The Role of HRD in Saudi Electric Company.
a) Research problem
Human Resources Development is one of the most important icons for the presently highly dynamic organizations operations globally. Indeed, analysts refer to it as the major pillar for success and development. Tsoukas (2002, 423-425) argues that though many organizations have increasingly appreciated the need for its effective development and progressive upgrading, few have been able to implement the same consideration. Tsoukas (2002, 426) continues to say that due to its direct interlink with the major subcomponents of the organization’s harmony and development, its role has shifted to a higher platform as institutions continue to appreciate the important role played by its continuous development. At this point in time, it is clear that the ability of an organization to carefully establish, then articulate and translate intrinsic considerations of a company’ human resources development is entirely dependent on the prevailing structures, supportive mechanisms, and effective leadership that guide them towards the future with certainty.
Saudi Electric Company is one such company which has established varying human resources development policies and practices in its quest for higher levels of customer value, staff value, better organization culture, and most importantly higher levels of profitability. Zawya (2009) argues that with the company operating in a region that has strong affinity for growth, it has indeed been under great pressure but at the correct niche to assimilate its objectives.
Since its formation, the company has sustained the monopoly of power supply and electricity related aspects in Saudi Arabia and also acted as the main facet for power policies development. It is from this notion that the exemplary performance has curved international interest for its peculiar policies and their execution too. Arthur and Kim (2005, pp, 15701576) point out that analysts have particularly hailed the progress owing to its location at a very volatile region which is mostly under the ‘blanket’ of the rising militia insurgence, terrorism, and extremely harsh environment. How the company has managed to effect these demands remains.
b) Research questions
To effectively establish how the above aspects have been established and effected in tandem with the company’s management strategies, this study sought to answer the following questions. The questions aided in maintaining
(1) What are the Saudi Electric Company policies and principles that guide its major operations in the region?
(2) How has the company implemented these policies in the region? What are the levels of efficiency in the implementation of the HRD policies?
(3) What are the major outcomes from these policies in the region? How does the public benefits from their application?
(4) What are the major setbacks in the implementation of these policies in the country and how can they addressed? Is the public included in the process?
c) Research aims and objectives
To ensure that this research solved the above mentioned problem and maintained the necessary scope of operation that holistically answers the above questions, this study was guided by the following aims and objectives.
l To find out the extent of and implication of the HRD policies and practices at the organizational level.
l To establish the outcome of the HRD policies and practices at the national level national level and its implications.
l To explore the ability of the company to articulate the objectives as outlined in its considerations.
l To seek the relationship between the country’s progress and efficiency of the SEC in HRD policies and practices.
It is worth noting that the study manifests the above aims and objectives at all the stages in its progress as they form the major platform for intrinsic exploration of the Saudi Electric Company. It is also worth noting that the objectives have been given special refocus at various instances to sustain the necessary flow and harmony of dissertation.
d) Research scope
Through out the study, special focus was given to HR development in the company where intrinsic considerations were particularly given to its policy application and implementation both at the organization and national level. At the organization level, the study involved a close evaluation of the HRD policies application and implication to the management at the lower and higher management levels. To add to that, the researcher also explored the management of these policies and practices to achieve the company’s main objectives as outlined in its management plans.
Externally, the study sought to derive the public implications of SEC’ application of HRD policies and principles at the national level. To add to that, it also sought to explore other regions and countries with such systems globally and their levels of success. Therefore, it is clear that the study will take a highly localized approach but with great external outlook to establish the efficiency of the system. As indicated in the literature review section, the study sought to infer a holistically expounded consideration where external notion aided in seeking the best possible application of the system that would create the highest returns (Saudi Arabia Electric Company, 2008b).
e) Research limitations
l Slow response from the respondents
Since the onset of the study, the researcher expected different types of setbacks which were indeed pre-addressed. To begin with, some of the respondents were slow to fill the necessary questionnaires as the research expected. Though most of the respondents were cooperative in filling the questionnaires and returning them to the researcher, some of them were received very late. To address this, the researcher introduced an on-line system of filling the questionnaires where accessing and answering the questions was much easier for those who could not be able to return the forms. Indeed, this method aided greatly in raising the response rates as more respondents could be reminded on-line about the expected responses.
l Lack of effective cooperation from the respondents
In addition, there was general lack of cooperation from some respondents as identified by the random sampling methods. To avoid bias, the random sampling method assimilated a systematic consideration that did not factor for substitution in case of non compliance. To this effect, it is worth noting that many of the people in the country still hold the stereotypic nature of beliefs with reference to the western states which had great capacity of jeopardising the results of the project. Taking into consideration that this study was very essential in determining the future of the organization as well as the country’s development, the researcher added more explanatory information with reference to its objectives especially to the local communities’ development. This aided not only in raising the necessary confidence, but creating a sense of concern to the respondents.
l Possible replication of the past errors
It is worth noting that this study had a strong reference to the secondary materials and literature with reference to HRD policies application in the company and in the country. Besides, it also evaluated some of the external considerations of such systems application to weigh how effective SEC had applied its own. As a result, there was a high possibility of replicating previous researches errors in this study by prior scholars. To add to that, use of the previous research may have a compromising notion for the company in that some of the findings may have been outdated. Indeed, due to the fast rising dynamism at the global arena emergent from the modern technologies, many of the policies are similarly changing with time. This was addressed through increasing the number of respondents on the aspect to increase the overall viability of the study results. To add to that, use of random sampling as exemplified in the methodology chapter aided in raising the overall acceptability of the research results in the study.
Effective study entails careful and holistic consideration of all the aspects that aid in the achievement of the objectives at the end. AS a result, the one year period allocated for the research was indeed limiting for effective collection of data and its critical analysis to derive the necessary conclusions. As indicated earlier, HRD principles effects are bound to have variant effects to the community depending on their stage of development and the level of modernizations that dictates their demands. With the ability of HRD policies being actually measured through the major outcome, the researcher applied various aspects if data collection in phase one with considerations of phase two. This not only aided in reducing the overall time demanded for the study, but aided in curving the necessary correlation between various aspects of the HRD policy and their effects at the grass roots.
f) Research justification/intended contribution
l Scholarly importance
The viability of any research results is dictated by the method of conducting the same study as well as its field applicability that derives the desired objectives. This research was indeed very essential to the scholarly fraternity in that the area had actually not been intensively studied previously. Therefore it contributed to the literary work that formed a strong backup for later reference either at the local level or international level comparative purposes.
