Middle East J. of Management (13 papers in press)
The Assessment of the Saudi Arabia Contractors Classification System and Other Worldwide Systems
by Saud Almutairi, Mohammed Algahtany, Jacob Kashiwagi, Dean Kashiwagi, Kenneth Sullivan, Isaac Kashiwagi
Abstract: Construction projects in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) have experienced poor performance for the past three decades. The KSA construction environment lacks the best practices found in more developed countries. The governments construction relies on the low-bid delivery method and prequalified contractors using the Contractors Classification System (CCS). However, the CCS does not accurately represent contractors capabilities and performance. The Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs (MOMRA) desires to develop and improve the current CCS. This paper reviews all of the parts of the KSAs CCS through a case study, as well as a review and analysis of other classification systems worldwide through literature research. Several issues with the CCS are identified, such as no performance feedback, project participants not turned over, complexity, outdated practices and no performance measurements. The findings identify that the current CCS must be modified to be able to accurately reflect contractor capability and performance.
Keywords: Saudi Arabia; Contractor Classification System; Performance information; MOMRA; low-bid; innovation; contractor capability.
The Antecedents of Firm Innovativeness: Empirical Evidence from Small-Sized Firms
by Khaled Nawaser, Asghar Afshar Jahanshahi
Abstract: In this paper, we investigated the effect of customer relationship management initiation on firms marketing information and then we tested how these two factors accelerate idea generation (innovativeness) within small sized firms. We tested these relations by using original data from 103 Iranian small sized firms. Results indicate that customer relationship management initiation leads to the improvement of organizational marketing information significantly. We also found a positive relationship between firms customer relationship management initiation and firm innovativeness and a positive relationship between firms marketing information utilization and firm innovativeness. Limitations of the study are indicated and directions for future research are noted.
Keywords: customer relationship management initiation; marketing information utilization; firm innovativeness; small-sized firms.
Causes of delay in Construction Projects in Oman
by Tariq Umar
Abstract: Construction projects are full of risk and uncertainties and delays can have negative economic consequences and can create bad image for all the parties involved in the project. Delays in construction projects have several causes associated with owner, consultant and contractors. This paper aims to explore the causes of delays in construction projects in Oman. The causes of delays in construction projects are firstly discussed with a review of different published literature. The results of interviews with experienced construction professional working with client, consultant and contractor are reported. Results reveal that contractual issues, workforce, materials, coordination between construction parties, and external factors are the main factors which cause delay to construction projects in Oman. This research work is exploratory in nature and provides basic causes of delays in construction project in general. Further research is recommended to explore projects specific causes of delay in construction in Oman.
Keywords: Project management; Contracting; Planning & scheduling; Construction Projects; Qualitative Method; Causes of Delay.
Studying the influences of Learning Orientation and Firm Size on Entrepreneurial Orientation - Firm Performance Relationship in Saudi Context
by Wassim J. Aloulou
Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to study the direct influence of Entrepreneurial orientation (EO) on Learning orientation (LO), considering the latter as the mediating variable in the relationship between EO and Firm performance (FP). The paper aims also to study the influence of firm size in the EO-FP and LO-FP relationships as a potential moderator variable. The empirical study was developed using a sample of 230 Micro-to-Large firms in Saudi Arabia. The proposed hypotheses were tested using hierarchical linear and multiple regression analysis. The findings revealed a significant relationship between EO and LO and a mediating role of LO on the EO-FP relationship. Likewise, the findings indicate also that firm size significantly moderates only the LO-FP relationship. However, the results reveal a negative but non-significant influence of the interaction variable between EO and firm size on FP. Being as one of the few empirical studies on the subject line in a transitional and non-Western context such as Saudi context, this study highlights certain implications and avenues for both entrepreneurship scholars and practitioners in such context.
Keywords: entrepreneurial orientation; learning orientation; firm performance; firm size; Saudi Arabia.
Chronological Age versus Cognitive Age: An Examination of Lifecycle and Gender Differences
by Larry P. Pleshko, Richard A. Heiens, Adel Al-Wugayan
Abstract: The current study examines the concept of self-perceived age in the Middle Eastern market through the use of the cognitive age construct. The results of a survey of 613 respondents in the Kuwait market reveal that the five-item cognitive age measure scored 0.949 on Cronbachs coefficient alpha, which is indicative of a reliable variable. The results also indicate that the differences between chronological age and cognitive age vary across lifecycle age groups. Specifically, Kuwaiti consumers overall tend to perceive their cognitive ages to be below their actual chronological ages, and this pattern becomes stronger as consumers get older. The analyses also find that age differences exist by gender. Men under the age of 25 in the Kuwait market perceive themselves to be almost four years older than their actual chronological ages. The study suggests that the cognitive age construct might be a useful segmentation variable in the Middle Eastern market.
