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Title: Institutional and personal influences on career choice : a study on MBA students in Saudi Arabia
Author: Albugamy, Rajeh Tami
ISNI:       0000 0004 5352 0210
Awarding Body: Brunel University
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2014
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This study examines the career choices of MBA students in Saudi Arabia. Despite the government’s efforts in reducing unemployment by encouraging young Saudis, including managers, to work in the private sector, the number of jobless educated Saudis is on the rise. The public sector seems to be more attractive despite its limited job opportunities. While most career choice theories are concerned with personal choices, this study aims to address the underlying reasons for the preference towards the public sector by investigating the influence of institutional factors (Saudization, Wasta, social status, parental obedience, and religion) and personal motivational factors (intrinsic and extrinsic). Convenience sampling was employed and, overall, 273 Saudi MBA students (157 males and 116 females) responded to self-administered questionnaires. Data was analysed and the research hypotheses were tested by using descriptive statistics, binary logistic regression and independent samples t-tests. Findings showed that Wasta (networks), parental obedience (family), Islamic religion and extrinsic factors were significant predictors of the career choices of Saudi MBA students, with a preference towards work in the public sector. Saudization (i.e. replacing foreign workers with Saudis), social status, and intrinsic factors did not significantly predict the career choices. Cultural cognitive factors (parental obedience and religion) were found to be the strongest predictors within the institutional dimension compared to the normative factors (Wasta and social status) and the regulative factor (Saudization). Female participants considered Wasta, parental obedience and intrinsic motivations more important in their career choices compared to their male counterparts. The findings suggest that the career choices of Saudi MBA students are not determined solely by the individuals’ personal needs and that one should take into account the wider social and cultural factors which are more influential in non-Western contexts such as Saudi Arabia. The theoretical and practical implications of the findings are of interest to researchers, policymakers and employers in public and private organisations in Saudi Arabia. Keywords: Career choice, Saudization, Wasta, religion, intrinsic and extrinsic, Saudi Arabia, MBA students, gender.
Supervisor: Slutskaya, N.; Simpson, R. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Saudization ; Wasta ; Religion ; Intrinsic and extrinsic ; Gender