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The strategic value of learning: a comparative study between multinational private and public sectors organisations in Saudi Arabia

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

Although there is consensus that national Human Resource Development policy is important, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) the ways in which strategic human resources development (SHRD) is undertaken by employing organisations remains under-researched. The study investigated the value attached to learning in multinational private and also public organisations in Saudi Arabia. The three research objectives were to: examine the strategic value of learning from CEO managers‟ and HRD practitioners‟ perceptions in multinational private and public organisations in Saudi Arabia; establish the extent to which the value attached to learning in the public sector is different from that in the multinational private sector in Saudi Arabia and, to examine any differences in the value attached to learning by HRD specialists and senior managers of organisations in KSA.
Making use of a constructionist ontology the thesis explores how these senior staff value and evaluate strategic learning and its contribution to their organisations. An inductive approach is taken with elements of both comparative and cross sectional design. This thesis builds on O‟Driscoll et al. (2005) in the USA and Anderson (2007) in the UK. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken in twenty organisations, with thirty-seven senior participants. Findings were analysed through thematic analysis.
The data suggest that respondents in many KSA organisations evaluate learning through individual performance measured by trainees‟ satisfaction and changes in employee capability, focusing more on short term operational issues rather than organisation strategy. Although the context for HRD in Saudi Arabia is different to that of Western developed economies there are similarities between the finding from this thesis and O‟Driscoll et al, (2005) and Anderson (2007) which suggest that there is a range of challenges associated with putting strategic HRD into practice in employing organisation.
Original languageEnglish
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Award dateSep 2010

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