Introduction and background of the research
Saudi Arabia is the largest state in the western part of Asia. Furthermore, it is the leading manufacturer of oil in the world. It borders Iraq and Jordan to the north, Oman and Yemen to the south, the United Arab Emirates in the east, Kuwait and Qatar to the northeast. It is the second-largest Arab country geographically after Algeria. Officially known as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, this country gained independence in 1932 and is led by a king. The country is an Islamic state and many Muslims across the world always visit its city of Mecca for pious purposes (Lacey, 1982). The economy of this country remains the strongest in the region. According to the report by The World Bank (2009), this country has maintained growth in various sectors of its economy. The World Bank (2009) ranked it as the best economy in the Arab world in 2009. As discussed in section four of this research, the economy of this country has been resilient in the face of the economic recession that has hit major economies in the world. The government has made efforts to ensure that the country diversifies its economy. Other than the oil industry, which accounts for about 80% of the total government income, and about 45% of the country’s total Gross Domestic Product, the country has developed other sectors of the economy, making it one of the most stable economies in the region (Clement, & Henry, 2010).
One of the sectors that this country has keenly developed is the financial sector. The government of Saudi Arabia has been keen on the development of financial institutions. In 1980, the government issued a decree that all foreign banks should convert their branches in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to affiliates, with the Saudi nationals acquiring at least 60% of the banks’ ownership (Lippman, 2004). Kent and Thompson (2005), report that until then, foreign investors had owned many financial institutions. Many of the banking institutions had been foreign firms, especially from America and Britain. Citibank was the major financial institution in this country, with other local banks struggling to break through the competition that was so stiff (Peter, & Graham, 1994). Upon this decree, the Saudi American Bank was formed. The company is the largest financial institution in this region having been incepted on 12 February 1980. Until then, Citigroup, a large American financial institution, owned this bank. Saudi American Bank, currently known as Samba Financial Group, has its headquarters in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. It also has branches in Jeddah and other major cities in Saudi Arabia (Michael, Lino, & James, 1998). As the bank experienced growth due to the stable economic environment in the country, it opened other branches in 1985 within Saudi Arabia. In 1999, the bank formed a merger with United Saudi Bank, making it the leading commercial institution in the region (Joseph, Johnson, & Howard, 2010). It opened a new branch in London in late 1999 as one of its strategies to increase its market share outside Asia.
This research lays its focus on the operational activities of this giant firm within Saudi Arabia. The researcher is interested in finding out whether there is a difference in the performance of male and female branches of SAMBA. Some previous research has extensively pointed out the fact that this financial institution is a success in this region. However, none has given a detailed analysis as regards the existence of the two sections of the bank. Moreover, the research seeks to establish the impacts of the trend on society in both Saudi Arabia and abroad, and how the two sections compare in terms of performance. This study gives a detailed outlook of the above factors in a bid to unravel the raised concerns in a scholarly manner. From this research, the researcher hopes to answer the above questions, make an analysis and come up with recommendations that would help have a better banking environment not only for the workers and to customers of Saudi American Bank but also to other banking institutions in the country. This research will be a vital tool for leadership in various banking units in Saudi Arabia and other Islamic countries bordering it. Scholars who wish to advance research in this field will also find this report very important. The methodology part of this section will give them a clear guideline on the steps taken in this research so that they may design their own approaches in reference to this.
Research problem and research questions
The world is changing in its social, economic and political structure. Society has experienced radical changes, especially the position of women in the current society (Ekaterina, 2009). Andrzej and Buchaman (2007), report that unlike before when women were expected to be home keepers, the current society has seen women taking up roles that the traditional society of Saudi Arabia considered exclusively for men. However, this is not easy for them in a largely patriarchal country. The researcher was, therefore, interested in finding answers to the following questions:
What effect does a considerable gap between the position of men and women in Saudi society have on their performance?
