Date of Award
Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)
Dr. Mohammed Al Waqfi
Dr. Ananth Chiravuri
Dr. Abdullah Saif Abdullah
This dissertation investigates the antecedents of employee engagement within a multicultural work environment in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). In 2017, the UAE launched the corporate happiness and positivity initiative across organizations where employee engagement was considered as one of the key drivers and enablers of this vision. Existing research indicates that employee engagement is a major factor leading to organizational success and competitiveness. Employee engagement is believed to lead to many benefits for both the organizations in question and their employees. These benefits can include better financial results and improved performance through increased productivity and performance, employee wellbeing, and the perceived career success of employees. Many research studies show that organizations where employees feel engaged have increased shareholder returns, greater profitability, higher productivity, and also higher levels of customer satisfaction.
The purpose of this study is to examine the effect of individual characteristics and organizational factors on employee engagement. It aims to identify the main individual and organizational antecedents that determine the level of employee engagement in the public, private and mixed sectors in the UAE.
This study applied a quantitative approach by using a large-scale sample survey questionnaire. Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) was used to analyse the data collected from 1,033 employees in a variety of organizations. This study empirically examined several individual-level antecedents of employee engagement. The results revealed that self-efficacy, person-job fit, and relationships with supervisor positively influenced employee engagement. Likewise, several organizational-level antecedents of employee engagement were examined and the empirical results revealed that organizational support and job security positively influenced employee engagement in the workplace in a UAE context.
These findings contribute to the literature on this subject by expanding knowledge on the determinants of employee engagement, especially in a multicultural work environment such as in the case of the UAE. This was achieved by developing a theoretical model and testing it empirically. It was found to be a fit and suitable model for a variety of the UAE’s workplace contexts. The findings can be of benefit to both practitioners and academics in order to develop effective strategies to increase employee engagement. This, in turn, can lead to higher organizational productivity, improved performance and greater success for the organization and individuals in today’s highly competitive global business environment.
Due to a scarcity of studies on employee engagement in cross-cultural work contexts, such as we find in the UAE, we believe that this study is an important step towards building knowledge on the essential determinants and antecedents of employee engagement. Despite a general consensus on the importance of employee engagement and its concomitant benefits, there is no universal agreement as to what exactly leads an employee to become engaged with their various work contexts. This study developed an employee engagement model and empirically tested the model in order to have a better understanding of employee engagement in the UAE and other similar contexts. It is hoped that the results can help to develop effective strategies to increase the level of employee engagement across organizations in the country and help the UAE in its drive to become a leading country in terms of business practices and in line with the country’s clearly stated vision.
Al Zahmi, Khamis Khalfan, "Antecedents of Employee Engagement in a Multicultural Work Environment: The Case of the UAE" (2018). Business Administration Dissertations. 15.