Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Management


Business and Law

First Advisor

Professor Alan Brown


In recent years, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has rapidly developed into a dynamic global economy with the influx of foreign ideas and practices, facilitated by the development of the Internet and associated technologies. As with many organisations worldwide, staff retention problems affect organisational productivity and performance. Managers face the challenge of having to address retention problems in the context of increasing competition in the global marketplace. It is against this background that this research will look into employee retention problems within the socio‐economic context of the UAE. This study brings into focus the extent to which human resource management (HRM) practices and organisational culture in the UAE affect employee retention in public organisations. The purpose of this study was to identify HR practices and other factors such as job satisfaction, organisational commitments and leadership practice that affect employee retention in the UAE with emphasis on public organisations, in a comparative study of Sharjah and Dubai. To accomplish this task, both quantitative and qualitative research approaches were employed. The research questions were answered through two research phases involving four distinct research tools. The first phase involved a survey of Sharjah’s and Dubai’s governmental organisations, and provided specific information about employees in these organisations. Of 300 targeted respondents, 154 completed the survey questionnaire, a 51.33% response rate. In the second phase, in‐depth interviews with fifty former employees, also from Sharjah, were conducted; in the third, semi‐structured interviews with 7 HR professionals, also in Sharjah, were utilised; and the fourth research method used focus groups. The research used both quantitative and qualitative approaches to data gathering and analysis.


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