The purpose is to find the problems that pertain to managing a diverse work force in Abu Dhabi private sector and then find solutions to them by conducting a research in the form of questionnaires and interviews.
The methodology to be used here would be questionnaires and interviews as they are best ways of interaction with the personal views of the employees.
The findings have shown that team leaders in respective companies in Abu Dhabi private sector need to work out plans like virtual team management and also equality for natives and expatriates in order to succeed in the future. The present condition is not very appealing but chances of improvement are definitely there.
The limitation is that it involves only five big companies. If further research on the topic is done, one can see even more precise ideas. The implications of the research are that the companies have diversity in work force but only after a joint effort of the Government and the company officials, it can be managed in a better manner.
Value of the Problem
This can be seen from the fact 80% population in Abu Dhabi is that of expatriates, so in order to manage them with the natives, there have to be certain specific strategies to meet success.
The keywords used here are diversity, expatriates, Globalization, Emiritization, Government, private sector, revenue diversification, leadership, management and discrimination.
This is completely a research analysis with a strong support of literature review followed by primary research in the form of questionnaires and interviews to come up with alternatives for managing a diverse work force.
Workforce diversity submits to an apparent dissimilarity in a group of people of diverse age, race, vocation, sex, source, style of living, organizational term etc. It has a great deal wider idea as compared to equal service and an optimistic action. On the whole this idea of diversity would be prolific only on one occasion that these actual and apparent dissimilarities between dissimilar people operational at the same place is changed into a kind culture much to the efficacy of the set that they are functioning under. Diversity has other measurements than just opinionated. In a diversified populace or scheme of working, each individual's requirements and inputs are given worth so as to form an incorporated civilization. Considering the more than active environment of nowadays, there is a huge amount of social force from exterior which requires alteration in the labor force. This is the reason that diversity has appeared to be more known these days. So, one can summarize the idea of diversity as an incorporation of populace from diverse backgrounds in as many values but being operational for a solitary cause to get organizational advantages in order to reach a particular objective. Generally, there are different ways in which many institutions manage a diverse work force. It certainly has its effect on a place like Abu Dhabi. So, it is a pre-requisite that the companies undergo a proper research so as to understand the manner in which diversity is managed at their respective organizations. So, a primary research that includes questionnaires and interviews becomes of extremely high significance under the situation. (Abu Dhabi looks to private sector for economic growth, 2009)
About Abu Dhabi Private Sector & work force diversity
Abu Dhabi private sector is amongst the most diverse sectors in the world today. The reason for the same is that with time, the country capital has started seeing a huge inflow of tourists. As it is so, these tourists are attracted by the rich culture that exists in the region. So, the expatriate population has increased tremendously over the years. Even though the Government of the country has come up with special plans like Emiritization in the near past, managing a diverse culture has been a challenge in the sector.
The biggest problem with respect to Abu Dhabi private sector that managers face while managing this diversity, is the lack of motivation amongst the employees. The reason for the same is that they are all of different backgrounds. This makes them like and unlike things that are different. But this has to be rectified. The reason for the same is that one can't approximate the routine of a worker if he has a deficiency of enthusiasm in a diversified populace of working. This deficiency results from a lack of motivation. An association can improve worker motivation as an instrument to arrange for an optimistic employee. But when it is about different requirements in the same place, it turns into a rather very difficult job. The workers usually do not have sufficient liberty to communicate their views in a diversified populace.
A diversified populace also lacks training amongst the employees which acts as a hindrance to proper human resource management. This case is highly dominant in Abu Dhabi private sector. The motive is to make maximum profits in the least possible time. This allows a very little degree of training given to employees. It is often considered as wastage of money. There is a shortage of particular training and practicum for the employees. This happens because of the dissimilarity in the power to grasp of diverse workforce within an organization. It definitely takes a huge number of instances for the companies to arrive at a comfortable position from where they might ensure that the workers are evenly trained in order to formulate the best of the alternatives that are available. (Creating competitive advantage through cultural dexterity, 2010)
Lack of communication has also restricted Abu Dhabi private sector administration at times. The reason for the same is that the employees have a tendency to use the languages that they have been accustomed to since the start. Even if a widespread medium of speech is chosen for all, one can't look forward to everybody amongst the employees to understand it. This is the reason that a lot of the vital meetings and seminars are not supported by enough brainstorming sessions that are in fact essential from the point of view of coming to conclusions within the organization.
