Human Resource Management in Developing Countries

By Pawan S. Budhwar; Yaw A. Debrah | Go to book overview

9

Human resource management in Saudi Arabia

Kamel Mellahi and Geoffrey T. Wood

Introduction

Within global commodity chains, oil represents an important exception to the general rule of transnational or end-user dominance (Czaban and Henderson, 1998:585-563) as at certain historic moments, primary producers have been vested with extraordinary power. In turn, this has led to the creation of a specific form of growth regime within the oil-producing states in the Middle East. The Saudi accumulation regime is oil-centred, with large sectors of industry remaining heavily dependent on state sponsorship.

The assembly of institutions designed to stabilise what has been a highly uneven growth process has certain defining characteristics: this includes a highly segmented labour market, with a clear distinction drawn between indigenous Saudis and foreign workers. Similarly, any balance that might exist in the Saudi labour market has little to do with supply and demand, but with a codification of wage relations, whereby firms historically have traded off ongoing investment and limited job creation for Saudis in return for state patronage and a relatively free hand in terms of the utilisation of foreigners (cf. Grahl andTeague, 2000:162). Human resource management in Saudi Arabia represents a product of the nature of the productive system, and the codification of practices in formal legislation and in unwritten rules governing conduct (ibid.). In this chapter, we provide an overview of the development and changing nature of the context within which HRM operates, and actual practices and problems associated with HRM in Saudi Arabia.


Contextual Factors Shaping HRM Practices

How firms manage their human resources is the product of a wider socio-economic context. In Saudi Arabia, five key factors have shaped and continue to shape HRM policies and practices. These are: the structure of the Saudi economy, the political environment, the structure of the labour market, national HRD strategy and national culture.

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Human Resource Management in Developing Countries
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Figures ix
  • Tables xi
  • Foreword xv
  • Preface xvii
  • Acknowledgements xix
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • References 12
  • Part I - Human Resource Management in Asia 17
  • 2 - Human Resource Management in the People’s Republic of China 19
  • 3 - Human Resource Management in South Korea 34
  • References 54
  • 4 - Human Resource Management in Taiwan 56
  • 5 - Human Resource Management in India 75
  • 6 - Human Resource Management in Nepal 91
  • 7 - Human Resource Management in Pakistan 102
  • 8 - Human Resource Management in Iran 121
  • References 133
  • 9 - Human Resource Management in Saudi Arabia 135
  • References 149
  • Part II - Human Resource Management in Africa 153
  • 10 - Human Resource Management in Algeria 155
  • References 172
  • 11 - Human Resource Management in Nigeria 174
  • References 188
  • 12 - Human Resource Management in Ghana 190
  • 13 - Human Resource Management in Kenya 209
  • 14 - Human Resource Management in South Africa 222
  • 15 - Conclusion 238
  • Subject Index 255
  • Name Index 259
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