Development of Gulf Cooperation Council human resources: an evidence-based review of workforce nationalization

Journal article


Elbanna, S., Obeidat, S.M., Younis, H. and Elsharnouby, T.H. (2023). Development of Gulf Cooperation Council human resources: an evidence-based review of workforce nationalization. Employee Relations. https://doi.org/10.1108/ER-08-2022-0401
AuthorsElbanna, S., Obeidat, S.M., Younis, H. and Elsharnouby, T.H.
Abstract

Purpose – This study aimed to contribute to the field of Human Resource Management (HRM) by providing a critical review of existing scholarly research and a thematic analysis of the workforce nationalization domain in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. To strengthen the literature on this topic, it seeks to identify key
gaps and areas for further exploration. Design/methodology/approach – A two-step systematic research methodology (qualitative and quantitative) and a thematic analysis of empirical and theoretical studies were used in this study. The quantitative review was conducted using a predesigned coding framework.
Findings – The study identified and discussed four perspectives of workforce nationalization in the GCC
countries. These were (1) the conceptualization of workforce nationalization; (2) the role of institutional policies
in achieving it; (3) the practices and outcomes of nationalization efforts and (4) the impact of gender and women in the nationalization process.
Research limitations/implications – This study has several limitations, which the authors have addressed
by proposing several future research avenues. For example, the reviewed studies are skewed toward certain
countries (e.g. UAE and Saudi Arabia), which limits the generalizability of their findings.
Practical implications – A more comprehensive definition of nationalization, development of qualitative
and quantitative measures to enhance HRM practices and outcomes, and the identification of alternative
approaches to improve the employment of locals are emphasized as needs. Additionally, revised measures and
mechanisms to rectify negative perceptions about entitlement and the revision of policies to integrate females
in the national labor force are suggested.
Originality/value – Workforce nationalization initiatives in the GCC region offer a unique and rich research
phenomenon replete with managerial, organizational, economic and political dilemmas. The investigation of
this phenomenon would profoundly enlighten employers, policymakers and scholars.
Keywords GCC countries, Workforce nationalization, Localization, Human resource management
Paper type Literature review

KeywordsGCC, Labor Nationalisationo
Year2023
JournalEmployee Relations
PublisherEmerald
ISSN 0142-5455
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1108/ER-08-2022-0401
Publication dates
Print25 May 2023
Publication process dates
Accepted27 Apr 2023
Deposited31 May 2023
Accepted author manuscript
License
File Access Level
Open
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