The researcher notes, upon thorough research on the above problem, that the society of Saudi Arabia remains highly discriminative towards women. Women are not given equal chances in the corporate world as their male counterparts (Sherifa, 2005). Ekaterina (2009), observes that women are not in a position to make decisions by themselves, and any deviation from this may warrant instant punishment as stipulated in the Uqubat (Holy Book). Society believes that women lack Hikmat (wisdom) and therefore, are not in a position to make a decision without guidance. This is what is reflected in the Saudi American Bank. The schooling system has the same discrimination. A female student has access to the poorest services and is only allowed to take lesser technical courses (Madawi, 2006). Because of this discrimination, women find it increasingly difficult to perform their duties effectively, making them less effective than their male counterparts.
What experience do female customers of Saudi American Bank undergo by virtue of their gender and how does this affect the general prosperity of this bank in the current competitive market?
From this research, it is noted with a lot of concern that there is prevalent chauvinism in this society. Women are not supposed to mingle in society freely because they are considered weaker and subordinate to their male partners (Peter, 2008). Saudi Arabia is the center of Islamic society. It still believes in the archaic beliefs that restricted women from performing certain duties that would bring income. Any woman seen to be going contrary to this would be treated with contempt. Regardless of age or level of education, women are forced to seek permission from their mahram (elders) when they want to conduct such important duties as banking. At times, they are denied banking services if they fail to prove that the transaction was approved by their mahram. This makes their experience in such institutions as Saudi American Bank appalling (Mai, 2005). However, due to the current competitive market in this industry, it becomes very challenging for a firm to assume any market segment. It, therefore, forces Saudi American Bank to find alternative ways of capturing this market segment. The researcher is interested in finding out how the bank manages to sustain customers who are differentiated in terms of gender.
The researcher intends to conduct an analysis of various theories that relate to the above problems. The research would test the validity of theories relating to gender-based banking. Some of the commonly held beliefs about this society are based on the Islamic culture. The main concern of the researcher would be to relate banking with Islamic culture. This society has a general belief that women are not capable of making major decisions on their own. This belief has been a major impediment to professional women of this society. Their male colleagues have used this to deny them opportunities to advance their careers (Winberg, & Winberg, 2005). In the Saudi American Bank, things are not different. Women in this bank are not able to make decisions and implement them as employees of Saudi American Bank. Within the bank, their decisions are not taken with the seriousness they deserve. When it comes to negotiating deals with external stakeholders, women find themselves in very awkward positions. This is because society has taken them as people who lack the capacity to make a binding decision (Tanke, 2000). This research sets out to uncover how this belief has influenced the effectiveness of women in the Saudi American Bank. This study also explores the experience of female customers of the Saudi American Bank in relation to this belief.
Gender is therefore a major concept that differentiates society. In this research, gender is an independent variable that affects other variables in the study, especially banking. Banking is therefore a dependent variable. Women find themselves in deprived positions because they are believed to be underqualified.
Justification for research
A number of researches on this field have been done before (Sohrab, & Farhad, 2006). This research is not intended to duplicate such works, neither is it intended to be a piece of the academic report that would be kept on shelves after the concerned authorities have gone through and approved it. This is detailed research that is intended to have a positive implication to the baking industry in general, and the Saudi American Bank in specific. The following are the factors that motivated this research.
The banking sector is one of the most important pillars of the economy of Saudi Arabia. The country is the largest exporter of oil in the world, accounting for 20% of the world’s total oil exports (Winberg, and Winberg, 2005). The country is also rich in other petroleum products such as liquid petroleum gas. Many countries in the world, including the United States of America, depend on oil from this country. OPEC has this country as the main supplier of crude oil. The country is also the cultural center for all Muslims across the world, with a large number of imams and other Islamic officials and faithful making yearly trips to its city of Mecca (Sherifa, 2005).
They come as tourists and this has turned the country into the largest tourist destination in this region (Peter, 2008). All these activities involve the use of money in one way or the other. Because of this, the country’s financial sector has the best opportunity to take advantage and expand beyond the confines of Saudi Arabia. This is because the above factors put this country at a strategic center for many individuals from different countries. Those countries that import oil from Saudi Arabia may find it necessary to have an account with Saudi banks for ease of transaction with various exporting agencies (Peter, 2008).