It is also worth noting that the study promoted the application of scientific study techniques in determining the viability of the thesis statement. Arguably, by applying the management theories as employed by the HRD considerations in Saudi Arabia, the study curved a particular niche in the country which indeed may serve or add to the present demands. As many of the respondents curiously inferred, this study opened a new chapter in researches of this type, a notion that greatly served to set the major platform for growth and development. Of greater importance is the consideration that this study closed by calling for further research into the discipline and other related field to improve the underlying application.
l Developmental importance
Ardichvili (2006, 95-107) points out that the major importance of any research is to enhance human livelihood in their various duties locally. It is worth noting as the objectives indicate; this research formed a major reference point for the industries and companies in the Gulf as a major facet for enhancing greater productivity of the human resources. Through studying and evaluating the major roles played by HRD in the implementation of the company’s policies and principles, it became possible to identify the main discrepancies and derive the possible recommendations for addressing them. To add to that, as indicated in the aims of the study, the positive outcome approach is a major tool for encouraging other similar and unrelated companies to assimilate the same management considerations to achieve similar results. Taking into consideration that the Gulf region and indeed the whole globe are fast developing, the study was indeed timely and provided a major stepping stone to the much desired progress.
l Policy delineation importance
At the national level, it is worth noting that this study provided the government with the necessary platform for enhancing the choice and perhaps, the need for emphasis of the positive policies while reducing the negative ones. At this point, as Bryman and Bell (2007, 102-105) indicate, many of the researches in the present world form the basement of their policies formulation to enhance productivity and profitability. To the company on the other hand, the praise acts as a major facet for improving the overall image of the company at the local, regional, and international level. This forms the correct recipe for sustained profits derived from the goodwill of the staff and workers.
Globally, the study provides a major link and formed the necessary reference point for other countries and companies HRD policy formulation and implementation to get similar results. With the world turning into a small global village where the effects at one company acts as a major precursor of the next operation, the study gives the internal community the necessary trust not only to the people of Saudi Arabia, but its processes and policies that bring stability in production and prices of their goods.
g) Ethical considerations
Bryman and Bell (2007, 110-115) point out that research are defined by the procedures that they follow to achieve their objectives. Indeed, the ability to effectively interlink all the related aspects of research to carve the necessary recommendations acts as a major test for the researcher/s and the viability of the results. This study took into consideration of the major ethical demands that dictate the overall cohesion of the data collection process, the company in focus, and the public realms to articulate acceptability at all levels.
l Copyright adherence
This study was strongly based on the available literature relating to HRD’s role in Saudi Electric Company policies and their application. As a result, the researcher observed the necessary copyright demands by seeking permission from the main authors where required. To add to that, the researcher ensured that all external ideas were effectively referenced wholly acknowledging the author’s work. Such considerations not only promoted the progress of scholarly standards, but anchors creativity that invokes originality to solve the present problems as opposed to the old ones.
To ensure greater levels of precision of the information given by the respondents, confidentiality should form the core of the business operation. As indicated earlier, the researcher understood the need to treat every bit of information with utmost good faith that sought to encourage the respondents as identified by the samples to open up and give the required information. The researcher also understood previous cases of victimization in other regions globally. It was due to this respect that all the interviews were conducted in a manner that gave a high sense of confidentiality to them. Interviews were conducted at the respondents’ areas of choice to enhance better expression without fear of the environment that they were referring to.
In addition, the questionnaires did not have the names of the respondents. However, they were numbered on the basis of the dates that the interview was conducted to ensure greater anonymity in the process. To further enhance confidentiality, the researcher ensured that all the respondents were informed of the interviews to take place and possible questions to be answered forwarded to them to enhance their preparedness and avoid ‘ambush’ interviews. Though on-line considerations were established to reduce the levels of non compliance, it is clear that they greatly improved confidentiality and the respondents were able to freely express themselves in the process.
l Cultural aspects respect
Effective researchers should be able to effectively shift and fit in the context of the new surrounding they are exploring. Indeed, as the saying goes “if you go to Rome, do what the Romans do”, the researcher fixed not only his schedule within the jurisdictions of the country, but more precisely to the demands of the respondent’s culture. Of greater notion in this case is the religion that dictates all the major aspects of management and lifestyle which curves the necessary consumerism patterns. The company’s cultural way of operation that dictates the holistic relationship between the management and the employees, the external communities, and the governing structures was strictly observed with interviews being only scheduled at the free times of the respondents. Besides, the company’s rules and regulations were strictly observed within and outside the company. It is however considered to be a point of opinion where the staff and workers were required to comment on various management considerations that were outside their jurisdictions.
l Operation within the law and data precision
In research as Cabrera, Collins and Salgado (2006, 245-250) points out, it is important to reflect the necessary local and international standards. Though scholars at times differ over the implications of the rule of the land to the outcome of various researches, it is clear that states do not operate in vacuums and their running should be acknowledged. This study was operated fully under the requirements and standards of the government.
h) Research methodology
This study assimilated a combined approach to effect the researcher’s main objectives as stated earlier in this report. Use of primary and secondary data was employed to anchor the major consideration for supportive information that would further aid in ensuring that the results were acceptable. The primary data was mainly collected from the internal staff and employees at the company and also from the external consumers of SEC services. In addition, the secondary data was collected from the available information both at the organization’s websites and the major libraries which stocked similar information. The researcher used questionnaires and interviews to get the necessary data which was later analysed to derive the necessary conclusions. It is worth noting that that the researcher raised the number of the respondents identified by the random sampling methods to reduce the level of bias for the results to be achieved. To add to that, on-line questionnaires were provided for those who could not be able to afford the necessary time for direct interviews with the researcher. The results were later analysed using SSP data analysis software as discussed later in chapter three. Structured questionnaires were effectively coded to aid in data analysis and also reduce the levels of controversy and ambiguity between the collected data for the researcher. As indicated earlier, the research took a period of one year [12 months] within which all the aspects of data collection, analysis, and presentation had taken place.
