Human Resource Management Research in Egypt

By Burke, Ronald J.; El-Kot, Ghada A. | Review of Management, December 2011 | Go to article overview

Human Resource Management Research in Egypt


Burke, Ronald J., El-Kot, Ghada A., Review of Management


This Special Issue of Review of Management presents several human resources management (HRM) research projects being conducted in Egypt by Egyptian academics, in some cases with the participation of other collaborators. Although Egypt is a large country in terms of population with a huge number of organizations -both large and small - relatively little HRM research has been undertaken there. And although Egypt has several schools of business management, relatively little HRM research has been conducted by academics working in them.

There are several reasons for this lack of attention given to HRM research in Egypt. First, although the number is increasing, relatively few Egyptian academics have been trained to carry out such studies. Second, although there are some Egyptian management journals and magazines, Egyptian academics interested in reporting their HRM studies would rather do so in more prestigious journals published elsewhere. Third, managers in Egyptian organizations have been unwilling to participate in HRM research for fear this research would paint out their managerial shortcomings.

The Egyptian economy has not performed very well over the past decade. Unemployment is relatively high. And it has been believed that the Egyptian educational system does not do a good job preparing young women and men for the realities of work in the 21st century. In addition, educated women, similar to women in several other countries, face obstacles in pursuing professional and managerial work and career opportunities. But Egypt is developing several academic programmes to equip young women and men for work and careers in all types of organizations -large and small. Egypt has also seen a corresponding increase in studies carried out in this sector to better understand its nature and success factors.

The Egyptian Context

In a regional context Egypt is especially important; it has a leadership role among Arabic Middle Eastern nations and is of strategic importance as it borders Africa, Europe and Asia. Egypt is one of the attracting countries for investors in different fields. Oxford Business Group (2004) analyzed all aspects of the Egyptian economy via hundreds of interviews with leading political and economic figures to describe the comprehensive overviews of Egypt's political and economic situation. They provided a more light-hearted look at Egypt's regions and culture to any investor in Egypt. They reviewed trends in all the major economic sectors, including: banking, capital markets, insurance, IT and telecoms, industry, real estate and construction, tourism and agriculture.

In the Egyptian context, there are some changes in the labour demand and in the occupational distribution of employment. The findings from the Egypt survey of human resources development by the International Labour Office (I.L.O) in 2006 referred to some of the challenges to human resources development in Egypt such as employment challenge, external competition challenge, the challenge of the new technology, the challenge of privatization, the challenge of vulnerable groups (child labour and gender discrimination) and the training challenge. These challenges would have some effects on the kind of jobs that would be created in the Egyptian context and raises the issue of the importance of the human resource management policies that should be implemented. In the ILO report, authors identify human resource development as a critical factor in determining the ability of Egyptian firms to effectively confront external competition and make best use of these new technologies. At the time of the survey firms facing import and export competition were experiencing difficulties in recruiting qualified personnel but nevertheless expressed a preference for recruiting already skilled workers rather than train their own, this was the case even in the larger organizations.

Based on the report presented by the Institute of National Planning, Egypt to present Egypt Human Development Report 2010, and by the Labour Force Research by Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) 2010; The Human Resource Profile of Egypt is described as follows: With a population of over 80 million, Egypt has the largest single market in the region. …

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