Branding employment related public policies: Evidence from a non-western context

Baker Ahmad Alserhan

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose: While the legislative side of workforce nationalization as a key target area for public policies has been extensively studied and scrutinized, the marketing side has not. It remains mostly overlooked, leaving both researchers and practitioners with little or no information to begin with. This "marketing" information gap represents the focus of this paper and it is exactly what the author aims to bridge. Design/methodology/approach: A thorough analysis of how nationalization policy has been perceived by the UAE workforce was carried out and the results of that analysis were used to identify the core components of a balanced strategy that aims at enhancing the image of Emiratisation as a public brand, or a public offering, and hence improving the implementation of the policy i.e. increase the employability of citizens and, at the same time, retain the much-needed expatriate workforce. Findings: The study, which consisted of 180 interviews collected in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), revealed that workforce nationalization as a government offering has been inadequately branded by stakeholders and the government did not engage the branding process at any level. The branding part of the policy was not addressed at all. In effect, the policy was left on its own in that regard. As a result, "brand Emiratisation" now stands for mutual private-public distrust, implementation difficulties, and serious misgivings about the nature of the policy. Originality/value: This is the first study internationally to address labor nationalization policies from a marketing perspective. As such the results and discussions therein have wide implications for the employment decisions in organizations, particularly as the number of countries imposing restrictions on the employment of foreign workers continues to rise.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)423-440
    Number of pages18
    JournalEmployee Relations
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013


    • Attitudes
    • Expatriates
    • Nationalization
    • Perceptions
    • Promoting labour nationalization
    • Public policy branding
    • United Arab Emirates

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Industrial relations
    • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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