Saudi Electric Company
Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries are located in a region that has very harsh climate for various development options. As a result, it has become very essential to capitalize of the overall demand for industrial productivity to harmonize their development. However, the country has been very blessed with vast petroleum deposits, a natural resource highly valuable at the local and international arena. Therefore, the country takes the advantage to exploit the available resources for its local development. Dixon (2000, 65-67) points out that it is in this respect bulk of the industries have been established due to the cheap availability of energy and inability to focus to other economic activities. Indeed, Saudi Arabia is the fastest growing energy consumer in the Middle East.
b) A brief history of the company
Though Saudi Electric Company was formed in 1999, its history dates back to the early years of 1961 when the Department of Electricity Affairs was formed in the ministry of commerce and given the mandate of establishing the policies and regulations to govern all aspects of electricity considerations in the country. By 1972 the department had been made into a ministry of industry and electricity which saw the entry of different community electricity generating companies in the country. In 1976, these companies were subdued under four major companies with the name of Saudi Consolidated Electricity Companies [SCECOs] and other electricity projects on the basis of the four main regions of the country [west, east, north, and south] (Zanwa, 2009). Following the issue of the cabinet order No. 169 [11/08/149H], Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) (2009a) indicates that all the small electric companies in the countries were merged to form a single joint stock company [SEC].
c) Organization structure
According to Saudi Electricity Company (2009a), SEC assimilated an effective structure that was based on the general call to enhance higher levels of efficiency in supplying the highly demanded services. It is from this consideration that the company since its formation assimilated a phase-based organization structure to ease major operations efficiency, provide room for assessment, and offer room for change and improvement (see appendix 1). Though the structure has attracted criticism from different scholars on its hierarchical outlook, the company insists that the whole system is highly efficient both in design and application.
d) Articles of association
To effectively operate after the formation of the joint stock company, the article of association acts as the main guideline that dictates the operations that can be undertaken, possible affiliation with other companies, and all the major operations that are inclined to profitability and smooth running. Article two outlines the purpose of the company which generally links it to high generation, effective transmission, and distribution to all the different consumers for cohesive growth of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Article 11 provides for company’s demands for growth under the consideration that the company should be able to assimilate higher profits to the shareholders with time. This is provided for inform of shares management at the stock market depending with the company’s shareholders demands. Articles 13 and 14 provides for the management of the company by establishing the positions of the Board of Directors and their duties as well as the responsibilities of the members. However, the last Chapter represented by article 25-45 is mostly considered to be one of the most crucial for the future progression of the company. It outlines the systems of decision making and profit sharing by the different shareholders. It is worth noting that the overall profitability of the company as mounted from the article of association is mainly linked to the goodwill of the shareholders and utmost good faith of the management for the company (Saudi Arabia Electric Company, 2008f).
f) Capital distribution
Saudi Electric Company capital is mainly divided in to three main entities which determine the overall running of the organization in relation to making major decisions for the organization. The government owns 74.31% of the total company which represent 3,096,175,320 shares of the company. Citizens are the second largest owner with 17.76% representing 781,788,075 shares. Saudi Aramco has the least capital in the company of 288, 630, 420 shares which represent 6.93% of SEC capital (Saudi Arabia Electric Company. 2008f) (See appendix 2)
This chapter provides a holistic evaluation of the different secondary references that have been used in the study. As a result, it forms one of the most important sections to the researcher by availing comparative and evaluative frameworks in an expounded model. In this study, the chapter forms a major interlink between the SEC formation as projected from the previous chapter and it progressive application if the different HRD policies in its operations.
b) A brief analysis of SEC
Saudi Electric Company was borne in 1999 when the government saw the need for improving the services of the energy delivery to the people of the United Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In fact it entailed major reorganizations in the company as the need for better services that were harmonic with the overall growth and development demands increased. Saudi Arabia Electric Company (2008e) points out that the government viewed the company as the main tool for stimulating its growth as it touched all aspects of political, economic, and social realms that defined the kingdom. Therefore, the Saudi Electric company forms the main sole producer of electricity in the country as mandated by the government. Therefore, from this monopoly, the company is charged with the responsibilities of importing and exporting the energy resources considerations, analysis and authorization of investment related to energy and electricity in the country, and coordinating research related to energy development in the country. Though analysts have pointed accusing fingers at this monopoly citing possible instability from political changes, the notion has not been evident. However, such claims cannot be dismissed as the company is relatively new in its applications.
c) The vision and values of the company
As the Saudi Arabia’s most crucial company, the government plays a major role in its operations and derivation of different policies. It is in this respect that its vision id tied to the citizens of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The vision of the company is tied to the people’s satisfaction through enhancing their lining standards by promoting the economic competitiveness of the country. From this notion, all the derivative principles and policies are derived ion search for excellence services for the best values to achieve the same. Though the values of the company as presented may seem to negate the very notion stability previously advocated for by calling for imminent change, its consideration for progressively tracing modern technology, human satisfaction, and economic development actually gives the prior call for service to the people. Particularly, the vision and values gives special reference to the HRD by calling for enhanced staff development as a key factor in determining the levels of success that can be realized in the organization. As Saudi Arabia Electric Company (2008a) points out, the mission statement of this company has effectively outlined not only the people’s position in the company, but also the main expectations that should be assimilated to ensure better returns.
According to Hauenstein (2000), the call for optimization of the resources utilization for greater development carves a special notion for the human resources managers in the company. It is especially emphatic on the need to ensure that all considerations for innovations and modern technological development are assimilated in the system for faster and even development. As exemplified by the notion and considerations for the of the mission and the values of the company, it is no doubt that Human Resources development not only forms the centre for their realization, but in progressively determining their ability to fit in the highly dynamic globe. It is the view of many analysts that energy globally acts as the main icon for development at the local level and international considerations too. As a result, Human Resources development links the vision of the company, harmonizes the national laws demands, and projects the results to the national and outside community upon which its progress is determined (Saudi Arabia Electric Company, 2008b).
d) Human resources policies and principles
Many of the scholars as well as the public in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia belief that the success of SEC is entirely dependent on human resources that determine the overall process of maintaining the needed standards that guarantees the outcome of the company. At this point, it is worth noting that human resources aspects considerations are directly tied to all others aspects in the company upon which the holistic efficiency is derived.
