Working in ministries or public organizations in Saudi Arabia : A study of career development and job satisfaction of the Saudi Arabian middle managers

Abstract

Career development and job satisfaction studies carried out in developing countries are very limited in number. Saudi Arabia is one of those developing countries which appeared on the political scene quite recently, but striving hard to develop its human resources due to its heavy dependence on expatriate labour to initiate and execute its development plans. The genesis of the study began when General Civil Service Bureau officials noticed a large movement of employees from ministries to other sectors (i.e. public organizations and the private sector). The purpose of this dissertation is to examine and analyze the factors behind this movement and relate this to the studies of career development and job satisfaction. The position of government organizations in Saudi Arabia is rather unique. Most of their employees are drawn from Universities due to the regulations of the GCSB of compelling them to work in ministries for a period equivalent to that spent in their University education until graduation. This situation has prevented such graduates from choosing their own occupations and seem to hinder their career development. As a consequence, this study, not only analyzes career development and job satisfaction in Saudi Arabia, but (v) job satisfaction in Saudi Arabia, but also makes a comprehensive evaluation of economic, social and organisational environments which seem to have an effect of the occupational choice of the Saudis. We take the assumption that the ideology of free occupational choice is not properly applied in Saudi Arabia due to some cultural variables (e.g. nepotism and strong family ties). Hence, this thesis will develop a definition of the concept of occupational choice and career development and the process of personnel flow and the ways in which such movement can be influenced within the Saudi context. The study will be primarily concerned with middle managers in two types of organization - government ministries and public organizations. This will hopefully give a profile of the Saudi situation as far as occupational choice, career development and job satisfaction are concerned

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