‘Private sector’ Emiratisation: social stigma’s impact on continuance intentions

Rutledge, Emilie J. and Al Kaabi, Khaled (2023). ‘Private sector’ Emiratisation: social stigma’s impact on continuance intentions. Human Resource Development International, 26(5) pp. 603–626.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13678868.2023.2182097


This study examines the continuance intentions of the small number of nationals working in the United Arab Emirates’ ‘private sector’. The analytical framework is informed by job satisfaction measures alongside the Arabian Gulf Social Contract and Social Stigma constructs. A survey of 653 individuals was conducted and found that the nature of the job, pay and benefits and career development opportunities enhanced continuance intentions. However, perceived negative societal sentiment towards such jobs, vis-à-vis classic public sector jobs, reduced these intentions. Recommendations for further research to be conducted on the format of university mandated internship programmes and government-funded workplace training programmes are made, as both were found to help normalise private sector career paths. While this paper is the first to specifically canvas this cohort on their vocational intentions and sectoral preferences, its applied element was limited by being cross-sectional in nature.

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