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Exploring the perceptions of Saudi business and the workforce on the Saudisation programme in the private sector

Alshehry, Atef (2009) Exploring the perceptions of Saudi business and the workforce on the Saudisation programme in the private sector. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



Despite being an oil-rich country, Saudi Arabia, like any other developing country, is faced with the difficulty of economic development and the creation of jobs for its growing population. Since human resources in the initial period of economic development were met with immigrant workers in Saudi Arabia, expatriates constitute a large part of the workforce in Saudi Arabia. Therefore, in responding to job creation needs, the Government of Saudi Arabia initiated the process of Saudisation, aiming to transfer the available jobs currently filled by expatriates to Saudi nationals. This research, hence, aimed to explore the perceptions of Saudisation in the private sector among employers, employees and Saudi job seekers in Saudi Arabia through a questionnaire schedule. Perceptions of Saudisation-related issues, the government’s policies to ensure Saudisation, and initiatives to enhance Saudisation were surveyed. Relevant issues, such as the type of employment competencies and personal specifications required in the private sector, and whether Saudi workers and jobseekers possessed them to an adequate level, were also explored. The research findings on perceptions of Saudisation-related issues included the willingness of employers to employ adequately qualified Saudi workers; lack of skills required in the private sector among Saudi workers and their lower productivity compared to non-Saudi workers; social prestige among Saudi workers; and the negative impact of imposed-Saudisation on the private sector. Support for the proposed government policies of minimum wage and social security policy to ensure Saudisation in the private sector and awareness among employers of their Saudisation-related social responsibility to encourage Saudisation, were found. Rewarding businesses that achieved a high level of Saudisation, increasing awareness of the importance of work among Saudis, and offering them more jobs in the private sector were initiatives advocated to enhance Saudisation. Employment competencies and person specifications required by private sector employers included IT or technology; language; vocational, management and administrative skills; continuous training and self-development; respect for work and regulations; and education with more emphasis on degree and post-secondary qualifications. Differences in the extent of agreement on all the issues were explored and fundamental differences in perceptions between employers on one hand and employees and job seekers on the other were found. Statistically significant associations were also found between employers' perceptions and their demographic and organizational characteristics (qualifications, length of tenure in organisation, type of business, size of business in terms of number of employees). These differences and associations seem supportive of the inferences and arguments made in the discussion on the main findings of the research on perceptions. The dearth of research on Saudisation, especially in the private sector, as perceived by its employers, employees and Saudi job seekers, who are the stakeholders most affected by it, render the above findings a significant contribution to knowledge on Saudisation and the localization of human resources in the Gulf Corporation Council and MENA countries.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:2009
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:08 Sep 2011 18:26

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