Degree Name

MA in International and Intercultural Management

First Advisor

Kenneth Williams


The unprecedented oil boom in the Arabian Gulf States has led to dramatic changes in each of their infrastructures and brought about rapid changes in every aspect of the economic-social-political fabric of these six countries. These changes have not been uniform and each state has responded to them in very different ways.

This study examines nationalization policies of two of the States, The Sultanate of Oman and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the human resources management challenges they face in seeking to reduce their reliance on expatriate labor while creating jobs for local workers. The research reveals little in the way of solutions to the challenges but condenses some of the issues to be considered in seeking sustainable options. The research shows a complex, religious and tribal based culture that is resistant to standard Western-inspired solutions for HRM issues. The biggest challenge therefore, is to use available research to construct a model unique to the religious, tribal and tradition-based Arab region while avoiding following blueprints that serve only the needs of the Western, globalized world.

The Arab Gulf poses a unique opportunity for HRM development because of the tremendous wealth of the States which makes it possible to fund initiatives independent of corporate forces that may not take into consideration the cultural needs of the workplace. Both Oman and the UAE’s governments have made HRD a major partner in its development schemes which makes the challenge to find the right fit all the more exciting. The study highlights some of the successes of the nationalization policies while illuminating some of their major shortcomings. It is also examines the effects of these policies on both indigenous and expatriate workers who find themselves at the nexus of these changes. The research collected suggests that a new approach to implementing human resource policies may be indicated; one that seeks a more equitable balance in the workforce and takes into consideration the needs and skills of both national and expatriate workers.


Business Administration, Management, and Operations | Energy Policy | Environmental Policy | Human Resources Management | International and Area Studies | Politics and Social Change


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