However, there is a big challenge when it comes to the handling of women. North and Harvey (2009), report that, unlike Saudi Arabia, many countries across the world have embraced the fact that women have important roles to play in the economic developments of their countries. They treat women in the same way as men.
Ias Ham, Brekhus and Madden (2006), note that female customers of this bank have complained a number of times over unfair treatment. This has earned the bank a negative image in the corporate world. This research steps in to provide means through which this bank and other financial institutions within Saudi Arabia can address the issue of female discrimination. This will help in improving the damaged reputation of these banks hence making them attractive to the locals and international customers irrespective of gender. This would enable them to tap from the oil and tourism industries.
As mentioned above, many scholars have done a lot of research in this field. They have come up with a great finding that can be implemented to give the industry a new dimension. The research by Michael, Lino and James (1998) gives guidelines on how government should collaborate with this sector to ensure the growth of the economy. This dissertation suggests that if the two collaborate, this sector will have a great footing and it will flourish. Government intervention would increase banking among women. This means that the government should erect stricter laws that aim at abolishing discrimination based on gender. Many other scholars have done related research and their findings are of positive impact on this industry. However, an obvious gap exists in this literature. In as much as they cover discrimination of women, which is prevalent in many of the banking institutions in this country, they have not given an in-depth analysis of how this segregation affects the performance of women working in such institutions. They also lack analysis concerning discrimination of women towards the performance of these firms in the current competitive market. This research, therefore, sets to address these issues comprehensively.
Although the past researchers have a comprehensive overview of the industry, their reports employ different methodologies that would not be useful to other young researchers who need to carry out research on this field at a later date. The methodologies applied had little practicability that might be applied by other researchers in this field as many of them are rushed up and hence lack details of how such research was conducted (Peter, & Graham, 1994) Others were obviously done out of necessity but do not reflect the entire picture of the report. This research, therefore, aims at providing a working methodology that would be relevant to other researchers that would be interested in conducting further research in this field. It will be an important secondary source of information to them.
To the government of Saudi Arabia, this document will be useful in the formulation of policies that will create a better working environment for all its citizens, irrespective of their gender. It is important because there has been pressure from the Committee on Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which has an environment that is tolerant to both genders in places of work or other institutions. The government has been accused of laxity towards implementing policies that would curtail such discriminatory acts (Sherifa, 2005). This research would be of importance as it explores avenues through which this can be achieved without being seen as a radical departure from Islamic norms and traditions, which are still held dearly by the majority of citizens.
This research is also expected to answer many questions that foreign investors may have in this country. It sets to dispel or confirm some of the commonly held beliefs about this country. This is done in a comprehensive manner by eliminating any form of bias that may have existed in the previous researches. This would also be of help to other traders who are interested in developing commercial relationships with the state. To those individuals seeking employment opportunities in this land, especially women, this report will be very vital as it explores various theories about this country and the working environment for both locals and foreign employees.
The methodology section focuses on various aspects of research development. It is an overview of chapter three where the methodology is discussed adequately. It includes methods of data collection, analysis and presentation. Every research project applies a certain research method to achieve its objectives depending on its goals (Abdurrahman, 2010). The methods used to conduct research in this project are compared closely with the methods proposed in the research proposal (Anderson, 2004). In research, design deals primarily with aims, uses, purposes, intentions, and plans within the practical constraints of time, location, money, and availability of staff (Hakim, 2000). In this study, respondents were briefed in advance. The officials of the Saudi American Bank were given relevant notice by the researcher. The study population was also amicably informed in order to get prepared for the study. The briefing was important because it could enhance the reliability of the study. It is also ethical to inform people before researching them. The findings were made public to the researcher as one way of ensuring morality in the study. Furthermore, the researcher observed research ethics by keeping away from criticism.
