The proposal is about the role of HR management in recession, specifically in UAE aviation sector enterprises, with a look at Emirates Airlines, Dubai Airports, and Air Arabia. The study will be reviewing the roles that HR plays during the recession test whether it causes firms to withstand troubling times or it fails to do so. The study will use surveys as instruments for data collection. Primary data will come from firms in the aviation sector and will take about three months to complete, including the analysis. The findings will be presented in a report to help influence policy and advise organizations on the best ways of structuring their human resources to take advantage of opportunities that can be availed in recessions.
The topic of Literature Review
The United Arab Emirates is home to many expatriate workers. The ease of opening businesses and attracting workers from around the world has generally caused the cost of doing business in the country to remain low. However, in a study done by Sherif shows that demand for labor has been a major factor causing challenges for HR management in the UAE (154). there is open unemployment as most graduates do not have the prerequisite skills for dealing with the demands of the job market.
Thus, most organizations have to rely on foreign workers, who come with the necessary skills for gainful employment. Thus, it is expected that during recessions, firms will have a more troubling time as foreign workers find stagnating incomes and lack of other benefits as disincentives for seeking job opportunities in the UAE. HR managers will have to deal with the labor pool of less qualified candidates and the decreasing chances of attracting well qualified foreign workers. Sherif (2013) also reported that the rigid institutional labor policies in the UAE are negatively affecting the responsiveness of the HR strategies at keeping enterprises competitive.
The study by Lim indicated that the UAE demographics point to a large entry of the generation Y population into the workforce in the current decade (281). This implies that much of the strategies undertaken by HR management will be dependent on the skills and job attitude presented by this generation. The study showed that the generation Y workforce in the UAE, which includes Emirati and non-Emirati seeks stability as the most important life priority. The research increases the understanding of the life values and job motivations of Generation Y employees in the UAE, which would be instrumental in setting up strategies to influence job performance.
O’Connell looked at the rise of Gulf carriers, emphasizing on Emirates Airlines to reveal that the airline was aided by its hub and spoke strategy (339). The strategy implies that it causes a majority of the airline’s employees to be based in its main hub in the UAE where they can switch among flights and other operations with ease.
Meanwhile, Katzenbach and Bromfield note that even though economic downturns call for cuts in costs, only 10% of companies can sustain cost reductions after three years (9). The researchers show that the most successful cutters understand their workers and they engage them through rational and emotional arguments. They influence workers to take action while focusing on where the company is and where it is going. The researcher further clarifies that it is possible to motivate workers in positive ways so that firms save on costs as soon as the recession hit and keep the cost savings for longer than conventional approaches offer.
For HR, organization culture is an important element of sustaining progress and good performance in recessions. Marks and Mirvis showed that HR actions can provide four distinct cultural states as follows (870). In the first one, HR managers promote pluralism to allow employees to coexist after a merger. In the second one, HR managers blend the cultures of their companies to achieve harmony inspirations. In the third option, the managers assimilate aspects of one culture to the other and in the fourth option, one company leaves its elements of culture to take up new norms. A recession is a dynamic environment, and companies have to survive it for them to sustain their operations. According to Sanyal and Sett, firms can survive recessions because they become different even in their HR options (1920).
The study shows that eventual changes lead to success, with most of the uncertainties addressed being stock, turnover, brand management, and data management for efficient decision-making. The study showed that when HR options are exercised, they mediate the impact of environmental uncertainties on firm performance. They also lead to superior firm performance.
- The objective of the study is to find out whether the three identified aviation organizations in the UAE are using HR to help them act on challenges that a recession environment creates on business.
- The research will test the idea that most firms abandon their existing HR functions and methods and then set up new ones as temporary measures to handle challenges caused by the recession.
- The study will find out the relationship between the traditional functions of HR and the conditions of recession, with the emphasis being to understand the number of duties that become too difficult to handle, forcing the HR to wait until the recession is over.
- The study will demonstrate whether HR functions in the three aviation sector organizations explored, cause them to work with business partners and manage the acculturation of employees in cases where the firms adopt employees from other companies.
- The study will seek to show whether any opportunities exist for HR when facing recessions and whether any of the three selected firms are embracing those opportunities to gain in the short-term and long-term.
