Islam and tribal etiquette deeply influence the Emirati culture, and these cultural factors influence human resource practice in the country. The power distance in this society is high, with people exhibiting a high degree of acceptance for inequalities in wealth and power. Second, there is high gender differentiation with traditional male role expectations of achievement, power, and control being emphasized. The rights of women in this country are limited, and this is further compounded by religious mores situating masculinity as superior.
On the economic aspect, there is a high degree of unemployment among the Emirati populace, with most of the workforce being dominated by expatriates.
The government does not interfere with issues of wages as it does not set minimum wages for workers except in the banking sector. The UAE government has introduced ’Emiratization policies’ to address the HR issues in the country with a focus on hiring and developing local talent. It also has policies to ensure the job security of Emiratis as employers seeking to dismiss Emirati employees must notify the Labor Ministry 30 days before the termination order is affected.
An important ethical HR issue in this society is bridging the gap between the expatriate workforce and Emirati workers who feel inferior to expatriates.
The power distance in this country is high but at a lower index compared to UAE that is at 49 versus 80. The society engenders masculinity, and managers must employ tactics oriented toward the management of a masculine workforce, including assertiveness and decisiveness. Unlike UAE, which is a collectivist society as influenced by culture, South Africa is individualistic with people expected to take care of themselves.
On the issue of uncertainty avoidance, South Africa has a low preference for avoidance compared to the UAE with a high preference for avoiding uncertainty. In a bid to protect citizens from exploitation and to alleviate wage inequalities, the government has set minimum wage requirements as $1.45 per hour. The Department of Labor has taken strides to amend South Africa’s labor policies that have, for decades, made it easy for works to be exploited, abused, and underpaid (Westhuizen & Wessels, 2010). The ethical HR issues of concern in this country relate to having organizations adopt best HR practices for the benefit of South Africa employees.
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