This research utilized quantitative research methods in conducting the study and collecting data. Quantitative research was used because it aims at summarizing data mathematically. Quantitative research is based on the measurement of the quantity of a variable. A measure must be applied uniformly across all units of study. Quantitative research is a kind of study that utilizes figures to arrive at certain conclusions (Hakim, 2000). In this regard, the research will take the form of a survey, whereby the researcher identifies some individuals and posts questionnaires to them. The sampled population would be selected randomly in order to eliminate biases. The researcher would then make follow-ups by contacting respondents on phone.
A number of reasons underline the interest in this research. It tests the universality of the existing disparity between women and men as regards banking. This aspect stems from the fact that some scholars think women are weaker persons hence their banking behavior is expected to be below that of men (Nonneman, 2006). This study will provide a reasonable basis to test this assertion. The second reason is that the project will provide an opportunity for researchers to explore all methods available that could be utilized to compare female and male baking systems. In the process, it will be an opportunity to conduct an in-depth study in the interesting area of differences between male and female baking. This expansion of knowledge is an important part of research especially in a high-interest area such as banking.
The third reason is that the study will be of high value to many other sectors and departments whose nature of work is similar to that of banking. This means that its conclusions will apply to all departments whose work is not measurable quantitatively, but qualitatively. It will fix the discussion on the applicability of gender-based banking culture. The most applicable sampling method for this exercise was random sampling. Considering that the targeted population consisted of staff at the Saudi American Bank, there was not much risk of having biased data. If the survey needed to cover the entire staff of the Saudi American Bank, systematic sampling coupled with stratified sampling would be ideal to ensure cross-departmental representation. However, this survey targeted just a few staff members hence random sampling proved sufficient to collect required data (Andrzej, & Buchaman, 2007).
Secondary data for analysis in this project came from various publications. These included reports, journal articles and research publications. The other areas where the literature review covered include theories of motivation and their application in various institutions (Clement, & Henry, 2010).
The online questionnaire provided the means of collecting primary data for this project. The survey covered a number of employees working across various shifts at the Saudi American Bank. This sample is representative of the entire cadre of staff targeted by the survey in the bank. The choice of respondents was by random sampling based on the individual’s willingness to participate.
Reliability means the appropriateness, applicability and truthfulness of a study (Ekaterina, 2009). It is the ability of research instruments to produce results that are in agreement with theoretical and conceptual values. In this study, internal validity was ensured by checking the representativeness of the sample. The researcher ensured that the sample used captured all important characters at the Saudi American Bank (Tanke 2000, 4). The validity of a study is measured by what the study claims to measure and the availability of logical errors in the conclusions drawn from the study. Internal validity is the extent to which it is possible to make independent references from the findings of a study, especially if the independent variable influences the dependent variable. On the other hand, external validity is the general application of the findings of a study to other settings (Hakim, 2000). To validate the findings of this study, a pilot study would be conducted to establish facts.
The theoretical construct of a study is measured using construct validity while convergent validity makes a comparison between the scores that are obtained from different instruments that are used in the study. Unlike convergent validity, divergent validity compares the instruments used in the study that measure opposite concepts. Given the above explanation, the study would be valid and reliable for use by any person or banking experts (Anderson, 2004).
Outline of the Dissertation
Chapter 1 gives the entire research its focus. It has laid the foundation of the entire research upon which the researcher based the investigations. The first section of this chapter gives the introduction and background of this research. It starts by analyzing broader aspects of the current economic situation in the country. It gives the general outlook of the current social structure of Saudi Arabia and the position of women in this country. It then proceeds to give an overview of the Saudi American Bank as a financial institution. This is important as it helps in setting the stage for a detailed analysis of the institution. Furthermore, chapter one focuses on the research problem and research questions. This part explains the purpose of conducting this research. In this part, the researcher has categorically laid two wondering questions that would help guide the research. The research seeks to find concrete solutions to questions and other sub-questions that are supportive of the two main questions. The researcher seeks to develop this research based on these two major questions.
