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Abdulaziz Mahal Alrehaili

DBA Graduate - 2017

Thesis title

Employer's Perceptions of Internal Factors Affecting the Capability of Private Sector Organizations to Manage Workforce Nationalization Policy; the Saudi Gold Industry as a Case Study


Jean-Jacques Chanaron-Externe

Abdulaziz’s experience has been in the diverse industries of gold jewelry, construction, and contracting. He has been busy with the workforce nationalization initiatives in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia since their commencement in the 1990s. He sought to combine scientific research capabilities with business experience to build a robust understanding of business situations. Abdulaziz is now about to publish a book based on his DBA study findings.

Workforce nationalization programs started in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries as early as the 1990s. Recently and to a great degree because of the prevailing political and social unrest in several Arab countries like Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, Libya, Bahrain, Oman, and Yemen, the Gulf countries including the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have approved a number of reforms addressing a variety of pressing social needs. High unemployment among the youth has been considered a primary source for the widespread dissatisfaction across the troubled countries. In response to this very real need the Saudi government has once again prioritized providing jobs for the indigenous population, and the Saudi King himself has emphasized government responsibility towards job creation and localization. As a result, Saudization initiatives gained momentum and the Ministry of Labor has initiated a new program expected to have deep impacts on the overall structure of the Saudi labor market. The recent policy is obviously considered a national requirement and a fast remedy for the current critical plight. Yet, private sector organizations did neither agree with nor respond unanimously to the new regulation. Supported by a growing body of international literature, the researcher assumes that the compliance variation within a specific industry could be attributed to the variation in the characteristics and capacities of the organizations which it is comprised of. Subsequently, the researcher reviewed the literature to build some understanding of the dynamics at work and come up with possible propositions. Finally, six problematic areas were isolated which were investigated further through qualitative interviews to gain insight into the perceptions of a number of private sector executives. The findings of the research confirm that there are definitely some internal factors that can impact the capability of gold industry managers in their efforts at managing indigenization. The gold industry is the primary case study here, but similar research could be carried out on different industries to build a national database of the characteristics and capacities of different organizations and industries. The researcher assumes that this would be helpful to build more successful and sustainable employment policies in the future. In the last chapter which presents the conclusion of the thesis, the researcher combines the participants’ recommendations with his own thorough analysis of the field discussions to list some managerial recommendations that could be significant to nationalization stakeholders in government agencies as well as private organizations.