The researcher of this discussion will attempt to evaluate and present developing a multi-skilled, customer-focused people management approach in the Middle East through reducing dependence on foreign workers as one of the realities confronting large corporations in the region…
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The paper tells that not like the trends of development elsewhere, the transition of the economy of the Middle East or the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has been largely driven by the trading in of expatriate foreign employees. This pattern will not cease for the near future, although at a slower rate, but the involvement of foreign employees in the course of transforming political and economic institutions will demand, inevitably, multi-skilled and customer-oriented people management techniques. Large corporations and government bodies in the Middle East, as well as international agencies, are vaguely informed of such regional trends, but the implications of such developments for human resource management (HRM) is not widely recognized or understood. By conducting an appropriate evaluation of the factors and patterns influencing development, this paper tries to contribute to the knowledge required by large corporations in the Middle East to create a more systematic, multi-skilled, and customer-oriented workforce management approach. Changing economic progress and lessening reliance on foreign employees are the key tasks confronting the Middle East. Not like elsewhere, the Middle East has too little literature on HRM. A detailed review of available literature reveals the lack of any methodical assessment that might give a broad image of the HRM mechanisms in the Middle East. In fact, there is hardly any trustworthy country-specific research that has surfaced with the economic progress of a specific Middle Eastern country. For instance, management and HRM approaches in Saudi Arabia, people management in Turkey, organizational and HRD success in Israel, international business and management problems in Jordan, and workforce management in the GCC (Peterson 1993). Moreover, the available literature emphasizes several studies associated with development and training in the Middle East. Ali (1996 as cited in Budhwar & Mellahi 2006), for instance, focuses on the inadequacy of attempts exerted by professionals to make sense of Arab management approaches and their effect on the success of organizational development programs and cross-cultural cooperation in the region. Likewise, a number of researchers talk about the success of management training and its effect on managerial competency in various Middle Eastern societies (Scullion & Collings 2010). As stated by Briscoe and Schuler (2004), several academics have stressed the need for and processes of multi-focused, customer-oriented workforce management approaches in the Arab world. A large portion of related literature on the Middle East is about the effect of Arab values and culture on management dynamics (Budhwar & Debrah 2001). Likewise, Kabasakal and Bodur (2002 as cited in Budhwar & Mellahi 2006), based on socio-cultural comparisons, classified an Arabic group, composed of Qatar, Kuwait, Turkey, Morocco, and Egypt. Countries in this group are emphasized to be very masculine, structural/hierarchical, group-driven, and weak on future direction. In contrast, Ali (1995 as cited in Budhwar & Mellahi 2006) argues that multi-focused, customer-oriented organizations and management approaches in the Middle East can merely be built by taking proper account of the Arab context. He further argues that the foreign aspect is partly not favorable to the creation of multi-focused, customer-oriented management approaches in the oil rich Gulf States. Researchers have also explored the subject of management flow from the Western countries to the Arab world. Yavas (1998 as cited in Aswathappa & Dash 2007), for instance, studied the subjective value given to a cluster of management competencies by Saudi managers who had gained their business diploma in the United States. Yavas (1998) emphasizes several
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