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Title: Organizational culture in the Saudi telecommunication sector, by focusing on the role of wasta
Author: Alofi, Mohammed Ghalib
ISNI:       0000 0004 6350 2884
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2017
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The phenomenon of wasta is a controversial topic because of its cultural and social contexts. It is considered as an important indigenous form of informal influence in Saudi society. Recently, the use of wasta has become more common in human resource practices (recruitment, promotion, and training) in Saudi organizations. As a result of such practices, wasta is the primary factor in deciding who obtains a job, promotion, and training. However, studies analysing the impact of wasta on management practices remain limited and most them do not address it systematically. Therefore, this research seeks to fill the gap in the literature pertaining to the various forms of wasta as practiced in Saudi Arabia in order to build a better understanding of its process, practices and impacts. Data were collected from semi-structured interviews with 30 male Saudi employees and managers employed by two telecommunication companies in Saudi Arabia. This is the first study in this respect; no other study to date has discussed what forms wasta takes in Saudi society and the importance of the waseet (middleman) on the outcome of gaining jobs, promotion and training. This study suggests three models relating to the wasta practices: wasta based on one middleman, wasta based on multi-middlemen, and wasta based on the blood connection. The study also shows that wasta inside the company is more effective than when the waseet is operating outside the company and the position and power of the middleman are important factors on the outcome of wasta. Furthermore, this study reveals that wasta negatively impacts on human resource procedures by undermining policies in three ways: bias of implementation; intervention; and ambiguity in policies. The findings of this study could help the authorities eliminate or at least reduce the influence of wasta on human resource management decisions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available