Date of Award

4-2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

Department

Business Administration

First Advisor

Dr.Abdul Karim Khan

Second Advisor

Dr. Jame Thomas

Third Advisor

Dr. Abdullah Saif Abdullah

Abstract

Drawing upon generational differences and work engagement literatures, this research examines the antecedents and consequences of work engagement in the context of the UAE, and the moderating effect of generational membership.

Statistics predicted that in the year 2015, 45% of the UAE labor market was comprised by individuals born between 1980 and 1999, known as the Y Generation. However, little is known about generational differences in the UAE, in particular among members of the Y Generation with respect to work engagement. Whereas organizations need suitable human resources practices and tools to ensure the consistency and growth of the three generations that are operating together for the first time in the current UAE labor market. This research accordingly identifies and examines organizational antecedents and associated consequences of work engagement in relation to both the current state of employment in the UAE and its broader culture, and the current literature on generational differences. As it also examines the moderating effect of generational membership on the hypothesized relationship of identified antecedents and consequences of work engagement.

A review of the literature identifies four key organizational antecedents, namely, job characteristics (performance feedback and job autonomy), rewards, corporate social responsibility and work/life balance. These have been found to be of great importance in the context of generations. Furthermore, the literature identifies three consequences of work engagement in the context of organizations and generations, namely, organizational commitment, organizational citizenship behavior and intention to leave. These factors have been evaluated with regard to generational membership and associated differences in the UAE.

The results of the current study indicate that all the identified antecedents and consequences are positively correlated with work engagement in the context of the UAE's culture, except for work/life balance (as well as the negative expected relationship with the intention to leave). Moreover, the current study illustrates that generational membership moderated only two of the identified relationships associated with organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) and intention to leave, the relationship being stronger for Baby Boomers than for the X and Y Generations.

To summarize, this study contributes to the literature on work engagement and generational differences in several relevant and substantive ways. First, it examines the impact of the selected organizational antecedents on work engagement and certain consequences in the context of the UAE's culture. Second, it examines the moderating effect of generational membership on the selected antecedents and consequences. Finally, it examines work engagement in the UAE workforce from both demographic and socioeconomic perspectives. In light of this, a list of recommended tools for enhancing work engagement is illustrated. The current study thereby promises a better understanding of work engagement and generational differences in the context of the UAE, upon which it recommends that further attention should be paid to individual differences and organizational culture rather than tailoring HR policies and practices for the purpose of accommodating generational differences.

Included in

Business Commons

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