Keywords: Ageing; Gender; Lifecycle; Self-Perceptions; Cognitive age; Chronological Age; Middle East; Kuwait.
Entrepreneurs perception of Opportunities and Challenges Learnings from Sultanate of Oman
by Siraj K.K, AbdulRahman Nafei, Nawwaf Al Rajhi
Abstract: This paper examines the perception of entrepreneurs about the opportunities and challenges for entrepreneurial ventures in Sultanate of Oman. In Oman Vision-2020, the Oman Government placed significant emphasis on developing entrepreneurial ventures to support its strategy to diversify the economy and develop non-oil sectors, utilize domestic resources and promote employment, thereby to achieve sustainable economic development. A mixed research design is followed in this study. Primary data are collected from 60 entrepreneurs, selected randomly from the database provided by Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The study revealed an improved awareness among entrepreneurs regarding the entrepreneurial opportunities in the region. Statistical analysis highlighted the need for government intervention to mitigate the financial, technical, marketing and legal challenges faced by entrepreneurs. The life of an entrepreneur is challenging; it requires not only policy initiatives, but also accelerated efforts from various governmental and non-governmental agencies to develop a favorable climate for entrepreneurial growth in the region.
Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Entrepreneurial intention; creativity; Sultanate of Oman.
Measuring consumer perception of ethical issues in advertising: Evidence from Nigerian advertising audience
by Shafiu Ibrahim Abdullahi
Abstract: This research paper uses logit model to empirically test Nigerian consuming public views on certain parameters related to ethics in advertisement in the Nigerian media in relation to the respondents personal characteristics. These parameters include age level, education, religion, extravagancy (wastefulness), and deception (lies) featuring in advertising messages. Thus, the paper tries to find out the attitude of Nigerian consumers toward controversial advertising. Data for the study was collected using questionnaires distributed to respondents who are presumed familiar with advertising messages being convene through mediums such as TV, Radio, print media, social media, and the net. The study finds respondents educational level and religiosity to play important role in determine how he/she perceives ethical issues (advertising offenses) in advertising. With both variables having positive effects on consumers ethical orientation, while wastefulness as promoted by advertising messages is detested by more ethically oriented consumers. The research findings have important message for advertisers, be cautious in handling advertisings by factoring-in consumers feeling about ethical matters/offensive adverts in advertising messages. Looking at the non-availability of empirical works in this line of study in Nigeria, there is need for more empirical studies to unearth consumers feeling regarding the advertising messages they are being bombarded with daily.
Keywords: Ethics; Advertising; Consumers; Logit model; Conspicuous; Nigeria; Religion; Empirical; Immorality; Deception; advertising offense; controversial advert.
Understanding Egypts Emerging Social Shoppers
by Emad Abou-Elgheit
Abstract: This article analyses recent preferences, motives and patterns of consumers shopping online and influenced by social media in Egypt. The emerging global trend of social commerce is rapidly disrupting the ways consumers take decisions and shop online. Egypt being the largest retail market in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), with the highest social media popularity among internet users, provides an example to examine social commerce in developing economies in MENA region. Through a representative sample of the market, the article highlights key cognition, emotional, experience and personality aspects that influence consumers decision making and orientation towards trusting electronic vendors. Also, the article examines the variance in behaviour and perception between different demographic, cultural, geographic and behavioural consumer segments. The article also informs electronic vendors and researchers on the processes of trust building and risk perception in social commerce.
Keywords: e-commerce; Egypt; social commerce; consumer behaviour; trust; risk.
Innovativeness and Knowledge Management in Public Sector Enterprises
by Omid Tajeddini, Javad Tajeddini
Abstract: There is an increasing concern over the effect of strategic orientation on the performance of public organizations in developing countries. Despite the possible advantages of strategic orientation to organizations documented in Western economies and private owned enterprises, little knowledge exists into these practices and their impact on leveraging a strong competitive advantage in state owned enterprises in transitional economies such as Iran. The purpose of this paper is to extend to previous research (Tajeddini and Trueman, 2016) and aims to examine the effect of innovation and sharing knowledge on performance of SOEs in Iran. Theories of innovation and knowledge management are combined with a strategic model to examine a survey of 110 Iranian public sector managers and frontline employees in Tehran. The research provides insights into the role of strategic orientations of SOEs that operate within transitional economies. Special attention is paid to innovation and knowledge sharing. The findings include: (1) innovativeness is associated with improved business performance, job satisfaction, and overall performance and (2) A strong knowledge sharing is correlated with higher levels of organizational commitment, job satisfaction, and overall performance. All data were collected in a cross-sectional manner with public organization bearing their own restrictions and, therefore, all we can conclude is that the role variables and their posited consequences are related at one point in time. Our conclusions were based on perception of the managers of SOEs and rigorous theorizing and anecdotal evidence. The results of this research is critical and interesting for public managers. From empirical evidence, the authors found that SOE managers must regard organizational innovation and sharing knowledge as two essential strategic capabilities for a superior performance in terms of satisfaction and organizational commitment.
