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Article
Publication date: 14 March 2018

Fauzia Jabeen, Mohd Nishat Faisal and Marios Katsioloudes

The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to understand Emirati nationals’ perceptions of the role of workforce localisation policies in their professional aspirations…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to understand Emirati nationals’ perceptions of the role of workforce localisation policies in their professional aspirations and growth and, second, to determine the role of higher education and job attributes in the achievement of their goals. The study uses a hierarchy-based model/road map to improve localisation efforts by attempting to aid understanding of the relationships and barriers hindering these processes.

Design/methodology/approach

The study follows a two-stage process. In the first stage, a questionnaire-based survey was administered to 207 Emirati postgraduate students from public and private universities based in two major Emirates: Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The sample data were analysed by basic descriptive statistics in the form of cross-relationships and rank correlation tests. In the second stage, an interpretive structural modelling approach was used to develop a hierarchy-based structural model of the barriers to localisation.

Findings

Emiratis younger than 30 years old consider localisation as an enabling factor in their professional success in contrast to those older than 30 years old. The results also indicate that working female Emiratis have significantly more positive attitudes regarding the contribution of localisation towards their professional success than that of their male counterparts. However, both genders see a mismatch in efforts being made to better equip themselves for the workplace. The hierarchy-based model delineates variables that could contribute to making localisation a successful employment programme in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Research limitations

The findings of this study relate to the UAE. However, there are similar localisation programmes that have been implemented in other Gulf Cooperation Council states. Hence, while the results of this study are relevant to the UAE, they may not be generalisable to the entire Gulf region.

Practical implications

It is proposed that the research findings and the structural model of relationships may help policy makers develop suitable strategies to strengthen the Emirati localisation programme.

Originality/value

This study makes a contribution to the literature and can serve as a guide to policy makers for localisation programmes. This is achieved by analysing the attitude of UAE nationals studying at higher education institutions. Furthermore, the study presents a hierarchy-based model of the barriers to localisation that explains the root causes of the problem.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 37 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

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Article
Publication date: 5 September 2016

Unnikammu Moideenkutty, Y.S.R. Murthy and Asya Al-Lamky

The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between localization (Omanization) practices and financial performance in Oman.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between localization (Omanization) practices and financial performance in Oman.

Design/methodology/approach

Firms listed in the Muscat Securities Market were surveyed. Data were obtained from 73 firms. Financial performance data (average ratio of market value to book value) were obtained from published records.

Findings

Results indicated that localization practices were related to financial performance after controlling for size, type of firm, average price earnings ratio of the industry and Omanization levels.

Research limitations/implications

The measure of localization did not specify the level at which Omanization practices are focused on. This is a limitation of this study, and future research must measure localization practices for different levels in the organization.

Practical implications

From a practical perspective, the results of this study suggest that organizations in the Arabian Gulf can enhance their performance by implementing systematic localization human resource management practices. The authors believe that this study makes a significant preliminary contribution to the understanding of localization practices and financial performance in the Arabian Gulf region.

Social implications

These results are encouraging for managers who argue for integrating locals into the workforce rather than engaging in localization practices for public relations purposes. Sincere localization efforts develop local human capital.

Originality/value

Study was conducted in the Sultanate of Oman, an Arabian Gulf country. To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study of localization practices and financial performance in the Arabian Gulf. This study therefore contributes to and extends the growing literature on localization practices in the Arabian Gulf in general and Oman in particular.

Details

Review of International Business and Strategy, vol. 26 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-6014

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2010

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

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Article
Publication date: 19 May 2021

Said Elbanna

This study aims to advance practice and research on workforce nationalization in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries through identifying relevant policy and…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to advance practice and research on workforce nationalization in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries through identifying relevant policy and practical implications needed to implement nationalization initiatives effectively.

Design/methodology/approach

The author followed a two-stage approach. Stage 1 reviewed the literature to identify relevant papers on workforce nationalization in the GCC region. Stage 2 used a thematic analysis to propose relevant implications for both policy makers and employers.

Findings

Through the lens of four perspectives at different levels, i.e. legal, organizational, human development and socio-cultural perspectives, the author has identified ten policy and practical implications. Both governments and employers need to consider these when developing holistic strategies for effective workforce nationalization.

Originality/value

Over several decades, the GCC countries have been implementing several nationalization initiatives to increase the percentage and qualifications of their national employees. The significance of these initiatives stems from the fact that the GCC countries lack adequately trained citizens. Moreover, regardless of political attitudes toward foreigners, development plans for modernization, industrialization or urbanization heavily relies on foreign employees. This is because nationals represent the minority of employees and are largely employed in the public sector. This phenomenon needs the attention of scholars to discuss different aspects of nationalization and how to effectively implement it.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

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Article
Publication date: 3 October 2016

Abdulfattah Yaghi

The purpose of this paper is to examine the multi-dimensionality of women managers’ turnover in the United Arab Emirates. The study argues that several factors besides…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the multi-dimensionality of women managers’ turnover in the United Arab Emirates. The study argues that several factors besides public policy influence turnover.

Design/methodology/approach

A special survey was developed and administered to a convenience sample of 298 local women managers in both sectors. Descriptive statistics, Cronbach’s alpha, Pearson and multiple regression analyses were used.