After completion of the project, there was sufficient information to influence decision making for HR functions and strategies in the three identified organizations. Some HR practices are expected to reflect positively on the commitment and engagement scores. Thus, they contributed to the improvement of the firm’s performance relative to the industry’s performance. The result should show that increase in budget funding for HR activities during recessions has both positive and negative effects on financial performance and the robustness of a given strategy employed by HR would be the key differentiating factor among the firms researched.
Why are you interested in the project?
A lot has been written about the UAE being able to go through recessions without significant damage to its economic growth prospects. By having a specific study on a company function concerning performance in the aviation sector, the study will be offering insights about the reality of the UAE and at the same time be practical for use by managers. The selection focus area is the role of HR during recessions and this will contribute to the existing understanding of HR issues in UAE. many other studies have focused on immigration and expatriate workers and less on the HR strategies of coping with tough operating environments for firms.
What are the key questions the project attempts to answer?
Do human resources provide sufficient incentives and guidelines to employees, causing them to trust the leadership of the three UAE-based aviation sector firms? This question forms the primary intention of the research, which is to understand what role the human resources department plays in an organization during a recession. In such times, the conditions for doing business are challenging, and the company’s management must make tough decisions regarding the number of workers and the type of employees to keep.
The expectation is that during recessions, firing and reassignment of jobs, including demotions will be prevalent compared to hiring and promotions to management positions. Therefore, employee motivation and their expression of their organizational citizenship behavior will also come under stress.
What research methods do you intend to use?
The research will be a cross-sectional and qualitative and quantitative. It will use interviews for data collection. Respondents will be the leaders in HR in the three different UAE based aviation companies namely Emirates Airlines, Dubai Airports, and Air Arabia. It will capture responses from employees using survey questionnaires.
What primary or secondary data sources do you intend to use?
The primary source of data will be employee responses to the survey, and HR leaders’ responses in interviews. The workers will provide the data that will be tested in the research to find out whether there are specific roles that HR departments or managers need to do during recessions to achieve their organization’s objectives. The data source will be from Air Arabia, Dubai Airports and Emirates Airlines. A large sample will be used for the study to improve credibility (Neuman 108).
The Role of Human Resources during the recession and the effect on employees’ commitment and engagement in UAE based aviation Sectors – Dubai Airports, Emirates Airlines, Air Arabia.
The plan is to commence with data collection before working on the analysis and finally providing a research report.
Brenner, Bryan. “The Value of Increasing Investment in Employee Benefits During an Economic Downturn.” Journal of Financial Service Professionals, 63.1 (2009): 29-31. Print.
DeWolf, Mark, and Katherine Klemmer. “Job Openings, Hires, and Separations Fall During the Recession.” Monthly Labor Review 133.5 (2010): 36-44. Print.
De Hauw, Sarah, and Ans De Vos. “Millenials’ Career Perspectives and Psychological Contract Expectations: Does the Recession Lead to Lowered Expectations?” Journal of Business and Psychology 25.2 (2010): 293-302. Print.
Katzenbach, Jon, and Paul Bromfield. “How to Cut Costs in a Recession – With Help from Employees”. Strategy & Leadership 37.3 (2009): 9-16. Print.
Lim, Hwee. “Generation Y Workforce Expectations: Implications for the UAE”. Education, Business & Society 5.4 (2012): 281-293. Print.
Marks, Mitchelle Lee, and Phillip H. Mirvis. “A Framework for the Human Resources Role in Managing Culture in Mergers and Acquisitions.” Human Resource Management 50.6 (2011): 859-877. Print.
Neuman, William. Social Research Methods: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches. Boston: Pearson, 2011. Print.
O’Connell, John F. “The Rise of the Arabian Gulf Carriers: An Insight into the Business Model of Emirates Airline”. Journal of Air Transport Management 17.6 (2011): 339-346. Print.
Sanyal, Sanyal, and Parkett K. Sett. “Managing Human Resources in Dynamic Environments to Create Value: Role of HR Options.” The International Journal of Human Resource Management 22.9 (2011): 1918-1941. Print.
Sherif, Souad. “Macroeconomic Policy, Localization and Reducing Unemployment”. Competitiveness Review 23.2 (2013): 158-174. Print.