The Impact of Culture in Performance Evaluation Procedure in the UAE Public Sector

Almulla, Ali (2012) The Impact of Culture in Performance Evaluation Procedure in the UAE Public Sector. PhD thesis, University of Gloucestershire.

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There is currently little research or literature on performance evaluation in the Arabic and United Arab Emirates (UAE) cultural context. The rapid changes and development of the UAE economy has lead to a growing interest in performance management in the public sector in the UAE. This current research explores performance evaluation in the UAE public sector, its practices, processes and the linkage between performance evaluation, and the impact of the UAE national culture on those processes. This work examines and compares private and public sector practices of performance evaluation. This comparison enables a broader assessment of approaches to performance evaluation, and therefore, the understanding of the impact of national culture on such processes. The research aimed to understand the social context of phenomena through participants’ thoughts, opinions and beliefs. The research combined a mixed research method of qualitative and quantitative approaches. For the mixed methods, pragmatism opens the door to multiple methods, different worldviews, and different assumptions, as well as to different forms of data collection and analysis. Data was collected through surveys to provide a larger amount of data from a wider population, therefore the questionnaire survey was sent to mid-level employees who have experienced performance evaluation from both private and public sectors. Interviews gathered more in depth insights on participants’ attitudes, thoughts and actions. The original contribution of the research was to provide a deep understanding of the performance evaluation process in UAE’s public sector. This study is one of a few to be carried out in the UAE, so it provides new findings for cultural influences on the performance evaluation procedure research and literature in the Arabic and Islamic contexts. Cultural values and practices affect the performance evaluation procedure, cultural values such as gender, Wasta, power distance, cultural diversity, and Arabic and Islamic values. The findings indicated that since the announcement of the UAE government strategy of 2008, some public organisations have developed and improved their performance evaluation practices considering factors, such as the employees’ involvement in the process. On the other hand, other public organisations conduct the evaluation as a routine job and do not evaluate the actual employee’s contribution. Furthermore, the evaluation does not affect the employees’ careers. The investigated private organisations have an evaluation system that is improved constantly and is linked to the employee’s careers and frequent and constructive feedback is obtained that enables the employees to make improvements to their performance on a regular basis. UAE culture is shaped and influenced by Arabic culture and Islamic values as well as national policy such as Emiritisation. UAE national culture has an impact the process of performance evaluation in the public and private sectors. For instance Wasta, part of the Arabic and UAE culture, influences the process. Wasta starts with recruiting candidates regardless of their qualification and is based on relationships; therefore, these employees are evaluated and treated differently, affecting both the organisation’s and employee’s performances. In addition, Wasta led to a UAE process for performance evaluation that built discrimination among employees. Addressing and managing the inappropriate elements of Wasta increases the effectiveness of the performance evaluation processes. The view of the role of women in society and the segregation between genders impacts the performance evaluation process; it affects communication in terms of providing feedback and guidance to enhance performance. However, there have been slight changes in the view of women’s roles in the UAE and the communication between genders is improving. As a result of these findings this study contributes a UAE culturally focused conceptual framework for performance evaluation.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: United Arab Emirates (UAE), performance management, performance evaluation, recruitment, cultural influences, Wasta, labour policy, public sector
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Business, Computing and Social Sciences
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2015 16:34
Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 09:42

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