Saudi Arabia has a well developed healthcare system incorporating private and private facilities. Largely, there are healthcare centers that offer universal healthcare services incorporating emergency, preventive as well as basic services to the culturally rich Saudi Arabian population (Marshall, 1999). Largely, the government is quite instrumental in the provision of healthcare to its citizens. The government has put in place a referral system that has over three hundred hospitals offering both general and specialized facilities. Thus, vetting and placement of the staff is undertaken by the government.
The cultural influences are quite significant as they determine specific roles accorded to men and women medical professionals and practitioners (Mansour & Al-Osaimi, 2003). This document presents an in depth study and research of the way the rich Saudi Arabian culture influences the human resource management as well as quality of service delivery of the healthcare facilities. Introduction to the problem The Saudi Arabian culture is based on the Islamic law and religious teachings, thus there is a disparity in the manner in which men and women are treated.
Largely, women are discriminated against in regard to the employment opportunities a well as management of healthcare facilities. Saudi Arabia’s law is based upon such Islamic Shariah premises of equality, justice and consultation (Baldo, 1995). Nonetheless, women are not accorded similar equality as their male counterparts. Although, the cultural stipulations play a significant role in setting the gender roles and expectations, sometimes women prefer to work in segregated areas willingly.
Through close guidance of the highlighted research questions, this study will explore the cultural influences that impact management styles and staff selection in the healthcare sector. Purpose of the study In any society, cultural practices are critical in determining and influencing personal thoughts, behaviors as well as emotions. More often than not, culture shapes the perceptions and socialization of individuals as both the sub cultural and socioeconomic differences determine the levels of interaction and the manner in which activities are carried out.
Data and information obtained from this research will be used to explore the impact that culture has on the way human resources management as well as service delivery in the healthcare sector is undertaken. Literature review The Saudi Arabian Ministry of health is tasked with provision of comprehensive as well as integrative healthcare to its citizens which complies with the stipulated Islamic principles (Long, 2007). Largely, the government ensures that the health care sector is upgraded through provision of qualified employees who not only ensure health care awareness is achieved but also provide the best services to its citizens.
The government boasts a wide range of healthcare facilities. According to Long, (2007) in such healthcare sectors as maternal healthcare and immunization, significant improvement in the quality and service delivery has been recorded. The government ensures that employees have appropriate training and good remuneration that ensures they are well motivated thereby able to undertake the specified tasks. Cultural and social complexities are quite prevalent in Saudi Arabia with extensive gender segregation being exhibited in the country.
Women are expected to be fully veiled while in the presence of male counterparts and avoid any from of contact from unrelated males. According to Ali & Mahmoud (2003), a complete veil popularly known as niqab and abaya is meant to ensure that women maintain moral behavior as well the honor of their family is upheld. Ambika, (1998) asserts that for convenience purposes it is common to have women working in separate offices so as to unveil their faces and hair without being subjected to any form of harassment.
Women are not allowed to undertake outside assignment except while in the company of their male relatives popularly referred to as Maram (Littlewood &Yousuf, 2001). Largely, women are employed in sectors where they will offer medical help to women clientele while male practitioners are restricted in areas where they will serve male clients. Nonetheless, in the even that a female patient requires specialized treatment which can only be effected by a male doctor, then the male doctor is allowed to offer the services under close watch of a female nurse. Research questions
This research is intended to establish the correlation between cultural influences in Saudi Arabia and the management practices that are in existence. Primarily, the research question that this research will be pegged upon therefore is: • Does Culture influence the gender roles and management practices of the Saudi Arabian health care system? In order to further widen the scope of this primary research question, other specific questions will also be incorporated. These specific questions are outlined below; • What is the prevalence of male and female managers in public and private sector hospitals?