One of the biggest insufficiencies in running diversity can be due to poor management at the top head of an organization. This has generally happened out of pressure for the private sector in Abu Dhabi. As the private sector forms the non-oil part, there are very little incentives that they get from the Government. So, it is definitely a challenge to form an appropriate management that would be concerned of running a diversified populace. The rules and processes should be considered on a yearly base and the company should see whether it has been according to what it had predicted in the past. At the same occasion it turns into an equally challenging job for the workers to be exacting about their limits when the population is so diverse in nature. The administration is unable to make an evaluation of its workers to ensure appropriate working of the organizational body.
One extremely vital confrontation that is extremely common in a diversified populace is the lack of clash management which is an obstruction to the Human Resource Management and Development. A close up of many companies in the private sector of Abu Dhabi disclosed that they are unable to type-class the conflicts that occur between the diversified employees. This has been the reason for a number of professional resignations at a number of places within the locality. The cause of this is that what can be difficult for an employee to digest has chances of not making any difference to the organization. It might be the profundity to which an individual is orthodox in nature. Such circumstances have been extremely commonplace in companies that form the Abu Dhabi private sector. (Arul, 2010)
Research has showed that that a diversified populace is also likely to create difficulties that are predictable and out of the power of the administration of the association. The cause of the same is that there have been a variety of forms of operational activities within organizations of a diversified populace. This is in the form of sets of trade unions inside the organization. Workers from the same locality get against the people from different localities. While the organization takes support of a number of diversities in the same group, these in-house problems tend to have effect on the whole organizational goals. Once again, the significance of inspiration and guidance comes into play in this context. This is more probable to occur in an ambiance where identical options and opportunities are by no means practiced within the businesses. There are also chances for one to find instances within such associations where the business officials are prejudiced towards a certain group of the populace. This definitely needs to be checked upon for best consequences.
Many researchers have concluded that there are possibilities like flexibility in work options by virtue of which diversified workforce can be managed. The organizations in the Abu Dhabi Private Sector are therefore recommended to take into account the needs of the employees so as to balance the amount of work and the nature in which it is conveyed to them. If people have different responsibilities at different stage, it is easier for them to manage them. This has proved to give excellent results in some of the western countries where outsourcing is commonplace. We know that Abu Dhabi is a place where there are a number of restrictions on the women considering the fact that they follow Islam. So, it has generally happened in the past that women have left work places on account of the incompatibility that they have had with the work place. As the women can't manage to take the stress of their work and also follow their religion at the same point, they generally have no other option but to quit. So, this diversity can be managed if Islamic women are given different responsibilities so as to reach better employee satisfaction.
