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Design/methodology/approach

Interpretative and exploratory approaches have been employed for this research. Accordingly, the study has extensively reviewed government documents, reports of international organizations and relevant academic literature, including journal articles, conference papers and unpublished dissertations.

Findings

The findings show that the UAE Government has initiated multiple policies and programs to enhance participation of indigenous Emiratis in the burgeoning labor market which has been hitherto dominated by the expatriates. However, while the Emiratization programs are on the verge of fulfilling the targets in the public sector job market, significant gaps exist between the targets and accomplishments in the private sector, causing policy concern.

Originality/value

This paper links theoretical insights from the social engineering model used in the social sciences research to analyze the dynamics of workforce nationalization. The study will be helpful to inform further empirical research in this area.

Details

Public Administration and Policy, vol. 23 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1727-2645

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 29 June 2010

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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Book part
Publication date: 15 April 2014

Alexander W. Wiseman, Naif H. Alromi and Saleh Alshumrani

This chapter presents a theoretical and evidence-based investigation of the contribution that national educational systems make to the development of and transition to a

Abstract

This chapter presents a theoretical and evidence-based investigation of the contribution that national educational systems make to the development of and transition to a knowledge economy in the Arabian Gulf, generally, and Saudi Arabia, specifically. The challenges to creating an Arabian Gulf knowledge economy are twofold. One is a functional and structural challenge of developing a knowledge economy-oriented mass education system. The other is a cultural and contextual challenge of aligning Arabian Gulf expectations, traditions, and norms with institutionalized expectations for knowledge economies. The knowledge economy development challenge that is specific to national versus non-national Gulf populations, information and communication technology (ICT), and formal mass education systems is highlighted. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the role that national innovation systems play in knowledge economy development in the Arabian Gulf countries.

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Article
Publication date: 21 September 2010

Kamel Mellahi and Pawan S. Budhwar

The purpose of this paper is to introduce this special issue on Islam and human resource management (HRM).

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to introduce this special issue on Islam and human resource management (HRM).

Design/methodology/approach

The paper introduces the papers in this special issue, which further current understanding of the association between Islam and HRM, and HRM practices in Islamic countries. The papers debate whether it makes sense to talk about an Islamic HRM, and try to identify the key features of an Islamic HRM model that is substantially distinctive from existing normative models of HRM.

Findings

The papers examine the impact of Islamic values on HRM practices and organisational outcomes, but more research is needed to gain a deeper understanding of the role Islam plays at the work place, and specifically how Islamic ideals, culture, values and norms are used in practice and implications thereof on workplace environment and overall organisational performance.

Originality/value

The paper introduces the concept of Islam and human resource management.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 39 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 22 August 2019

Scott Foster and Anna Foster

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the emerging spirituality debate with the aim of generating and sustaining tolerance for spirituality in the workplace, with a

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the emerging spirituality debate with the aim of generating and sustaining tolerance for spirituality in the workplace, with a specific focus upon the impact this can have upon work-based learners. “Spirituality” is gaining impetus worldwide as a growing number of organisations are proactively accommodating their multi-ethnic and multi-faith workforce by adapting their policies to meet employees’ spiritual needs. As yet in the UK, the majority of organisations fail to recognise neither the basic spiritual well-being of their employees nor the impact this can have upon work-based learning processes.

Design/methodology/approach

This study adopts a quantitative approach with questionnaires distributed to a multi-national retail UK-based organisation with an ethnically diverse national workforce. The study was tested by collecting data from managers and employees of this large, multi-million pound retail chain organisation in the UK, consisting of 55 stores and 1,249 employees, in order to gather employees’ perceptions on spirituality within their place of work regarding policies, communication and perceived source of conflict.

Findings

The results revealed that the majority of employees deemed spirituality was not something they felt comfortable discussing or appropriate to practice within the workplace and there were no clear policies and procedures in place to support either management or employees.

Research limitations/implications

This paper highlights areas for further research in the broad professional areas of spirituality in relation to organisational approaches to work-based learning. The research is from one organisation and utilising one method – qualitative research would add depth to the knowledge.

Practical implications

This paper highlights areas for further research in the broad professional areas of spirituality in relation to organisational approaches to work-based learning.

Originality/value

Employee spiritual well-being is under-researched and overlooked by organisations. Changing the current spiritual intransigence is long overdue as employees’ spiritual fulfilment leads to high-trust relationships in the workplace and can further support those engaged in work-based learning.

Details

Journal of Work-Applied Management, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2205-2062

Keywords

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