As Saudi Arabia Electric Company (2008b) points out, SEC operates under the national guidelines that dictate the national expectations in line with the country’s economic growth projections. It is in this respect that the company’s 80 managers and 16 vice presidents met to deliberate on the best common consideration that should be assimilated with reference to human resources. As a result, the following competency groups were established to ensure greater productivity for the company. The human resources considerations are therefore summarised in the following considerations that curve their internal operations, relation with others, and external interlink with the consumers.
e) Internal synergies:
This determines the ability and provides the guidelines under which the company should operate from the inside. It is worth noting, as indicated earlier that what is seen from the outside of a given company, as Zawya (2009) suggests is a manifestation of what is indeed taking place in the company. However, Tsoukas (2002, 419-426) points out that all the positive results should not be taken as a coterminous positive indication as such results can also be achieved from a highly mechanistic consideration. How then can the positive results be achieved without any sense of sabotage for the staff and the management at all levels management? Internal synergies demand that commitment and confidence are cultivated at all levels of human resources application as the main drivers for the ‘company’s success.
ii) Intellectual capacities
To effectively operate and realize the different companies’ goals and objectives within the required frameworks, the Human Resources intellectual capacities is an integral part of the same process. Therefore the human resources management must be able to manage and establish the necessary information interlink based on their ability to analyse the available information, relate with the prevailing conditions and focus on the main goals of the organization. However, this consideration is not always been easy and the company seeks to accomplish it by enhancing high levels of management intellectual abilities from the entry to later development. To add to that, the Human Resources management in the company has assimilated the consideration of experience and staff retention as a factor of reducing the overall cost of their development while improving the overall productivity.
iii) Relations with others
According to Nakra (2000, 53-60) human resources management should be the main facilitators for effective cooperation between the members of staff as well as with the outside. It is worth noting that as exemplified by the companies’ demands, the integration of the different community electric companies and projects which derive SEC shareholders was a major call for high level interlinks to ensure that all of them are satisfied through high level profitability. It is from this notion that the call for effective human resources management links the management with the overall ability to ensure better relationship under the same guiding rules and regulations. SEC management has over the years since its formation assimilated the notion of internalized coordination where the design of its main operations reflect the ability of the information to flow with reflection of negative feedback at all times.
d). Staff hiring and staff motivation
i) Hiring and selection of workers
As indicated earlier, SEC strategic goals are unit directed at meeting the different customer needs at al times. It is worth noting that that similar to other companies the notion of staff hiring is directly under the docket of the Human resources manager/s. Therefore, taking into consideration that SEC was borne out of the demand for improving the services provided to the consumers, the notion for hiring the staff is very essential. Unlike the mode of operations that was assumed by the previously separate operating companies, SEC underscores the need for high levels qualification of all the staff getting into the company to ensure higher productivity. It is in this respect that it emphasis on a pedagogic approach that acts as the main basic criteria for other considerations. Though some analysts have tended to differ over this consideration under the notion that all the people have different talents that can be applied at different instances to raise a company’s productivity, this notion has been assumed but with great success. It is worth noting that even though some analysts claim that such use of pedagogic consideration is unethical and discriminative, it is equally important to factor the notion that many of the duties and activities as Ronald and Donald (2000) points out are very dangerous and require strong cognitive ability.
After the completion of the field research centre in the year 2003 that saw participation of 80 managers and the company’ vice presidents, it was agreed that the quality of the staff hired had a direct implication of the companies ability to meet its objectives. It is from this research that competency based approach was agreed upon to ensure higher levels of management efficiency. As indicated earlier the human resources management is charged with the responsibilities of ensuring that all aspects of management in the 16 competency groups are adhered to and maintained. However, one major question that has often been asked is how the company can be able to identify the best staff based on their cognitive capacities at a very short period of time. Indeed, bulk of the literature remain silent on this notion while others perhaps, skilfully meander it as it poses a major fact. Stoner et al, (1995, 54-59) argues that many of the human resources are increasingly using alternative hiring systems where individual capacities are assessed on a long term basis to avoid locking out potentially useful candidates. However, SEC has with time shifted its consideration for hiring employees with the current considerations being only for graduates. It is stated clearly that as the human resources management selects the management staff and other workers, their competences shall be gauged and compared against the established standards in the competency dictionary. The human resources management ensures that all the staff and employees to be taken and passed the necessary competency tests that increased impartiality in getting the best candidates (Saudi Arabia Electric Company, 2008).
Intrinsically human resources management at the company acts as a major platform for determining the best candidates that are most probably to have greater positive effects to the global company. As indicated earlier, both the lower and the upper level staff are directly subjective to the human resources management for comparative and acceptance with reference to achievement of SECs goals. This is indeed a major task and a notion that makes the human resources management to be fully responsible of the progress or failure of a company.
ii) Motivation of the workers
Nakra (2000, 53-60) points out that one of the most agreeable roles of human resources management is the consideration for staff motivation. Nakra (2000, 53-60) continues to say that this notion acts as a turning point for many of the organizations to effect various change demands within their companies. As indicated in the companies’ values, the human resources management is supposed to ensure that all aspects of staff are assimilated in an upward sliding consideration that seeks to curve the necessary progress in the company. Tsoukas (2002, 422-425) underscores that as the shareholders demand for continuous improvement, the same notion; it must be reflected in the holistic application and considerations of the overall management demands. Since the onset of the 21st century, though considered being still very young, the company has embraced a notion of internal promotions for the existing employees. Though this notion is considered to have a possibility of locking out major potential staff out of the company, it is no doubt that many of the present employees have indeed added more efforts to promote credibility for later promotions. The company considers this option highly viable in that it reduces the cost of mentor ship that could have been taken by the new staff, reduces the possible stalling of the company as the new managers take over office, and maintains stability in the application of the different policies.
