Career exploration and perceived employability within an emerging economy context

Ingo Forstenlechner, Hassan Selim, Yehuda Baruch, Mohamed Madi

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    35 Citations (Scopus)


    Following four decades of unprecedented economic, social, and cultural change, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) labor market is highly segmented: The native population is almost exclusively employed in the government sector, while the private sector is effectively outsourced to foreigners. This has created an unsustainable situation with growing numbers of young citizens reaching working age and with a public sector that has reached the saturation point. Policymakers repeatedly try to legislate to encourage private-sector employers to hire citizens. These policies have had limited success. We explored the career attitudes of 2,267 United Arab Emirates citizens prior to their entry into the labor market. Using structural equation modeling, we found that the social contract and resulting expectations toward state employment have strong implications for willingness to work in the private sector.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)45-66
    Number of pages22
    JournalHuman Resource Management
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014


    • Arab Gulf labor markets
    • Career theory
    • Employability
    • Social contract
    • Structural equation modeling

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Applied Psychology
    • Strategy and Management
    • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
    • Management of Technology and Innovation


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