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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

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

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2010

Bakr Ahmad Alserhan, Ingo Forstenlechner and Ahmad Al‐Nakeeb

The purpose of this paper is to examine attitudes towards diversity in an emerging Gulf economy whose workforce is dominated by expatriates and is under significant…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine attitudes towards diversity in an emerging Gulf economy whose workforce is dominated by expatriates and is under significant pressure to accommodate host country citizens. It seeks to examine employees' attitudes towards workforce diversity in the banking sector in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 100 employees from 11 banks are chosen randomly from banks operating in the UAE. Those employees are asked to answer a questionnaire containing various questions that cover the applauded benefits of diversity as identified in the related literature.

Findings

All banks have a diverse workforce, with nationals representing a minority in all of them. However, banks differ on the various indicators of diversity with some being more religiously diverse while others more diverse in terms of nationalities or languages. Overall, Islamic banks are the least diverse on all dimensions of diversity.

Research limitations/implications

Several obstacles are faced during the course of this study including limitations on access to employees, sampling limitations preventing more in‐depth analysis of certain aspects, lack of regional studies on diversity and the timing of the survey itself which coincide with the summer exodus of expatriates.

Originality/value

This paper provides useful information on attitudes toward diversity in an emerging Gulf economy, dominated by expatriates.

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 32 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

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Article
Publication date: 14 December 2020

Louise Patterson, Damodharan Sowmya Varadarajan and Beena Saji Salim

The purpose of this paper is to conduct a meta-analysis of existing research on gender discrimination/gender gap and women in Science, Technology, Engineering and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to conduct a meta-analysis of existing research on gender discrimination/gender gap and women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in the UAE, specifically, and Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries in general because of very limited number of articles published on the subject. It will give future researchers insights into the topics, methodologies and findings of such research from 1999–2019.

Design/methodology/approach

This study conducts a meta-analysis of 72 articles using the Wildcard operator search method and the Boolean operator to perform an integrative literature search related to gender discrimination studies done in relationship to or specific to the UAE.

Findings

In total, 88 papers related to the UAE and gender gap and women were identified. The articles were narrowed down to the ones published in high-ranked or Scopus journals (72). The findings suggest a decreasing trend in gender discrimination, but the issue still persists, requiring efforts from policy-makers, society and government to ensure gender parity is achieved. Academic research on women in STEM/SET workplace, specific to the UAE and the region, continue to slowly advance, with very few articles published in the same.

Practical implications

The study provides insights into gender gap research done in the past ten years specific to the UAE national women and gender gap in general and their career choices and prospects in the STEM/SET domain.

Social implications

There is a need to focus research on Emirati women in STEM careers to develop more insights into gender gap perceptions of Emirati women and identify challenges and methods to close the gender gap in STEM careers.

Originality/value

This paper brings a holistic perspective to the meta-analysis of research on the gender gap and women in the UAE’s STEM domain.

Details

Gender in Management: An International Journal , vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2413

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Article
Publication date: 21 June 2013

Baker Ahmad Alserhan

While the legislative side of workforce nationalization as a key target area for public policies has been extensively studied and scrutinized, the marketing side has not…

Abstract

Purpose

While the legislative side of workforce nationalization as a key target area for public policies has been extensively studied and scrutinized, the marketing side has not. It remains mostly overlooked, leaving both researchers and practitioners with little or no information to begin with. This “marketing” information gap represents the focus of this paper and it is exactly what the author aims to bridge.

Design/methodology/approach

A thorough analysis of how nationalization policy has been perceived by the UAE workforce was carried out and the results of that analysis were used to identify the core components of a balanced strategy that aims at enhancing the image of Emiratisation as a public brand, or a public offering, and hence improving the implementation of the policy i.e. increase the employability of citizens and, at the same time, retain the much‐needed expatriate workforce.

Findings

The study, which consisted of 180 interviews collected in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), revealed that workforce nationalization as a government offering has been inadequately branded by stakeholders and the government did not engage the branding process at any level. The branding part of the policy was not addressed at all. In effect, the policy was left on its own in that regard. As a result, “brand Emiratisation” now stands for mutual private‐public distrust, implementation difficulties, and serious misgivings about the nature of the policy.

Originality/value

This is the first study internationally to address labor nationalization policies from a marketing perspective. As such the results and discussions therein have wide implications for the employment decisions in organizations, particularly as the number of countries imposing restrictions on the employment of foreign workers continues to rise.

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Article
Publication date: 30 May 2008

Ingo Forstenlechner

This exploratory study aims to analyse the conditions under which Emiratisation – the process of nationalizing the workforce in the UAE – can enable organizations to…

Abstract

Purpose

This exploratory study aims to analyse the conditions under which Emiratisation – the process of nationalizing the workforce in the UAE – can enable organizations to capitalize on local human capital.

Design/methodology/approach

Relying on an initial literature review, this study is based on a series of interviews with UAE national as well as expatriate managers, both from the public and private sector. Questions for the semi‐structured interviews were based on a review of practice and policy‐oriented literature in order to further the understanding of the topic.