Findings

The empirical analyses provided support to the multidimensionality of turnover. In addition, turnover was predicted by a model of eight factors (adjusted R2 = 0.456), namely, economic needs, quality of work life, leadership type and practices, social needs, marital status, organisational satisfaction, organisational commitment and public policy.

Research limitations/implications

The study was rich, empirical data were gathered and analysed along with qualitative literature. Gender remains salient in organisations as human resource policies alone are incapable of retaining women in leadership. Limited sample size and convenience sampling method may limit the generalizability of the findings.

Practical implications

Workplace conditions complement human resource policies; hence, the success of the latter relies on the success of the former. Economic incentives remain significant to motivating managers and retaining women in leadership jobs.

Social implications

Human resource management policies, such as Emiratisation, cannot be successful without empowering women.

Originality/value

The originality of this paper is drawn from using first-hand data to examine the multi-dimensionality argument of turnover in addition to the advancement of gender studies in leadership and management. The study also provided evidence that rationality (i.e. economic means) remains important to retain women managers.

Details

Gender in Management: An International Journal, vol. 31 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2413

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Book part
Publication date: 3 September 2016

Justin Williams and Ramudu Bhanugopan

This study examines the interactive effects of work values and organisational commitment on localisation.

Abstract

Purpose

This study examines the interactive effects of work values and organisational commitment on localisation.

Methodology/approach

This study draws on human capital theory, and reports on a survey of 200 expatriate managers working in Qatar.

Findings

We find that localisation is negatively associated with work values and positively associated with organisational commitment. Furthermore, work values appear to influence organisational commitment.

Originality/value

Despite a surfeit of literature on localisation of human resources, few studies previously have explored its relationship with work values and organisational commitment. This chapter presents empirical research on the issue from Qatar, a country in a region which remains under-researched in the literature.

Details

Global Talent Management and Staffing in MNEs
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-353-5

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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

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Article
Publication date: 23 August 2011

Justin Williams, Ramudu Bhanugopan and Alan Fish

This paper seeks to provide an overview of the concept of “localization” of human resources in Qatar. Relative to the rest of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to provide an overview of the concept of “localization” of human resources in Qatar. Relative to the rest of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries (GCCCs), economic development began late in Qatar due to political and economic factors such as the influx of an immigrant labour force and changes in the education system. Now, with one of the fastest growing economies in the world, and the highest per capita income, Qatar has vigorously embraced rapid economic expansion. However, in a small country awash with natural resources, and with a population engulfed by expatriates, the issue of “localization” is a pressing economic and social issue.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper reviews the national human resource situation in this atypical context, and seeks to determine the factors that impact on “localization” in this small, yet important Gulf nation.

Findings

There are some common barriers to “localization” throughout the GCCCs. These can be summarized as: an inefficient quota system; a culture that is focused more on prestige than performance; strict cultural practices concerning women in the workforce; education systems that are not market driven; and an inequitable social contract and distribution of oil and natural gas wealth in the GCCCs.

Originality/value

While much attention has been directed to the concept of “localization” in developing countries, “Qatarization” has received no attention in the scholarly literature, despite the resounding political and economic role that Qatar has in the GCCCs.

Details

Education, Business and Society: Contemporary Middle Eastern Issues, vol. 4 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-7983

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Article
Publication date: 13 July 2015

Valerie Priscilla Goby, Catherine Nickerson and Emily David

This paper aims to identify the rudiments of an organizational communication framework which can serve as a facilitator of a positive diversity climate, which, in turn…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to identify the rudiments of an organizational communication framework which can serve as a facilitator of a positive diversity climate, which, in turn, could enhance the integration of locals into the expatriate-dominated workforce of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). As UAE citizens constitute a small minority of the workforce, the local style of communication is not, ipso facto, the dominant one in organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

The study elicited 458 Emirati respondents’ narratives of positive and negative workplace communication experiences. The authors identified emerging themes to highlight the key features of interpersonal interactions likely to foster or hinder a supportive diversity climate.

Findings

The critical incidents reported are interpreted in terms of UAE cultural traditions, more specifically, the communication patterns valued by local workers.

Research limitations/implications

Outside of the Arabian Gulf, there are perhaps no other national workforces that are so multicultural that local communication strategies are overshadowed. This research is, therefore, a pioneering attempt to re-establish a preference for indigenous communication practices to facilitate the workforce localization policies that are present in many Gulf countries.

Practical implications

The communication preferences identified could inform the implementation of an organizational communication model centered around indigenous communication preferences, including the communication strategies that would be most effective for organizational leadership to use. At the same time, this could contribute to the creation of a positive diversity climate that, in turn, could decrease levels of attrition among Emirati employees and enhance workforce localization.

Originality/value

This study represents an innovative attempt to construct a communication model around which a positive diversity climate can coalesce and, in so doing, it serves as an initial contribution to the management of diversity within the context of Arabian Gulf workplaces.

Details

International Journal of Organizational Analysis, vol. 23 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1934-8835

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1989

Christopher C. Potter

This article demonstrates the relationship between the quality ofan organisation′s workforce and the quality of its performance, andexplores the implications for…

Abstract

This article demonstrates the relationship between the quality of an organisation′s workforce and the quality of its performance, and explores the implications for multinational companies, and local organisations in developing countries. It explores the particular problems of “localisation”, often mandated for such organisations and defines effective localisation. Obstacles are explored, and a ten‐point plan for effective localisation is set out.

Details

Journal of European Industrial Training, vol. 13 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0590

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