Introduction and Background:
In this contemporary world the concept of psychological contract is now emerging within the western region. It has received increased attention by the employers and employees for increasing the reciprocity. As, it is referred to the beliefs of an individual pertaining to the terms and conditions of the exchange relationship with another party, it is important to understand its significance in order to maintain a positive and healthy relationship. This concept is based on broader social exchange theories; proposing that the social relationships entails implicit and explicit expectations and obligations. The influence of culture and religion will be also be taken into consideration which can lead to bring change in the psychological contracts of Saudi and non-Saudi academics.
This paper presents research methods and techniques which will be used for analysing the data related to the psychological contracts of academics in Saudi Arabia. This research employs a primary quantitative methodological approach to study the psychological contracts of academics while comparing national and notional academics in Saudi Arabia
Some researchers have conducted scientific research to explore the factors affecting psychological contracts from different angles; few researchers have studied the connection between social-cultural factors and psychological contracts. While many others have researched it within the Western region however, not much research has been found with respect to the Middle East (Sander et al., 2000). This study will be aimed at determining the psychological contracts of Saudi and non-Saudi academics in Saudi higher education institutions. Cultural and religious influences will be taken into consideration which can bring changes in the psychological contracts of Saudi and non-Saudi academics, leading to shaping or transforming the organizational culture as well as employee involvement and satisfaction. In addition, this study will attempt to address the influence of psychological contracts with the provision of an overview pertaining to the cultural and social factors which may create an impact on the psychological contracts of Saudi and non-Saudi academics.
A psychological contract framework will help framethe Saudi Ministry of Higher Education to understand the importance of reciprocity and enable them to practice reciprocity to help strengthen therelationship. This dimension will represent what employees perceive and what their obligations should be with regards to their employer. In addition to this, a psychological contract will support a unique form of reciprocity with its focus on perceived obligations and the completion of these obligations. This study will contribute to the provision of knowledge in the area of relationships among employees and employers of Saudis and non-Saudi academics in higher education institutions, through drawing greater attention to the factors which can affect the psychological contract.Saudi culture is formed of many components, the most influential beingreligion, followed by the ancient Saudi tribal system. Uniquely in the Islamic world, Saudi Arabia is the home of two of the most Holy Mosques in the Muslim religion. Islam is central to Saudi culture, as it has determined the culture’s manners, traditions, social obligations and overall interactions. However, familial kinship and the ancient Saudi tribal systems also hold a considerable influence on a person’s place in Saudi society and can impact whether they succeed or fail in life, both in terms of Saudi traditions and the developing modern culture. Indeed, the Saudi tribalsystem is understood as being of immense importance in the workplace (Aldraehimet al. 2012).
Research Question and Research Objectives:
This study can be considered to be a prominent study in Saudi Arabia, which will add value to the organizational literature, particularly in the field of human resources; it is aimed at determining the psychological contracts of Saudi academics and non-Saudi academics in Saudi universities. The main aim of this study is to determine the socio-cultural factors which may affect the psychological contract of Saudis and non-Saudi academics. One of the important issues is to explain the degree to which understanding Islamic culture and Saudi society is an important for non-Saudi academics who are working in Saudi Universities. This research will be aimed at assessing the psychological contracts of academics while comparing national and non-national academics in Saudi Arabia.
The research questions of this research-based study will be:
- How and in what ways, can cultural factors influence the psychological contracts of Saudi and non-Saudi academics, and what can be done to enhance reciprocity between employers and employees?
- How and in what ways, can social factors influence the psychological contracts of Saudi and non-Saudi academics and what can be done to enhance the reciprocity between employers and employees?
- How, and in what ways, can religious factors influence the psychological contracts of Saudi and non-Saudi academics and what can be done to influence the reciprocity between employers and employees?
- How and in what ways, can political factors influence the psychological contracts of Saudi and non-Saudi academics and what can be done to enhance the reciprocity between employers and employees?
The following will be the objectives of this research based study:
Factors affecting psychological contracts have been an area of interest for different researchers. In fact, some scholars have conducted a scientific study about the concept through different perspective. Nevertheless, this study recognizes the fact that few studies have been done in regards to underscoring the interrelationship between social-cultural factors and psychological contracts. Moreover, most of the studies accessed in this research are based on the western world and not the Middle East because most of the scholars who have researched in this area of research are from the West .
According Turnely and Fieldman (2010), psychological contract has emerged as a common notion in the field of Human Resource Management and positive organizational behavior. In their argument, a recent trend has been noted to be taking roots as several Pakistanis move to the Middle East to spend surmountable time outside their homeland to secure better future and satisfied life . Culture shock remains eminent among the Pakistanis, who move to the Middle East. Studies by Sparrowe and Liden agree that two fundamental assumptions can be made while analyzing psychological contracts. They proposed that individuals may be motivated by something else other than self-interest and that exchanges are regulated by norms other than a balanced relationship
Wayne, on the other hand, argues that national culture or the characteristic profile of a society is dictated by values, attitudes, norms and beliefs . Besides, Saunders alludes that societal, organizational and individual level attributes have the capacity to influence the forms of the psychological contract. He continues that the other two attributes can be understood by analyzing individual level attributes that influence psychological attributes . These studies point out that people from different cultures learn different sets of values that are embedded into the cognitive frameworks.
