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Globalising employee engagement: myths and reality; a Middle East perspective.

Elewa, Tamer F.


Tamer F. Elewa


Dennis Tourish

Ken Russell


The purpose of this research was to investigate if selected cultural and national aspects had an effect on employee engagement drivers. Another aim was to find out if applying global engagement tools in different cultures would provide an accurate engagement report. Finally, a new tool was proposed and examined in this study by companies operating in the Middle and Near East regions. Employee engagement has been of growing concern to business leaders as well as occupational psychologists, since it was claimed to relate to organisational productivity and long term success. Despite this growing concern and various consultancy solutions provided, few academic researches tackled cross cultural employee engagement aspects. In this research, both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies were used. The qualitative research data consisted of two in-depth interviews with employees working in the Middle and Near East regions. The quantitative research data was gathered with the aid of two questionnaires. One hundred and eighty nine responses were received out of two hundred and seventeen questionnaires sent. The response rate was eighty seven per cent. This research produced a number of key findings: (a) Cultural, national and organisational factors affect engagement drivers. (b) Engagement drivers change over time, at least in priority. (c) Measuring engagement through a globally designed fixed tool is not likely to produce accurate results that management can use to plan for actions. The main conclusion drawn from this research was that current approaches to measuring employee engagement are taking engagement drivers as common for granted, and this concept should be revised. The author recommends that leaders should investigate and run an analysis of engagement drivers before any engagement survey is undertaken. A new tool has been presented by the research and was tested by a number of organisations. This tool takes into account building engagement questionnaires based on key drivers analysed from specific work cultures.


ELEWA, T.F. 2013. Globalising employee engagement: myths and reality; a Middle East perspective. Robert Gordon University, DBA thesis.

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Nov 7, 2013
Publicly Available Date Nov 7, 2013
Keywords Employee engagement; Culture; Work environment; Engagement tools
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