There have also been literatures where one can see the advantages that are a result of managing a diverse workforce. The first of these is that one can attract, recruit and retain people from different talent backgrounds. This way, a company can make use of maximum talent so as to better their performances in the future. This way the cost of labor is also likely to decrease. One example that can be seen is in the case of United States of America. The country has ever been engaged in outsourcing people who are to work with the local people and at the same time be able to solve issues with the least possible involved cost. One can also increase the level of confidence and commitment in the employees by managing a diverse workforce. One can also see flexibility in work deliverables which would also suit the organization as per as the requirements. The companies can also make better use of Globalization with the management of a diverse work force. They could certainly get ideas from different backgrounds and also find the best locations so as to use them. There have also been a lot of advancements in technology over the past many years. A diverse work force would certainly make it easier to make use of these changes. The reason for the same is that it is not certain that the people of the locality are skillful enough to be able to spot these changes and be able to use them even if they have spotted them. There is a great probability in an organization managing a diverse work force of enhancing creativity amongst the employees which would cater to better innovation in the future. This is because; a sense of healthy competition develops in the employees to be able to perform as much as the other candidates from different backgrounds. Looking at the level of confidence and skill that the people from different backgrounds have, a company can also improve its training facilities so as to meet the challenges of the modern world. (Impact of Globalization on Developing Countries, 2010)
Another research has said that the private sector organizations in Abu Dhabi can't be totally dependent on monotonous behavior. The reason for the same is that if the company starts to fail, there are very minute chances that it would be able to rectify over its mistakes if they are of a monotonous nature. It certainly would require a dissimilar idea so that it could fulfill for the loss incurred. This is possible in a diverse workforce because, people from outside nations might as well plan to introduce the concepts and ideas that have been used in their nations. This might as well work in Abu Dhabi. So, a lot of researches that have been done in western countries have always emphasized on using a diverse work force. As far as managing such a force is concerned, they feel that the organization should use a centralized yet flexible approach where virtual team management becomes of major concern. Some researchers feel that diverse work force, when a failure occurs due to the fact that people have to work in conditions that they have not been used to before. Such a system should be done away with. Employees should be given a particular project and rather than having to work together at the same place every day, they should be given an option to go back home and meet only on milestone days so as to see the progress of the project and interact in person so as to see the faults if any. This to a huge extent would solve the problems of management of a diverse work force. Moreover, it would also produce fantastic results as it has been doing in many countries. Now that Abu Dhabi is one of the most sought after destinations in the world, practices of this sort would certainly help out in the future.
It has also been indicated in a number of literatures that it is not wise to keep the powers in the hands of people of the same demographic background when it comes to managing a diverse work force. The reason for the same is that, this creates a power difference in the organization and can lead to adverse results. If there is a rotation of leadership so that people from all the diversities get equal chance to participate as the top personality, the chances of better management would be more. The reason is that this would serve as a motivation for the employees. There would be a psychological competition which would be of healthy nature and all the people from different diversities would work together for a single cause and that too for the best of it. (Billings-Harris, 2010)
Research Justification and Significance
There are many regions in the world today that have to manage with dissimilar people as far as their color, sex, race, religion and methods of working are concerned. Under the situations, one would have to know as to how best these work forces can be managed. A company in Abu Dhabi can't expect the entire organization to be made of people who are natives of the place. In spite of all the progress that processes like Emiritization is doing, every company would have to spend more on their training than they would actually earn with an entire population from the same country. So, it is a necessity for them to come up with solutions like having a diverse workforce. But the problem here is that one can't have people with difference in almost every characteristics working at the same place without having any grudges against each other. So, a research would certainly be required so as to manage this work force. An organization in Abu Dhabi ought to know the strategies that it needs to undergo so as to manage this work force. Once a research would be conducted, it is not just the dos but also the don'ts which would be cleared for every organization that has to mange a diverse work force.
Next, today is an era of Globalization. Every country has to take the advantages of others so as to make the maximum of the technology that has revolutionized the market these days. This would certainly happen if a diverse work force exists at each of the departments in the company. The reason for the same is that if Abu Dhabi private sector today does not use the efficiencies of Globalization it would not be able to manage the expatriate dominating population that exist in the place. A research to the extent of Globalization that is required in the company is extremely useful in this regard. There is certainly saturation to everything that happens. Once a research is done, an organization would be able to estimate the number of people that it needs to take from outside nations and the number from inside as well. Many companies fear the fact that they would not be able to manage a diverse work force. A research would help them understand the advantages of Globalization and also suggest a saturation level for the natives of the place as well.
Another reason for this research of managing diversity in Abu Dhabi private sector is that the company owners are used to taking decisions without looking back at past results. This can happen under situations where, the employees have shown their frustrations and have misbehaved on grounds that are intolerable for the management. A research analysis would certainly help them realize that such cases are possible in an organization. A research analysis would teach them that rather than taking harsh actions and dismissing the employee, it is required to understand about the reasons for his frustration. In most cases it turns out to be then fault of the working conditions that the company provides them. So, we can see the importance that research has in this respect.