Michael (2004, 56-61) points out that through internal promotions, it becomes much easier for the staff and employees to align and associate with the management of the company. One major factor of improving the overall production output to meet the criteria for maintaining the major pillars of the company is the identity of the employees. Human resources management in SEC is fully responsible for maintaining the necessary cohesion between the management and other staff to ensure harmony in the major operations as a major factor of raising the overall productivity of the company and profitability for the shareholders (Saudi Arabia Electric Company, 2008c). Through use of promotions, many of the employees are able to associate with the decisions made as they consider them to be free of sabotage for their overall demands from the company. Unlike when strange faces are introduced into the company, the human resources are able to reduce the holistic resistance for new ideologies and management propositions. Ronald and Donald (2000) points out that management of organizations is tied to the ability of the same organizations to apply the necessary legislations and acceptability of the staff and employees to assimilate them. Ronald and Donald (2000) continue to say that though the staff may not directly indicate its refusal to follow a certain line of operation; their intrinsic non-satisfaction may make the whole proposition fail to achieve the desired outcomes.
e). The company culture
One of the major roles of HRD in Saudi Electric Company has been to establish and promote the necessary objective oriented culture. Michael (2004, 54-57) points out that though many organizations’ management have neglected the role and notion of their main cultures, it is at their own peril. By definition organization culture dictates the values, beliefs, relationships, and harmony both at the internal and external considerations. Though major organization culture operates in a more formal mode and upon which HRD options are considered, it is the main subcultures that dictate the ability of the main culture to effectively be applied. Staff and employees operate in major circles that not only dictate their inner perceptions of different organizations’ management demands, but act as the main push either to accept or reject the ideas they perceive to have less value to them. It is in this respect that HRD roles have been enshrined to the basic notion and understanding of the staff demands in SEC to reduce their overall resistance to the much desired progress (Saudi Arabia Electric Company, 2008c).
As indicated earlier, by striving to infer positive images and relation networks between the management and workers, SEC emphasizes that the role of the workers and employees are indeed the most crucial bit in ensuring that the consumers get the best. The creation of the belief, which is indeed very true, that employees are not only the main anchors for progress, but determines the future of the company encourages them to seek greater impacts in setting the necessary footprints in the company. It is from this notion that HR management has effectively derived the necessary identity for the employees as they associate more with the company and participate in its decision making. In the model of cultural dynamics, Hutch (2000, 24-29) points out that the lower levels of the management are very vital in determining the ability of an organization to change. Unlike the industrial revolution era when totally mechanistic model of operations was applied to assimilate the required results, modern systems require clear appreciation of all the staff contribution in a company.
To add to that, one of the SEC pillars include the value for customers and innovation. HRD is therefore charged with the responsibility of seeing that all the procedures that lead to improvement of the customer value are achieved. As a major part of the organization culture, recruitments, staff development, promotions, and internal relations, have assimilated the necessary platform in dictating the ability of the organization to meet its own strategic objectives. It is in this respect that the management structure has been greatly sub-branched to ensure that the staff value is maintained at the highest possible value.
Cabrera et al (2006, 250-254) points out that effective organization cultures require effective cooperation between all the systems involved in the management of different aspects to ensure stronger interlink with the external world. During its formation from the previous ten community based electric companies and related projects, it became clear that at the centre of the demand for merger was the national development which was anchored in the consumer satisfaction with the services and products provided. It is from this consideration that HRD role has perhaps been entwined in a possible delicate balance where all aspects of the staff needs and those of the consumers are carefully articulated for improvement without any sense of sabotage. Though some managers have often dumped one of the considerations, it is indeed very perilous for an organization especially in the modern globalization era. It is worth noting that at all instances, the consumer must be held much higher than all other factors as it is only via them that all other aspects including the staff get their earning. From this consideration, SEC has effectively brought in major observable positive effects for the staff and management as a factor of cultural consideration. In the company’s strategic goals the main aim is to ensure better interaction between the staff, the operating system, and the shareholders in carving the necessary customer value at all times. This has been the overriding force as the company continue to enrich its culture with modern demand to fit in the new market.
f). HRD and Communication
Communication is one of the major factors that dictate the ability of an organization to effectively articulate its goals and objectives at the internal and external level. Arthur and Kim, (2005, 1571-1575) argue that communication between the major departments, staff, and the top management act as a major indicator of the progress to be expected from a given company. Arthur and Kim continues to say that where effective communication is established there is general harmony between the production systems, the overall production capacity, and the expected target goals and objectives (2005, 1579-1581).
As the mission of the organization states, SEC is mainly oriented at providing the consumers with the safe and reliable electric services that meets the expectation of their shareholders. It is therefore the role of HRD to ensure that the correct communication considerations are articulated into the existing staff and new staff with time. As indicated by the term ‘reliable’ in the mission of the company, the total manifestation of reliability invokes the demand for interdepartmental cooperation with prompt response for both the emergency and continuous improvement. The competence groups as indicated earlier in this dissertation indicates that the capability aspect takes a great notion of the candidate’s ability to effectively relate with others in the company.
As exemplified by the management structure, the high sub-branching acts as a major link between the staff and their line managers. Though HR management has been mandated to ensure effective communication between the staff and the top management, the strongly hierarchical structure may be a strong undoing factor for the same realizations. Ardichvili (2006, 95-101).argues that it is necessary for organizations to close the gaps between the management and staff to ensure openness and easy flow of ideas both from the top and the lower levels of staff operations.
Besides, communication acts as a good avenue for solving different problems that affect the staff and the management. It is worth noting that majority of the tasks for the company are directly linked to enhancing better management and rational decision making as they progress with their duties. It is from this consideration that the role of HRD is very essential in guaranteeing the necessary harmony between the staff as they continue with their major operations. Besides, provision for response mechanisms and reporting networks at the field and the company level raised the overall assessment capacity of the company’s progress.
g) HRD role in enhancing team work
Since inception in the year 1999, SEC has strongly emphasized on the need to harmonize the role of the staff and other employees. Ronald and Donald (2000) points out that use of teamwork in any organization is one of the major consideration for progress and advancement of the organization towards the ability to realize its objectives. By encouraging the formation of teams, SEC management has been able to derive the necessary identity of the staff and management at all levels of management. It is worth noting that as indicated earlier, the organizations ability to effect its mandate of delivering the best services to the people and ensuring that the necessary development is assimilated has been the overriding factor anchored on application of teams. By using groups, the whole hierarchical management has assimilated a different consideration where the staff and management can easily interact and a share their ideas with ease. Therefore, the teams have indeed brought the levels of management to the lower levels where the lower staffs are able to enhance better contribution towards the company’s development. As indicated by the recent progress, the company’s call for change in its different aspects of inner management like technology has been very positive.