Findings

With limited literature available on the topic, the initial aim of this study was to identify HR processes relevant to Emiratisation, however, it soon became evident that success could be attributed to very basic decisions taken long before HR processes became relevant. This paper concludes that there are mainly two ways of approaching Emiratisation: one is an effort geared at producing statistics for PR or avoidance of negative consequences, the other is a serious commitment to the integration of UAE nationals into the workforce. Evidence from interviews suggests the choice between these two ways determines the chances for successful Emiratisation.

Research limitations/implications

The literature review proved difficult due to the relative absence of the topic in scholarly journals, therefore the author had to rely on commercial publications as much as on official statistics. Another limitation is the author's use of interviews leading to theoretical saturation earlier than expected.

Practical implications

The lack of honesty regarding the motivation to invest in Emiratisation is a significant hindrance for the overall success of such programs. The waste of time, effort and ultimately the waste of human resources resulting from Emiratisation programs meant to produce only statistics or avoid negative consequences mandate a reorientation of the approach towards Emiratisation.

Originality/value

This study aimed to be the first into Emiratisation related HR processes but was – due to preliminary analysis of interviews – refocused towards the commitment to Emiratisation.

Details

Education, Business and Society: Contemporary Middle Eastern Issues, vol. 1 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-7983

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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

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Article
Publication date: 26 March 2010

Marcus L. Stephenson, Karl A. Russell and David Edgar

The purpose of this paper is to examine the challenges faced by the hospitality industries in developing an Islamic hospitality identity and indigenous styles of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the challenges faced by the hospitality industries in developing an Islamic hospitality identity and indigenous styles of management, particularly in the context of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) – especially Dubai. It also aims to identify and comprehend the socio‐cultural implications of Islamic hospitality in terms of products and marketing.

Design/methodology/approach

This conceptual‐based paper critically reviews and amalgamates a diverse range of literature concerning Islamic hospitality (and tourism), Arab management and leadership qualities, human capital and nationalization of employment, industry skills and educational directives in hospitality and destination and product strategies.

Findings

The work critically accounts for the changing nature of skills needed by localised hospitality managers and the industry in general, especially to keep pace with dynamic customer demands and an increasingly sophisticated market and consumer. The outcome of the paper concerns the operationalisation of soft skills and managerial expertise attuned to ethnic and religious attributes of the host society. The evaluations propose ways in which the education sector can extend the career development and progression pathways for UAE nationals. The work also indicates how product development, innovation, transformation and marketing have a crucial role to play in advancing an Islamic and cultural approach to hospitality.

Originality/value

This paper uniquely concerns an under‐developed area of academic study: the role Islamic‐based principles and practices of hospitality and ways in which they can be developed through an indigenous‐led workforce, and Islamic and Arab styles of management, leadership and service sector operation.

Details

Journal of Islamic Marketing, vol. 1 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-0833

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Article
Publication date: 20 August 2018

Mohamed-Osman Shereif Mahdi Abaker, Omar Ahmad Khalid Al-Titi and Natheer Shawqi Al-Nasr

The purpose of this paper is to report empirical research conducted in Saudi Arabia on the impacts of organizational policies and practices on the diversity management of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report empirical research conducted in Saudi Arabia on the impacts of organizational policies and practices on the diversity management of the Saudi private sector. To this end, the Saudization policy and views of key respondents have been tested and discussed.

Design/methodology/approach

Primary data were collected through questionnaire surveys from the largest 11 private sector organizations listed on the Saudi Stock Market in the financial/banking, oil and gas, petrochemical, private higher education and private health service sectors. Statistical tools such as means and standard deviations and one-sample t-tests were used for analysis.

Findings

The findings suggest that Saudization, retention, pay with benefits and health insurance policies significantly affect the diversity management in the Saudi private sector. Therefore, there is a need to develop organizational policies that support the existence of foreign employees for private businesses in Saudi Arabia. Considering differences as strengths that can be utilized to enhance performance, a diverse workforce might better be able to serve diverse markets.

Research limitations/implications

Collecting data from a closed environment such as Saudi Arabia is constrained by access difficulties, as well as inadequate literature on relevant diversity issues. However, the convenience sampling method and snowballing approach adopted in this study generated reliable data. As a result, this study has implications for both the multinational corporations operating in Saudi Arabia and Saudi owned companies operating in the West and intending to adopt and implement diversity management initiatives for branches in different countries. As such, further research on the gulf countries’ diversity management issues would be critical.

Originality/value

The current study is a first survey-based research endeavor on the topic of diversity management in the Saudi context. The findings contribute to the limited knowledge base on middle eastern countries, thus presenting new empirical evidence on the organizational policies and practices of Saudization, retention, pay and benefits and health insurance policies. The study of the Saudi case, thus adds value to the existing knowledge on diversity management.

Details

Employee Relations: The International Journal, vol. 41 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

Keywords

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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

Keywords

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