There are other issues as well that requires a research in this respect. We have all heard of the saying, 'Time and tide, wait for none'. It has become more significant these days. This is because; a lot of time goes in figuring out the reasons for which an employee could be dissatisfied in a diverse work force. Considering the fact that the competition today sees no bounds, one can't waste too much time on internal issues. Now that the Government of Abu Dhabi is already introducing revenue diversification strategies, the companies would have to look for options so as to be able to afford such form of tax. So, it becomes a necessity for organizations to include a diverse work force and the extent of involvement can be seen from the research analysis that is done.
Methodology of Research
After having done a significant bit of secondary research, it is important to have a direct interaction with the different members of companies that play a vital role in the economy of Abu Dhabi private sector. In order to get the most effective results it is estimated that questionnaire and interviews are of best value so as to draw the best of results. Once the companies are confident enough of the fact that the mode of research is bound to seek some positive response; questionnaires and interviews become of great significance. A questionnaire is composed of some predetermined questions where the company feels that responses to them would draw the most probable results. As far as interviews are concerned, there is more flexibility attached to it. The reason is that based on the person who is being interviewed, one can adapt to the changes he prefers in answering the questions. In this mode research, an interviewer gets a better chance to know more about the problems that have existed in the company and can also ask for possible remedies in this respect.
So, as far as questionnaires are concerned, one can distribute them among five top companies in the Abu Dhabi private sector. These companies include Abu Dhabi Compost Plant, Environment Agency of Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, Tourism Development and Investment Company and finally Abu Dhabi Ports Company. Having seen the responses of the employees of these companies one can estimate the problems that the people are facing in a diverse work force. Not only this, there would be certain pre-determined remedies as have been discussed already. These remedies can also be checked for their applicability in the companies so that the management of the respective companies can see the results while implementing them in the future. Not only this, the results of the questionnaire would also be distributed amongst the department heads of all these companies in the private sector of Abu Dhabi. This would help them make the necessary changes and come up with better prospects in the future. Once these changes are applied in the five companies as mentioned, they would definitely become a part of secondary literature which can further be realized and then put to practice. This is essential for companies other than the five that have been mentioned.
As far as interviews are concerned, this research requires views of an integrated nature. In spite of the fact that people have different views as far as their adaptation to an environment is concerned, every department in the above mentioned five companies would first be given a chance to select a representative both from native country and also an expatriate considering its large percentage. This would also be justifiable as the employees would have the confidence that their problems are also being considered, even if they do not belong to the same nation. The interviews would be of highly flexible nature and very descriptive in nature so as to reach to the root cause of the problem. This would help out all the misconceptions and Abu Dhabi Private Sector would be able to manage its diverse work force better in the future. (Questionnaires and Interviews, 2010)
Presentation of Results and Data Analysis
The responses to the 10 questions in the questionnaire have been shown as follows:
- How far has diverse workforce been successful in the company?
75% of all the five companies have marked it as medium success. This means that there are areas that require improvement.
- How much are the leaders responsible for managing a diverse work force?
The answer to this question showed very high as response from 70% of the employees. So, the people do agree with the contribution of the leader.
- What is the extent of expatriate population that a company can manage?
The response showed 50% possibility which signifies that the companies can make changes in policies so as to diversify further.
- How much absenteeism has been seen as a result of inability to manage a diverse work force?
The response to this question was high for more than 80% of the population. So, one can see the reasons of being unable to reach goals here.
- How much is the effect of Emiritization on the management of diverse workforce?
For 77% population, the response to this question was high. So, expatriates seem to show their resentment here.
- What would be the effect of virtual team membership under such conditions?
The responses have been very high for more than 80% of the population. This shows the comfort that virtual team membership can give to a diverse workforce.
- How much has tourism increased the diversity in work force?
80% of the population showed high response. So, tourism in the country certainly attracts a huge crowd from abroad.
- How much has the Government aided private sector companies in Abu Dhabi?
70% of the population showed medium. This means that the Government has to show greater focus on private companies for their better functioning.
- To what extent the expatriates are treated at par with the natives?
90% of the population said low. So, this can very well signify the difficulties in managing a diverse work force.
- How much are the chances of improvement considering the trends of Globalization?
60% are confident of improvement but other 40% are confident of non-improvement. So, there are certainly a substantial number of people who need better treatment for better results in the company.