• Does culture have any influence on management roles of public hospitals in Saudi Arabia? • Do religious beliefs have any impact on gender roles? • Does personal behavior and legal procedures influence selection and placement of staff to manage of healthcare facilities? • Has modernity had any influence on the management of healthcare facilities? Scope of the study This research will focus primarily on the public healthcare sector. The main reason why the study will be concentrated in the public sector is because in Saudi Arabia, most of the population relies on the public hospitals for provision of healthcare services.
Largely treatment is provided free of charge in the public hospitals although patients maybe required to purchase prescribed drugs (Khoja & Kabbash, 2007). In public healthcare facilities, Islamic rules and culture influences are adhered to strictly during staff placement process and are also the guiding principles in the daily running of the facilities (Khoja & Kabbash, 2007). The public sector will essentially present an ideal backdrop upon which the research will be based. Research methodology This segment details the data collection modalities that will be used to analyze highlighted research questions.
Largely, the research will incorporate live interviews and questionnaires to collect data which is not only reliable but also valid. Interviews are reliable as the interviewed medical professionals will provide original data obtained from their specific work stations. It will also put the researcher at a advantageous position as the researcher will not only collect the data but will also observe the respondents. Additionally, the questionnaire will be structured in such a way that the research questions will be met and will therefore make data interpretation process easy.
Through the use of questionnaires, the researcher is assured of obtaining detailed data that is essentially useful in the analysis of the research questions. Interviews will essentially provide up to date data as the interviewed respondents are those currently operating in the public healthcare facilities. Additionally, interviews essentially enrich the data interpretation process especially because some respondents are likely to share in depth insights regarding the management of the healthcare facilities.
Interviews will also work to collect conclusive data especially because questions that may be misinterpreted in the questionnaires can be easily addressed. Interview Schedule In order to have valid data collected on the research questions, it is essential that only reliable respondents are interviewed. Largely, the bulk of respondents will be the former and current public health care management officers as they are aware of the modalities that are put in place to ensure efficient management of the facilities (Marshall, 1999). In this regard, the interviewer has approached over twelve respondents namely;
• Two Saudi Arabia Ministry of health Human resources officers • Two public hospitals Chief Executive officers. • Four male Public health doctors • Four female public health doctors Additionally, the researcher has developed a questionnaire with the specific research questions that the respondents will be expected to respond to. The targeted respondents have expressed outmost willingness to provide required data. Reflection on limitations The researcher is well aware of the limitations associated with collection of the required data.
For instance, getting respondents who are willing to offer required information in the projected time span is a challenge. The targeted respondents are medical professionals who have tight and busy schedules and it’s possible that they will be handling patients. Nonetheless, in order to counter this setback, the researcher will incorporate technological advancements such as web teleconferencing thereby be able to undertake online interviews. Another challenge that maybe exhibited through the use of questionnaires is the misinterpretation of research questions.
In this regard, the researcher will ensure that the research questions are terse and straightforward in order to avoid any irrelevant responses. Ethical concerns Any credible research must adhere to strict ethical standards. Thus, the researcher has put in place principles to ensure contemporary ethical standards are adhered to. Firstly, the researcher will ensure anonymity of all respondents through concealing all identities. Secondly, respondents will not be coerced to provide required data; rather they will provide all information willingly.
Thirdly, respondents will be informed beforehand the data collection procedure as well as the risks associated with the research process. Lastly, respondents will have an opportunity to validate data collected as the researcher will avail copies of the research to the respondents. Conclusion This research will rely on primary data collection procedures namely interviews and questionnaires to collect valid data essential in making inferences regarding cultural influences in the management of healthcare facilities in Saudi Arabia.
All the targeted respondents are involved in the management of the healthcare facilities in Saudi Arabia; hence there is no doubt that collected data and research analysis will be valid. Upon receipt of feedback on this proposal, the researcher will formulate interview schedules that will help investigate the culture impact on human resource management as well as quality of service delivery in Saudi Arabia healthcare facilities. Time schedule This Grant schedule will guide the time durations essential for accomplishment of the total research.