Employees' attitudes towards diversity in a non-western context

Bakr Ahmad Alserhan, Ingo Forstenlechner, Ahmad Al-Nakeeb

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    22 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine attitudes towards diversity in an emerging Gulf economy whose workforce is dominated by expatriates and is under significant pressure to accommodate host country citizens. It seeks to examine employees' attitudes towards workforce diversity in the banking sector in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Design/methodology/approach: A total of 100 employees from 11 banks are chosen randomly from banks operating in the UAE. Those employees are asked to answer a questionnaire containing various questions that cover the applauded benefits of diversity as identified in the related literature. Findings: All banks have a diverse workforce, with nationals representing a minority in all of them. However, banks differ on the various indicators of diversity with some being more religiously diverse while others more diverse in terms of nationalities or languages. Overall, Islamic banks are the least diverse on all dimensions of diversity. Research limitations/implications: Several obstacles are faced during the course of this study including limitations on access to employees, sampling limitations preventing more in-depth analysis of certain aspects, lack of regional studies on diversity and the timing of the survey itself which coincide with the summer exodus of expatriates. Originality/value: This paper provides useful information on attitudes toward diversity in an emerging Gulf economy, dominated by expatriates.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)42-55
    Number of pages14
    JournalEmployee Relations
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2010


    • Banks
    • Employee attitudes
    • Employees
    • Expatriates
    • United Arab Emirates

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Industrial relations
    • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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