Moreover, chapter one justifies the need for this research. It explains the need to conduct research, as well as how it will affect the entire industry in general and the Saudi American Bank in particular. The chapter moves on to address issues related to methodology. This is just an overview of chapter three. It gives us a picture of how this chapter will look like. It is important to note that this part is not the detailed methodology of this study, as this is discussed in chapter three of this dissertation. It is included in this chapter to make it easier and clearer for anyone using this material.
There is a section in chapter one that deals specifically with definitions. Some terms are used in the dissertation that needs to be clearly defined. In this part, the researcher has given a comprehensive definition of various terms that may not be familiar to any user. This is important because this dissertation is not restricted to Saudi nationals alone. This material may be useful to any scholar, organization or government unit in various countries. For this reason, it is important that they are able to understand every terminology used in this work.
Issues to do with limitations, delimitations and key assumptions of this dissertation were also addressed in chapter one. This is management research and it majorly deals with human beings. Human beings may not be put under some constant conditions as is possible when conducting a purely scientific research. There must be some assumptions put in place to help control other variables. These assumptions must be made very clear at this early stage in order to avoid criticism that would come from examiners or other scholars. The limitations are also exposed to other researchers, as they may hamper the research process in one way or another. Delimitations, as well as how the researcher was able to counter them are also addressed in chapter one. The last part of chapter one is a summary of the whole of the research. It is a detailed outlook of the content of the dissertation. It also acts as the transitory part of the next chapter, which is a literature review.
Chapter two of this dissertation is the literature review. In this chapter, the researcher has given a brooder outlook of various literature that has been done by previous scholars in this industry. Emphasis was given to articles that have broadly talked about discrimination against women in this country and how this has affected their performance. Articles on the performance of various banks within this country and the forces behind their success were also analyzed.
Chapter three of this dissertation is about the methodology. This is now a detailed outlook of the procedures that the researcher undertook when collecting and analyzing data. This chapter discusses the research model employed in this research, the questionnaire design and the theoretical and conceptual framework of the study. This part also gives the sampling method used, the sources of data utilized, the validity and reliability of this report and a summary of this research.
Chapter four of this dissertation is a detailed discussion of the findings of this report. The researcher has taken time to give a comprehensive analysis of the data gathered. This part provides an outlook of the Saudi American Bank working environment from the perspective of the researcher. This is given in regard to both primary and secondary sources of data. For the purpose of clarity, this chapter has been divided into sub-sections, each addressing the concerns raised by the questions that motivated this research. This section provides the implication of this research to the society of Saudi Arabia, the Saudi American Bank and other future researches in this field.
Chapter 5 is the conclusion of the entire work. It provides a summarized observation of the researcher. In this chapter, the researcher provides recommendations that would be important to various groups of individuals. The recommendations aim at strengthening the leadership of this country, the management and employees of the Saudi American Bank, foreign investors and employees, and the future scholars who will be interested in conducting research in this field.
This research was carried out in a Muslim nation hence there are some words that may not be common in the normal context of the English language. The researcher, therefore, sets this section for explaining these terms. Some words and phrases considered technical are also explained in this section. This was done to ensure that this report remains relevant in the context from which it was conducted while remaining relevant to those in other parts of the world.
- Abaya: a black cloak that covers almost all parts of the body from shoulder to the toe, worn by Muslim women.
- Abu Dhabi Buzz: a forum for women, created in 2009 in the United Arabs Emirates to help in ensuring their general welfare.
- Adverse: something unpleasant, unfavorable or undesirable
- Affected Class: a group of individuals who have been victims of social discrimination in one way or the other as a customer or an employee of the Saudi American Bank.
- Affirmative Action: this refers to a set of procedures or programs that are always aimed at ensuring equity at a workplace, in an organization or in a country.
- Allah: God or the creator.
- Anti-Semitism: a general and unfounded hostility toward a certain group of individuals based on their gender, race or religion.
- CEDAW: Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women: an international body that fights any form of women’s discrimination across the world.