Keywords: state owned enterprises; Innovation; sharing knowledge; Iran.
The Effect of Organizational Justice on Organizational Silence: Testing the Mediational Role of Workplace Spirituality
by Ozgur Kokalan
Abstract: Today, organisational injustice causes many organisational problems. One of these problems is organisational silence. Organisational injustice negatively affects organisational silence in the workplace. To decrease this negative effect, an organisation can use many different techniques. One of these techniques is to establish a workplace spirituality within the organisation. The main aim of the study is to examine the mediating roles of spiritual values in the workplace in the relationship between organisational justice and organisational silence. The sampling of the study included 472 employees from private participation (Islamic) banks and conventional public banks. Confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation methods were used in order to detect the direction and level of the relationships between the parameters. According to the mediating analysis findings, workplace spirituality is the full reason for the relation between organisational justice and organisational silence in private participation (Islamic) banks and the conventional public banks.
Keywords: organisational justice; organisational silence; workplace spirituality; management; SEM; structural equation model.
Strategic agility in telecom industry: the effective factors on competitive advantages
by Sanaz Dehmolaee, Yaghub Rashnavadi
Abstract: Businesses from all industries need to monitor their environments and be strategically agile in their processes to be competitive in their respective industries. Strategic agility is defined as firms strategic intent to achieve agile operations which are driven by the management emphasis on improving its time-based competitive advantage. In this paper, we aimed to understand the role of strategic agility in promoting organizational performance in their competition in the telecom industry. Six hypotheses were developed. By using questionnaires, data were gathered from interviewing 384 practitioners in the telecom industry. SPSS and Lisrel were used to analyze the data. The results show that strategic agility positively influence technological capabilities and organizational innovation and these in turn positively influence competitive advantage of an organization in the telecom industry. We find no statistical proof neither for positive influence of strategic agility on organizational learning nor organizational learning on competitive advantage.
Keywords: strategic agility; competitive advantage; telecom industry.
The Impact of Internal Marketing on Employee Job Satisfaction and Customer Satisfaction: Empirical Evidence from Restaurant Industry of Saudi Arabia
by M. Sadiq Sohail
Abstract: This study investigates the role of internal marketing on employees perceived job satisfaction and the consequent impact on customer satisfaction. The study is undertaken in the restaurant industry of Saudi Arabia. A model is developed to explain the influence of different factors of internal marketing on employees job satisfaction. Data was collected from 401 frontline employees of several types of restaurants in Saudi Arabia. The results suggest that internal marketing practices such as leadership commitment; internal communication and reward system has a significant effect on frontline employees perception of job satisfaction. Service training and development is not a significant factor contributing frontline employees perception of job satisfaction in Saudi Arabia. Employees job satisfaction is a contributor to customer satisfaction. The findings broaden and deepen an understanding of how the factors of internal marketing practices reinforces employees job satisfaction. The results has useful implications to restaurant business, particularly in the Middle East nations to capture internal marketing factors, which will provide job satisfaction to employees and ultimately increases customer satisfaction
Keywords: internal marketing;restaurant industry;job satisfaction;customer satisfaction; Saudi Arabia.
The complexity of small business growth: A Saudi perspective
by Hafedh Ibrahim, Mahmoud Mohammad Al-Ajlouni
Abstract: Drawing from complexity theory, the study takes a configurational approach towards small business growth and contributes to literature by demonstrating how three sets of causal conditions, that is, entrepreneurial orientation, firm resources, and the environment, combine to form configurations that affect small business growth. The study was conducted in the Middle East (Saudi Arabia) and analyzed data from a survey of 369 SMEs using fuzzy set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (fsQCA). The results corroborate the equifinality and the asymmetric nature of small business growth demonstrating that no single factor is key in initiating small business growth, and that there is no single exclusive causal path leading to that outcome and that the causal conditions of combinations that lead to small business growth are different from that lead to non-growth.
Keywords: Small business growth; Entrepreneurial orientation; Firm resources; Environmental uncertainty; fsQCA; Complexity theory; Middle East.