Human resources management has been very instrumental in ensuring that the overall flow of the need for change to assimilate the necessary projection for higher profitability is achieved. Particularly, SEC has established the need for invoking the downward-upward management methods where the team leaders and the groups are empowered to address different problems ate the lower levels of management by seeking the best alternatives, and effectively contributing to the overall management in the company (Saudi Arabia Electric Company, 2008d). Indeed it is through this consideration that the major effect of the hierarchical model of operation in the organization has been very unnoticeable. Similar to others, this has been pegged to the ability of SEC to progressively employ highly qualified staff, and progressively raise their ability to address different situations with time. Particularly, this consideration has a major effect to the operations and applications of the customers’ considerations in perfecting the overall mission of company.
Team work has over the years been assimilated as part of the company’s culture where the workers assimilate the need to harmonize the operations at the lower levels in a manner that coheres with the top management demands. As part of SEC culture, teamwork has aided in improving communication between the staff and the management, a notion that anchors the necessary reporting mechanisms for addressing both the problems of the staff as well as the overall company’s electricity services provision. Besides, it is a major unifying identity where the staff easily identify with the company as they are not just happy working there, but part of it.
h). HRD role in human capacity development
According to Nakra (2000, 53-60), employees form the main internal fundamental factor upon which an organization can effectively be able to achieve its objectives. Staffs as indicated earlier, acts as a major icon not only for performing the normal duties but curving the necessary outline upon which all other aspects are based on. Particularly, the employees become very crucial during the periods of major changes where their intrinsic contribution and innovation consideration is very vital. These developments are attained through successive training and mentor ship during introduction of new technologies and systems. Such systems have effectively been assimilated by SEC as it seeks to guarantee the shareholders of the necessary returns and superb services to the consumers.
In the years 2005, the company established a major program where it sought to establish the different competences for managers and employees. From this program, it became clear that all aspects of the management and staff demand high competence in order to realize the different objectives with ease. In addition, the program appreciated the need for increased development of the staff and employees to keep in tandem with the modern societal demands.
Besides, SEC has gone a step further and established a major on-line education application which seeks to increase the total number of opportunities available for the employees in developing their administrative as well as technical skills. This is an added indication of the previously emphasized value for staff in the company. Indeed, the on-line learning program has undergone several phases with the present one being a major improvement of the former. The first was Learning Resources Centres (LRC) which only stocked various materials for access by the staff and employees to raise their standards (Saudi Arabia Electric Company, 2008d). Though this consideration was a great step in seeking to improve the ability of the staff and management at SEC, it was highly limiting in that information availability was restricted to the centres premises and only a limited number could use the same facility at any particular moment.
To address the above setbacks, SEC introduced study on-line program where more staff and employees could have access to the same information simultaneously with greater efficiency. As an improvement for the earlier system, the consideration enabled the workers to have access to the same resources on-line from any internet connected computer. However, by the year 2005, introduction of the I-learning had been considered as a major milestone for the company as it allows different groups and activities to simultaneously use the same facility with greater levels of efficiency as compared to the earlier two.
Nakra (2000, 53-60) points out that through training and effective human resources development, the employees have been able to assimilate the necessary analytical skills that aid in their overall decision making both inside and in the field. In his theory of organization change, Kurt Lewin indicated that the cognitive ability of the lower level management acts as a major leverage in promoting positive criticism which is very essential in establishing the main areas that need change and progress.
i). HRD and social responsibility and
Since its establishment, SEC overall management has been strongly oriented at improving the general welfare of the people it serves. Tsoukas (2002, 419-423) argues that one of the most effective ways of promoting loyalty from the consumers is indeed by associating with them more. Social responsibility is one such consideration where SEC has strongly been involved in enhancing the necessary customer value. SEC indicates that its approach to the community is based on the need to enhance greater contribution towards holistic realization of their economic development. HRD role in this consideration is very important as it seeks to sell the idea to the staff who in turn applies the same to the community in their duties.
Arthur and Kim (2005, 1564-1568) indicate that though social responsibility has no direct economic returns, the company continues to connect millions of people in their villages with the electricity. Between the years 2001-2007, the company used a total of SR 1187 millions. Due to this consideration for greater social responsibilities, the company won the Medina Charity Society Award which greatly promoted its overall image both locally and internationally. In this case HRD is mainly responsible to ensure that such costs are maintained within the required expenditure delineations that the company can be able to afford. Besides, it also coordinates and maintains the necessary staff codes of operations to guarantee achievement of the necessary objectives.
SEC has strongly been involved in maintaining and protecting the environment in the country. Arguably as indicated at the beginning of this chapter, Saudi Arabia is located in major harsh climatic conditions that affect the community very negatively. With the main vision of the company being to enhance better livelihood of the communities, Hatch (2000. 54-59) points out that it must seek to promote the general welfare of its consumers. Therefore, it cooperates with the presidency of meteorology and environmental protection where all aspects of natural aesthetic are maintained by reducing the levels of air pollution from the major electricity producing plants. In this respect HRD ensures that employees have the necessary training and education background where application of such technology is much easier. For instance, use of clean fuel and natural gas to run the electricity plants is strongly encouraged.
Besides, SEC has been intensively involved in water conservation and management at different levels in the country. In the major electricity producing plants, the waste waters are effectively treated and recycled to reduce their possible negative effects to the community. SEC also strongly contributes towards promotion of better security for the communities and their investments. This has been effected through direct public campaigns especially in the professional days. Taking into consideration that the country is located on a highly volatile region with reference to the ongoing wars in its neighbour, the ability to encourage the community to be peaceful is very essential as it provides the necessary development platform for growth. Equally important is the need for the company to emphasize on great care for the electricity users as it is very dangerous when carelessly used and even more harmful with the children. By promoting the overall ability of the people to have greater levels of care, electricity actually raises their lifestyles standards as opposed to being a factor of fear from negative incidences. Finally, the company also seeks to ensure the best systems for research and development that can be articulated to enhance better community development as well as enhancing stronger cooperation between the company and the outside community.