- Culture: a set of principles that guide the general way of life of a certain group of people
- Discrimination: prejudice directed towards a certain group of individuals.
- EEOC: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission: a US-based organization that ensures there is equality at the workplace.
- Formal Complaint: a written complaint made by an individual against another or an institution alleging that stated unlawful acts were done against them.
- Halaqa: a gathering of Muslim faithful for the purpose of learning Islam.
- Hikmah: general wisdom or the highest attainable level of knowledge one can achieve.
- Iblis: the devil, Satan, also known as Shytan.
- ‘Id: a festive day for the Muslims.
- Ikhtilaf: a disagreement in principle among Muslim scholars.
- Ikrah: a physical or mental force.
- Iman: personal faith
- Islamophobia: refers to fear and hatred towards Islam as a religion and those who practice it.
- Jahannam: hell, a place of suffering where those who sin on the Earth go to suffer when they die, according to the teachings of Quran.
- Jahl: an act that is considered of ignorance before an Islamic court
- Job security: job protection or the assurance of ones job.
- Khilaaf: a discord, controversy or a dispute between Muslim faithful.
- Khuluq: a standard way of behavior expected of one or general ethics.
- Madrasah: a schooling system among the Muslims
- Mahram: a husband or closest male relative of a woman.
- Mecca: a city in Saudi Arabia considered very holy by Muslims.
- Niqba: a facial veil worn by Muslim women that covers their entire face.
- OFCCP: Office of Federal Contract Compliance Program: a unit within the US department of labor.
- OPEC: Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries
- Protected Class: a group of individuals who enjoy some privileges over others within an organization, a region or a state because of their gender, race, religion or any other demographical class considered superior to others.
- Quran: the Islamic holy book
- Reverse Discrimination: unfair or unfavorable practice mated towards the majority members of a given society or group.
- Sexual Harassment: this refers to sexual advancement, physically, verbally, visually or otherwise, which are made by an individual to another but are unwelcome by the person they are made to.
- Shariah: Islamic law that governs the running of most Islamic countries
- Shia Muslims: a section of Muslims that makes about 20% of the Muslim population in the world, majorly found in Iran, Iraq, Bahrain, Yemen and Lebanon.
- Sunni Muslims: a section of Muslims that makes about 80% of the total Muslim population in the world, majorly found in Saudi Arabia, the United Arabs Emirates, parts of Africa and other world regions. They make over 90% of the population of Saudi nationals.
- Sura: a verse in the Quran.
- Systemic Discrimination: an employment practice that perpetuates the use of different criteria to different employees seeking the same job opportunity, on the basis of gender, race or religion.
- Talaq: a divorce
- Uqubat: a section of the Shariah law that specifically deals with punishment
- Workforce Diversity: refers to a pool of workers with varied experience and from different backgrounds.
Delimitations, Scope and key Assumptions
In the process of collecting data for this research, analysis of the gathered data and compiling data, the researcher encountered a number of limitations and delimitations. This research was conducted within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, specifically in the Riyadh region. This was the scope of primary data collection. However, this firm is large, with its branches in other countries like Kuwait, the United Arabs Emirates and the United Kingdom (Ham, Brekhus, & Madden, 2006). Nevertheless, the sample population for this research was within the confines of this region. This report is meant to be an inclusive analysis of the entire operations of the Saudi American Bank. The society in the United Kingdom has a very sharp contrast to that of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (Abdurrahman, 2010). In the United Kingdom, women have attained the status where they are considered an equal force to that of men. They can join any profession without fear of intimidation in whatsoever manner. In contrast, Saudi society is still not ready for a professional woman. Peter and Graham (1994) report that they still hold to the traditional idea that women are not supposed to take important roles in society.
The researcher based this dissertation on the primary data gathered from this country, and this would not be representative of what is happening in the United Kingdom. To counter this challenge, the researcher used secondary sources of data in the literature review in order to have a clear picture of what is happening in other countries where this bank has branches, especially in the United Kingdom. A review of secondary data reveals that the bank has more potentialities only if it offers equal opportunities to female and female clients. Gender becomes one of the hindrances to the success of the bank.
