Employment Practices in the Arabian Gulf

Kent Business School announces a new initiative to provide the research-based interventions needed to improve employment practice within Arabian Gulf states businesses.

The United Nations (UN) and International Labour Organisation (ILO) have issued criticism of both employers and governments in the Arabian Gulf. As a result, employment legislation and personnel management initiatives have been introduced in recent years to improve the well-being and welfare of a diverse workforce across businesses and organisations in the region.   This new programme aims to provide assistance to businesses in the region as they make the transition to outstanding employers.

The project leader, Professor Yannis Georgellis, is known for his work on happiness, employee well-being, and employee engagement. He has published numerous articles in the area of behavioural economics, human resource management, and organisational behaviour. His recent projects have explored psychological theories of adaptation, work-life conflict/enrichment, social comparisons at work, workplace training and skills, leadership and trust, and intrinsic motivation in the public sector.

The focus will be on construction, oil and gas, new energy, and hospitality and leisure. Companies in these sectors provide employment for over 12 million workers from South and Southeast Asia, particularly the Philippines, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal. These are economies that rely heavily on employment in Arabian Gulf states.

Michiel Haverkorn van Rijsewijk, (Division Director – Renewable Energy Division Ecofys), is a project partnerin this initiative and will help connect academics, business and policy-makers to create practical, evidence-based solutions. Bringing a wealth of experience working with multinational companies and organisations in the Gulf, Michiel believes that “The project has the potential of making a real difference on the ground in the way managers deal with rapid changes in employment legislation and organisational culture.

Other Kent Business School academic staff associated with Kent Business School’s Centre for Employment, Competitiveness and Growth, will contribute expertise in the following areas:

  • leadership skills and characteristics
  • identification of new skills required
  • managing an international workforce
  • employee engagement and wellbeing in context
  • behavioural science insights in human resource management
  • harnessing employee intrinsic motivation and productivity potential
  • other bespoke training, courses, and consultancy services

Please contact Professor Yannis Georgellis for more information.

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