Critique of the research methods
This chapter forms the major part of the dissertation development as it dictates the ability of the study to meet the previously pre-established objectives. In this chapter, Saudi Electric Company HRD role was evaluated to establish the efficacy of its role in policy and practice. It is worth noting that as indicated earlier in this dissertation, the major consideration for the research was indeed highly complex in terms of the response given by the samples as identified by the sampling method and the actual outcome that was observed. This chapter therefore offers a critique of the study process and clearly postulates how the results were achieved.
b) Purpose of the study
Human resources development is one of the main factors that dictate the overall ability of an organization to effectively articulate and apply the different policies in an organization. It is worth noting at this point that close correlation seems to be evident between the role of HRD and the overall outcome of Saudi Electric Company in Saudi Arabia. Besides, HRD formed the key factor in establishing the major supportive systems that dictate the ability of the staff to dispose their duties, a notion that not only aided in realization of the companies objectives, but attaining much higher standards to serve the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
As indicated earlier, the study sought to reach to all the stakeholders as they formed a major platform in determining the effectiveness of the HRD policies in the company. HRD methods employed to effect the policies and practices determined the overall efficiency for their application both at the company and externally too. Though all the stakeholders as indicated above are very essential, this study gave special reference to the staff as they were directly involved with the execution of HRD policies both inside and outside the company. Therefore, as indicated in the objectives the study sought to determine the role of HRD in the policy and practices of the company. It is from this notion that major activities of HRD implications to the staff and the consumers were assessed as the major platform for establishing their applicability efficiency.
As indicated earlier, interlink between HRD processes and different aspects of the company are indeed very complex with some taking intrinsic inculcations that were very hard to establish. It was from this consideration that this study concentrated on the observable outcomes of the policies and practices of HRD in the company and to the outside world. Besides, the study also sought to establish major setbacks that were encountered during the application of different policies and principles by SEC. By establishing the necessary obstacles in its roles application, the study sought to derive the necessary measures to address them in future applications. It was clear from the study that though with a particularistic orientation to Saudi Electric Company, the findings of this study have far reaching implications to other companies located in the Gulf and internationally too.
c) Data and data collection
Data collection methods as applied in different researches acts as the main platform for dictating the viability of the findings at the end of the study. It is essential that the data collection methods are developed in tandem with the nature of research orientation to enhance better harmony and progress. Therefore, this study developed the data collection methods with a harmonic tone that appreciated the research nature while seeking the highest possible levels of accuracy that could be gotten. It is from this notion that the study applied both the primary and the secondary data to not only assimilate the results, but establish well founded considerations for the achieved results.
? Primary data
Primary data was very essential in that it assisted the researcher to get the direct factual information in the application of the policies and practices of the company. It is worth noting as indicated in the company’s mission; HRD plays a major role in making the holistic causal impacts for the company which takes a systematic continuous application and improvement. Therefore, interviews and questionnaires with structured questions were employed at the different levels of HRD implications. Use of structured questionnaires was a major option for enhancing better capacity to quantify the respondents’ responses on the different policy aspects. It was indeed very essential in determining the validity of the research as results were easy to categorize and thus analyse.
Though the company’s management was of great importance in giving the necessary insight of the roles that HRD had in effecting the major policies of in company, the middle level management was very crucial in giving particularistic information on their effects. Besides, the lower level employees and the consumers of the services added crucial details that aided in curving the holistic orientation of the research. It is also worth noting that the research data could indeed not have been complete without effective review of the returns and profitability of the company, a notion that later aided greatly in linking the policies and the expected outcomes. After identification of the workers to be interviewed, they were notified through effective communication on the objectives and requirements of the research from them. Under this consideration, the respondents were able to prepare themselves in advance and choose the preferred mode of response. This has been viewed as a major positive consideration for assimilation of accurate information for the study.
? Secondary data
It is important to note that secondary information serves to give any research the necessary backup as a major factor for enhancing the viability of the results By reviewing the major literature that existed previously, it also aids in preventing repeat in what has actually been done and therefore project the research to the respective institution and the general public. In this study, the secondary data did set the operation insight of Saudi Electric Company in relation to its major applications of the different policies both internally and externally. It was however notable that since the company is relatively new, bulk of the information was attained from the respondents identified by the sampling methods.
Of greater importance, was the ability of the secondary literature to offer the necessary interconnects between the theoretical consideration and particularly expected outcomes versus the observed results from other regions. Bryman and Bell (2007, 95-99) points out that secondary data is a major factor in establishing the necessary comparative systems with references to changes in application of different policies with time.
d) Sample selection, sampling techniques, and sample size
This research involved a large sample which was mostly drawn from Saudi Electric Company. However, external samples were also applied to establish the effects of the policies to the external communities which determine the overall suitability and acceptability of the policies. Use of a large sample was considered to be better in this research as it greatly reduced the levels of bias and assumptions during the analysis stage. To add to that, random sampling method was employed in all the samples selection identification to avoid bias. However, this method posed to be challenging in that it never catered for non response of the selected samples a notion that could have affected the outcome of the study.
e) Measurement of the of the variables in the study
This study was quantitative in nature as it sought to infer clear comprehension of the roles played by HRD in policy and practice and which determined the ability of Saudi Electric Company to get the current fast growth and world wide praise. It was due to this effect that the all the measures were developed in a format that took into the considerations of the research goals as well as the method to be used in the analysis. It is worth noting that thorough understanding of the different variables that link to the main objectives and manifestations in the running of the Saudi Electric Company was very crucial in maintaining the necessary course for answering the main questions of the dissertation.