As far as the interviews are concerned, the following are the questions asked with their responses and analysis:
- Why has managing a diverse work force been a great challenge in Abu Dhabi private sector?
Most of the department heads considered the high density of expatriate population as the cause. The unavailability of virtual teams has also been the reason. Even to manage people from diversities that include Asians to Americans, are a difficult job. Of the 20 people interviewed, 17 had such views and 3 were not very clear with the reasons. These responses themselves show the path to improvement.
- Why is it necessary for the private sector to employ a diverse work force?
20 out of 20 interviewees have said that monotonous behavior in ideas are never acceptable in the competitive environment of today so only a diverse work force can solve the issue.
- What are the improvements you feel are possible in the near future?
A generic view on this that constituted 15 of the 20 employees was the formation of virtual teams, aid from the Government in the form of training programs and a better access to the most advanced form of technology can help managing a diverse work force better. The other 5 feel that it is bound to lead to trouble and there is hardly any way out.
- Is it likely for the companies to change their strategies to manage a diverse work force better?
16 out of 20 employees agreed to the point because they have seen the adverse effects of not being able to do the same. They feel that strategies like awards for most co-operative worker, celebration of major festivals of countries whose people work for the company and also a flexibility in team work can be possible in the future.
- What is better, 100% natives or at least a a certain percentage of expatriates in the organization?
Every interviewee agreed on some extent. Most of them felt that 30% of outside people would fulfill the necessity of the companies. This shows the necessity that companies have for expatriates and also suggests the significance of managing a diverse work force.
As far as the questionnaire is concerned, it can be seen that people feel that only to a certain level, managing a diverse work force has been successful and most of them also feel that leaders to a large extent are responsible for the,. So, this requires leaders to be more concerned about the same to bring about changes. People believe that 50% expatriate population is applicable and at the same time have seen the adverse results of being unable to manage them. To see absenteeism out of the picture, team leaders would have to come up with strategies they have shown in the response to interviews. As Emiritization has affected to a large degree, companies should start to follow virtual teams as soon as possible so as to provide immediate remedies. Even though tourism has brought in substantial wealth to the country, Government has not aided expatriates to a considerable extent. So, company officials need to make pleas to it for doing so. Even though the employees feel that there have been favoritisms in treatment, 60% confident are confident of improvement. This shows that it is just the need to take initiatives and results would follow.
- Considering the responses that the employees and the various department heads have given about the problems in managing a diverse work force, the following recommendations can be given:
- Companies should not discriminate between natives and expatriates once they have recruited them in the company. The real problem starts from here itself.
- There should be adequate amount of training given to the natives as in programs like Emiritization. The reason for the same is that once the natives are trained enough there would be no need of any form of favoritism in this respect and the expatriates would see a better atmosphere of working.
- Rather than having a traditional 9-5 time of working, employees should be allowed to work at their respective places of choice and meet only when required. This would ensure that there are no discrepancies in the working conditions.
- Companies should also get engaged in giving a number of motivational lectures on the mutual benefit that managing a diverse work force efficiently can give. Some of the problems can be solved from this very initiative.
- Finally perks, up gradation, salary increment and other beneficial aspects should be the same for all the expatriates as well as the natives to prevent dissatisfaction. (Virtual team benefits and challenges, 2010)
Firstly, one can see the importance that research has in solving problems that exist in the industry. A research would help companies take decisions in a more intelligent manner and also prove to be efficient for the generations to follow. As far as the current scenario of Abu Dhabi private sector is concerned, one can see the beliefs of people when it comes to managing diversity is concerned. The results show that leaders of companies themselves have had the shortcomings in being able to manage the diversity. It requires a little more of ethical approach in order to make it productive in the future. When technology has bestowed us with its advancements, provisions like virtual teams should be followed at a greater pace in the industry. Expatriate employees should be encouraged to draw more tourists to the nation so as to have a feel of the rich culture that exists in Abu Dhabi. Once this starts happening at a good degree, even the Government of Abu Dhabi would make better arrangements to manage the diversity in work force. Overall, one can say that Abu Dhabi private sector would have to manage diversity in work force or else it would not be able to see the success that companies composing it have shown in their vision statements.
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