The proposed research will utilize an exploratory design because only few studies have been carried out on the relationship that exists between the social-cultural factors and psychological contracts among the academics in Saudi Arabia. The exploratory design is considered since it emphasizes on gaining understanding on the interrelation between the social-cultural factors and psychological contracts among both the Saudi and non- Saudi academics as explained by Rousseau . The exploratory design is aimed at generating a familiarity with the facts about factors affecting psychological contracts among academics in Saudi Arabia. It gives direction on the development of techniques that can be used for future investigation on the same research problem. Furthermore, according to Raja, it gives a well-informed picture of the factors that influence the psychological contracts among the Saudi and non-Saudi academics . It addresses all forms of research questions. The target population will consist of academics of both the Saudi and non-Saudi origins at one of the leading universities in Saudi Arabia. Questionnaires will be used to collect data.
Study population and sampling
As stated earlier in the discourse, the proposed research aims at conducting a study on the factors affecting psychological contracts among the nationals and non-nationals in the academic arena in the Saudi Arabia. The research targets both natives and non-native employees in the universities in Saudi Arabia. This area of study is wide. Therefore, it calls for a sampling method that will provide a sample population that will represent the target population with a high degree of certainty . The sampling method should be one that will encourage one participant to refer the researcher to the next participant. Therefore, snowballing will be the most appropriate sampling method. By considering both the nationals and the non-nationals academics in Saudi Arabia, I will be able to vary and compare how the social, cultural and political factors affect their psychological contracts.
The target population is too big considering that there are numerous universities in Saudi Arabia each of them with numerous academics. Therefore, the study will use a representative sample of 100 respondents that will provide an extensive range of information on factors affecting the psychological contracts among academics in Saudi Arabia. The targeted sample population will consist of 80 nationals and 20 non-national employees in the Saudi Arabian university or any higher institution of learning. The respondents will provide sufficient information that will be used to generalize the case study. It is important to accentuate that the research study will reflect on a number of factors before settling on a certain number of respondents. Factors such as nationality and location will be given top priority when coming up with a sample size.
In this study, Purposive sampling technique will be most suitable in creating a sample within samples in the target population. Patton avows that to make generalizations in such a research study, two different classes of individuals must be considered to make generalizations . The two different categories of participants; the nationals and non-nationals academics will provide rich contextual information on psychological contracts and hence help in drawing comprehensive analysis and conclusion.
Data collection methods and instruments
Data will be collected through the use of questionnaires. Questionnaires will be administered to collect data on the factors affecting psychological contracts among employees in the higher institution of learning. Questionnaires with a list of questions will be administered to the respondents to fill in.
Questionnaires will be designed in such a way that questions seek to provide a response to a major research questions. They will be divided into three sections; preliminary sections closed ended questions and the open-ended section. The preliminary section will ask general questions on nationality among other general information. The closed ended section of the questionnaire will provide questions where the respondents will be restricted to provide YES or NO answers. The last section of the questionnaire will provide open-ended questions where the respondents will write their own answers depending on the questions. Most of the questions in the questionnaire will be closed ended for easy analysis.
Data analysis involves the process of inspecting data and transforming it with the aim of getting useful information that will help in drawing substantial conclusions. In this research, responses were obtained through the administration of questionnaires. The responses obtained will be analyzed qualitatively by applying the Multi-Dimensional Analysis Model and qualitative analysis methods. The multi-dimensional model outlines every question in the questionnaire and its response in its own context such that it becomes easy to get a general understanding of the research problem. After getting the qualitative analysis, the responses will be grouped into numerous domains. Since the study will adopt the Purposive Sampling technique, statistics will not be of great use, rather the analysis will try to maximize on the information obtained.
Mechanisms to assure the quality of the study
The findings and conclusion of any research are bound to be affected by various factors, and these factors may affect the credibility of the findings. Since this research study is no exception, mechanisms to improve the quality of this study will be placed.
The researcher will construct member checks that will enable me to validate the credibility of the results. The member checks will also protect me from coming up with findings that do not reflect the research problem accurately, hence controlling biases. Furthermore, the researcher will formulate a systematic design that will act as a guide throughout the study period. The researcher will document the data collection and analysis strategies, to improve accountability. Moreover, the study will use multiple sources of data and numerous data collection methods (triangulation) to get substantiating evidence thus reducing biases. The study will also create data management procedures that will involve recording data collected into both the traditional files and into databases. The created database will ensure proper storage of the data collected and the details of the respondents. It will also facilitate easy access to the data whenever needed.
Research ethics remains a significant concern for researchers in order carry out an authentic and accurate study. A number of ethical issues can be confronted if the ethical considerations are not met during the research. The information of the participants remains strictly confidential while using the relevant information only. As well as this, it will be certainly ensured that the respondents have given consent for participating in the interview; without their consent the interview will not be carried out. In addition to this, it will be assured that the data will not be misrepresented throughout the data collection and research. On the other hand, subjective and unbiased analysis of data and its interpretation will be done for maintaining the validity and reliability of this research. This research will comply with all the legal considerations which may be found. Integrity throughout the research will be embodied and endorsed while using evident and accurate data. The regulations pertaining to plagiarism will also be fully complied with.
The research is an exploratory research that seeks to determine the factors that affect psychological contracts among the Saudi and non-Saudi academics. The findings of this research will help in coming up with decisions and programs that promote psychological contracts among the academics in Saudi Arabian universities. The findings will help to establish what ails the academics in connection to the psychological contracts. This will help in improving their competence and performance. The research also forms a basis for further investigation on the same research problem.
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