Middle East J. of Management (15 papers in press)
Strategic adaptation to environmental jolts: An analysis of corporate resilience in the property development sector in Dubai
by Virginia Bodolica, Martin Spraggon, Anam Shahid
Abstract: Despite the wide recognition of the contextual embeddedness of strategic decision-making, the empirical evidence on companies originating from emerging markets remains limited. This article contributes to the scarce literature on the contingent nature of strategic adaptation to environmental jolts in the unique context of the real estate industry in UAE. We adopted a single case study design by selecting the representative case of Emaar Properties the biggest listed property developer in the Middle East, based in Dubai, UAE to estimate the impact of changing dynamics in the UAE real estate sector from the early 2000s till the end of 2015. Consistent with the standard procedures of case-based methodology (i.e., data and investigator triangulation), several researchers analyzed the data, which were gathered from multiple secondary sources. The emphasis was placed on examining two external discontinuities that emerged from our systematic research process, namely the 2008-09 financial crisis and the 2013 announcement of Dubai as the host city of World Expo 2020. By strategically altering its portfolio of investments across different countries and industry segments, the company has proven effective in mitigating the impact of the global recession and benefiting from the market improvement triggered by the World Expo 2020 news. The strategic choices of the top management reflect how, in times of environmental turbulence, Emaar was geared toward achieving tighter external alignment to balance its risks and opportunities. Emaar Properties now needs to reassess its strategy of sustainable corporate growth to reduce its dependence on the domestic market and deal with the impending uncertainty in the post-Expo 2020 period. Emaars case can be used for illustrating how the external conditions in the macro-environment affect the exercise of managerial discretion and the development of corporate resilience.
Keywords: strategic adaptation; environmental discontinuity; financial crisis; real estate industry; United Arab Emirates.
Causes of Construction Accidents in Oman
by Tariq Umar
Abstract: Construction workers are three to four times more likely than workers in other sectors to die from accidents at work. Construction is one of the main industries in Oman providing jobs to 18% of the total population and contributing around 10% of the total Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Considering the costs associated with accidents in construction, a model identifying root causes of accidents is proposed for construction organizations in Oman. The model classifies the accidents in construction mainly arising from main four causes: Equipment / Materials, Workers, Environment and Management. The model is applied to a road construction project in Oman to trace the root causes of accidents. It can also be applied to construction projects in other sectors such as building or process plant construction. The results of this investigation reveal that a substantial proportion of accidents (more than 41%) arise from the worker. The Management contribution is 31%, Equipment/materials contribute 14% of the accidents and the Environment contribution is 12%. These findings are based accident statistics that occurred on a single road project. Further research is recommended to extend the study to other projects in the construction sector in order to generalize the findings. Knowing the root causes of accidents will help organizations to develop effective strategies to reduce accidents on future projects. Although the frequency distribution of accidents is likely to vary from project to project, understanding the underlying pattern of their causes helps to pinpoint the key areas where resources should be directed in the organizations efforts to deliver the goal of zero accidents.
Keywords: Health and Safety; Management; Construction Hazards.
Impact of Weather Conditions on Construction Labor Productivity in Qatar
by Ahmed Senouci, Mohammed Al-Abbasi, Neil Eldin
Abstract: Qatari construction projects frequently encounter significant delays. One of the major causes of these delays is ignoring Qatars extreme weather conditions on labor productivity. This paper studies the impact of temperature, humidity, and wind on labor productivity in Qatar for four construction trades, namely, formwork, masonry, plaster, and ceramic tiles. These trades were chosen because they are time consuming and commonly found in most construction projects. Weather and trade labor productivity data was recorded between July 2013 and February 2014. The results showed that weather conditions has a high impact on trade labor productivity. They also showed that the labor productivity in the summer can be as low as half of that in the winter. Linear regression models were developed to predict trade productivity on a given day of the year.
Keywords: Extreme weather; weather impact; labor productivity; linear regression; construction delays.
CROSS-CULTURAL TRAINING: A CRUCIAL APPROACH TO IMPROVE SUCCESS OF EXPATRIATE ASSIGNMENT IN THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
by Rizwan Tahir, Gurdal Ertek
Abstract: Expatriate training and development is progressively turning into a crucial human resource development issue for the multinational corporations (MNCs). The motivation for this study is to explore the impact of cross-cultural training (CCT) on the adjustment challenges of Western expatriate managers in the UAE. The findings indicate that the expatriate managers, who were provided with CCT, adjusted more rapidly in their international assignment in the UAE than the expatriates who were not provided with any CCT. This research has nevertheless demonstrated that not only are MNCs in the UAE failing to provide adequate CCT and support for their expatriates, but they are also providing inadequate CCT and support to the expatriates accompanying family members. The present study contributes to the discussion about whether MNCs routinely provide their expatriate managers with sufficient CCT. Furthermore, this study has substantial implications for managers and proposes areas for future research in this field.
Keywords: Multinational corporations (MNCs); cross-cultural training (CCT); expatriates; United Arab Emirates (UAE); etc.rn.
RISK EXAMINATION IN THE ARABIAN GULF REGION (AGR) CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY FROM INTERNATIONAL FIRMS INSIGHTS
by Ruqaya AlSabah, Hala Nassereddine, Awad Hanna
Abstract: Risk is an ever-present event on any construction project that could adversely effect costs, schedule, and may eventually lead to project failure. International projects are more challenging than domestic projects as they experience a wider range of risks. With the growing amount of construction in the Arab Gulf Region (AGR) and many more international firms attempting into new international markets, limited research exists to identify and evaluate the impact of risks on projects in this area. This paper is intended to provide an overview of the risk associated with international projects and to help international companies to better consider risks. Seventy-four (74) risks encountered in the AGR were identified and their impact on cost and schedule performance metrics was evaluated using a risk index. An analysis was then performed on projects for which cost and schedule were both impacted and the correlation between cost and schedule was compared. Using a non-parametric test, some factors were found to have significantly higher impact on cost or schedule. An International Risk Assessment Tool (IRAT) was then developed to help multinational firms enhance their visual ability to pre-emptively identify, address, and mitigate risks.
Keywords: Arabian Gulf Region; International Construction; Multinational Firms; Risks; Assessment Tool.
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: Although the studies about organizational justice has increased markedly in the past few years, little work has focused on the relationship between organizational justice perception and organization silence. Today, organizational injustice causes many organizational problems. One of these problems is organizational silence. Organizational injustice negatively affects organizational silence in workplace. To decrease this negative effect, an organization can use many different techniques. One of these techniques is to establish a workplace spirituality within the organization. The main aim of the study is to examine the mediating roles of spiritual values in workplace in the relationship between organizational justice and organizational silence. The sampling of the study was selected by using a Convenience Sampling Method. The sampling 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 organizational justice and organizational silence in private participation (Islamic) banks and the conventional public banks. Workplace spirituality is consciously used especially by private participation (Islamic) banks in Turkey as a managerial tool.
Keywords: Organizational Justice; Organizational Silence; Workplace Spirituality; Management; Structural Equation Model (SEM).