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Human resource diversity in the United Arab Emirates: empirical study

Human resource diversity in the United Arab Emirates: empirical study Purpose – The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is one of the few countries where nationals make up less than 20 percent of the total population and less than 2 percent of the workforce. Hence organizations in the public and private sectors are highly diverse in terms of their employees' nationality, language, religion, race, and gender. The purpose of this paper is to examine how employees perceive human resource diversity and what they consider successful diversity to be. Design/methodology/approach – The main research instrument is a questionnaire which measures diversity in human resources. Exploratory factor analysis, multiple regression, and descriptive statistics were used in order to analyze 795 survey responses. Findings – The findings reveal that perception of human resource diversity in the UAE vary by employees' gender, educational level, nationality, professional experience, job level, previous experience in diverse workplace, and second language competency. Analysis of employees' responses helped to construct a four‐factor model, which can be utilized to improve diversity practices in organizations. Research limitations/implications – Although the literature on the UAE is limited, the study proposes four factors needed to achieve perceived successful diversity practices: legal, personnel, bureaucratic, and political factors. Researchers are encouraged to use comparative approaches to test the proposed model. Originality/value – The study offers important insights for researchers and practitioners of human resource management in the UAE. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Education, Business and Society: Contemporary Middle Eastern Issues Emerald Publishing

Human resource diversity in the United Arab Emirates: empirical study

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1753-7983
DOI
10.1108/17537981311314682
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is one of the few countries where nationals make up less than 20 percent of the total population and less than 2 percent of the workforce. Hence organizations in the public and private sectors are highly diverse in terms of their employees' nationality, language, religion, race, and gender. The purpose of this paper is to examine how employees perceive human resource diversity and what they consider successful diversity to be. Design/methodology/approach – The main research instrument is a questionnaire which measures diversity in human resources. Exploratory factor analysis, multiple regression, and descriptive statistics were used in order to analyze 795 survey responses. Findings – The findings reveal that perception of human resource diversity in the UAE vary by employees' gender, educational level, nationality, professional experience, job level, previous experience in diverse workplace, and second language competency. Analysis of employees' responses helped to construct a four‐factor model, which can be utilized to improve diversity practices in organizations. Research limitations/implications – Although the literature on the UAE is limited, the study proposes four factors needed to achieve perceived successful diversity practices: legal, personnel, bureaucratic, and political factors. Researchers are encouraged to use comparative approaches to test the proposed model. Originality/value – The study offers important insights for researchers and practitioners of human resource management in the UAE.

Journal

Education, Business and Society: Contemporary Middle Eastern IssuesEmerald Publishing

Published: May 10, 2013

Keywords: United Arab Emirates; Diversity management; Organizations; Organizational change; Emirate; Human resource management; Culture

References