This research was done to find ways through which the Saudi American Bank could deal with the issue of gender imbalance in its operations. It was intended to find out the effect of having two branches of the same company for the two genders, and how the two compare. This would lead to making general advice to the bank and to the concerned authorities of Saudi Arabia of having a system in the society where both genders are treated equally in all respects. This had to be made clear to all the respondents as essential ethics for research.
Determined to maintain the ethics in this research, the researcher had to get a few willing individuals to respond to the questionnaires designed for this research. Although the researcher experienced constraints in the time available for the research, it was possible to conduct surveys, send and receive questionnaires, analyze data and write this dissertation in time. The researcher was also able to manage the available finances to meet the cost of this research successfully.
This research is purely management research, and the focus is on human beings. Unlike pure sciences where specimens can be manipulated in a controlled environment, it is not possible to control human beings. It is not possible to create a controlled environment where the research would be based on. People have different traits and the feelings of one individual can never be the same as that of the other. Because of these facts, the researcher came up with several assumptions that would help make this research a reality. Some of the key assumptions made in this research were as follows.
Saudi Arabia is an Islamic country, with the populace actively practicing the Islamic culture.
- The leadership of Saudi Arabia is guided by Islamic principles as taught in the Quran (Harvey, & North, 2003).
- The law that is practiced in Saudi Arabia is strictly based on the Shariah laws as taught in the Madrasah and other law schools (Joseph, Johnson, & Howard, 2010).
- The Saudi American Bank has introduced the female section of the bank due to the pressure from the society and the need to remain relevant in a society that is very intolerant towards women (Kent, & Thompson, 2005).
- The management of Saudi American Bank has an obligation to act within its mandate to ensure fairness and justice is practiced in its branches within and outside Saudi Arabia (Kent, & Thompson, 2005).
- Women of this society have resigned to their social status, always willing to do as per the demands of their husbands or their assigned mahram (Harvey, & North, 2003).
The planned scope of this study was in the context of the banking sector in Saudi Arabia, beyond which, any generalization of the findings may not hold. The research was entirely based on the culture and practice of Islam (the Sunni Muslims that account for about 90% of the country’s total population (Vassiliev, 2002).
It is also worth noting that the society of Saudi Arabia is yet to realize the social equality that is witnessed in other parts of the world, especially in the western world. The report done by Sohrab and Farhad (2006) affirms that this society is highly patriarchal and does not tolerate ideas of equality, especially those advocated for by the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). For this reason, the application of this research should be in the context of a strict Islamic culture, with Islamic law as the main source of law. The application of this research in a society that has achieved social freedom for both genders may not have the results expected as stated in the last section of this research.
This research has clearly introduced the topic in its first section by giving a clear picture of what the society of Saudi Arabia looks like. It has provided a detailed overview of the position of women and their relationships with male counterparts. Through research questions and research problems, this section provides the direction taken by the researcher while conducting this research. It also gives a hypothetical overview of what is to be expected from the findings. This is important as it enables anyone consuming this material to conceptualize what the research was all about and expected findings. The hypotheses are what the researcher intended to confirm in the study. The section also justifies the need for this study. It starts by appreciating the fact that other scholars have done research on this topic and they have made various findings, which are very useful in this industry.
However, the researcher explains the need for further research due to the impracticability of some of these past researches or missing gaps. The researcher has also used this section to give a reflection of how the research was carried out. It outlines the methodology used by the researcher. This is necessary to help users of this report to understand clearly how data collection, analysis and presentation were conducted. It is a brief reflection of chapter three of this dissertation, which comprehensively discusses the methodology used. Some terms, which were used but are considered technical, were also explained in this chapter. Some Islamic terms used in this paper were also explained. The section ends by giving limitations and delimitations of this report. This helps in defining the scope of this report. In this section, the researcher has pointed out some of the challenges encountered when carrying out research. Based on this, the dissertation proceeds to give a detailed description of the research.
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