The researcher also designed the approach in a manner that all the collected data at the time of study maintained the holistic orientation of the research as provided by the objectives to easily establish the viability of the hypothesis. Following this notion, the study employed Linket 5-point scale to establish the different categories of the information given by the respondents. According to Bryman and Bell (2007), this method has extensively been used in effectively scaling qualitative data given by the respondents to ease its analysis. Linket 5-point scale uses weights 1,2,3,4, and 5 as the main indicators to mean strong agreement, general agreement, not sure, general disagreement with proposition, and strongly disagreeing with the aspect in consideration. It is worth noting that through use of this method, major complexities were eliminated for the respondents and the researcher too. Indeed, the ability of the consumers to have the questions to respond to in advance coupled with the simplification notion, greatly increased the viability of the results.
f) Research variables and research analysis
As indicated earlier, effective research is entirely dependent on the researcher’s choice of variables which not only dictate the mode of progressing with the study, but the possible levels of efficiency that can be attained. Indeed, via the established variables, the researcher is able not only to guide the process to achieve the established objectives, but aid in the analysis of the outcomes that can be assimilated. In this study, the researcher sought to establish HRD roles in policy and practice as exemplified by the company’s staff and consumers.
The level of satisfaction with the HRD demands to the staff was used as an internal variable. This was particularly important in that it denoted the direct interlink between the top management and the lower levels management too. The ability of HRD roles to effectively articulate the company’s mission and vision at different instances not only aided in determining the achieved levels of compliance, but served as a key indicator for the progress achieved from the policies.
For the consumer, their satisfaction was gauged depending mainly on the Saudi Electric company’s ability to serve them with the necessary power requirements. To add to that, their satisfaction with the companies services in terms of extended considerations of corporate social responsibilities and alignment with their main economic progress was measured. As indicated by HRD principles, the relationship between senior staff considerations, the junior workers and the overall outcome as perceived from a viewer’s point of view is highly complex. In that interlink, it is worth noting that the consumer actually forms one of the most important levels as the final stage for the SEC chain interlink. Satisfaction of the types of policies used and the mode of application by the senior management was used as a major variable in establishing the main orientation of the company and possible future progress to be expected.
Other variables used to assess the implications of the policies and principals of the company included communication between the different levels of management and the external world. Effective communication at different stages acted as a major indicator and a check point for the information given by the respondents with regard to other variant views. As exemplified by the organization design, processing of information which includes the different policies, relay to the different arms of management, and eventual application dictates the ability to comply and identify with the companies requirements. As it came out in the literature review, international community indeed held very stereotypic notion with regard to many of the Gulf companies and this consideration directly sought to correct the anomaly.
Another variable used by the study was the cooperation between the workers and the management. Bryman and Bell (2007, 104-106) argue that one of the major factors of telling the ability of an organization’s progress is through their internal cooperation and ability to work as a team in meeting their different demands. Saudi Electric Company since its formation sought to increase the overall social value and development of the country which it proposed to assimilate via internal cohesion that carves the same objective. Though this consideration was very complex for some of the staff especially the lower level workers at the beginning, it later came out much clearer as they progressed with the questionnaires.
It is worth noting that these variables as they came out in the interviews and questionnaires, required inclusive harmony that not only took considerations of the directly visible outcome of the HRD roles, but carved their intrinsic views of the same considerations to them. In this respect, these variables were highly effective in ensuring that the necessary cohesion between the observable results and the inner perception of the consumers and the workers.
g) Data analysis and presentation
After the data was collected from the primary and secondary systems, it was effectively analysed using SSP software to derive the necessary outcome of the roles of HRD in practice and policy. Notably, as indicated earlier, the secondary information formed a major supportive notion for explaining the possible behaviour of the consumers, the staff, and the management in relation with the different aspects aimed at achieving the main vision of SEC. Finally, the data was presented inn form of graphs, polygons, and charts to aid in explaining the results to the company, the public and most importantly, to the scholars. However, this study calls for more research into the subject both in the country and the region to establish the relationship between other aspects of Human Resources in the fast developing region.
5.0 Conclusion and recommendations
The modern business environment is strongly dictated by the ability to effectively articulate Human Resources policies in a manner that projects the company to higher profitability. It is worth noting that the overall business environment as it came out during the study is highly complex due to the differing backgrounds of the shareholders, the public demand for services and the general applications of production factors. It is from this consideration that the SEC is considered to have succeeded in the general interlink between the company’s operations, the demands of the public, the shareholders, and the main government expectation as the major share holder in the company.
SEC Human Development Policies have curved a rich niche both in design and application to assimilate the current high levels of productivity. Though the company has enjoyed a monopoly of operation since its formation many of the analysts link its success to HRD policies application. From the presentation of its mission the company indicates a clear orientation towards continuous improvement of the human resources available for higher returns. This has perhaps been the key icon to the major development of the company and persistence of its profitability. As indicated by the internal synergies human resources development is articulated at all levels of management to enhance better interlink and negative feedbacks between the employees and the management.
As indicated in the first chapter of this dissertation, Human Resources development roles and application demands are highly complex and therefore demand a similarly complex outlook in application in the selection and staff maintenance. By adopting a highly rated system of workers hiring and based on both pedagogic approaches and experience, it became much easier for SEC to apply modern technological demands for higher profitability. It is no doubt that the type of staff and employees and staff in an organization form a direct image of their company. SEC human resources applications with emphasis on high qualification [degree level for all the staff] has not only carved the correct image locally and globally, but set a high level target upon which the company seeks to achieve beyond its established mission.
Of special importance is the company’s culture which has over the years sought to cement the values, beliefs, relationship and harmony in the major relationship both in the company and outside. Though it has been cited to be highly formal and less open especially to the lower levels of staff and employees in the company due to the hierarchical model of operation, the system has indeed cultivated the necessary harmony for innovations in line with the company’s mission. Particularly, the emphasis on team work and communication both horizontally and vertically at the organization has served to create the desired environment for progress. It is from the above consideration that this study concludes by supporting the main claim that human resources development role in policy and practice is the main reason that has contributed to the current enviable growth in productivity as well as profitability.
However, there is need to address the management structure in the company by incorporating more lower level staff in the decision making panels to promote a holistically accepted culture in the company. To add to that, there is also a great need to aggressively seek more avenues for promoting the company’s operations mainly obscured by the national monopoly. Finally, the researcher calls for further research on the company’s main operations and their implications to the internal factors and external demands of the company.
Appendix1. Organization structure
Adopted from (Saudi Arabia Electric Company. 2008g).
Appendix 2: Company’s capital distribution
Adopted from (Saudi Arabia Electric Company. 2008f)
Total Number of Shares
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