1.The introduction of this chapter reminds the reader what, exactly, were the research objectives. Your
review of the literature and your evaluation of the various themes, issues and frameworks helped you to
develop a more specific set of research questions.
2.In essence, your analysis of the data that you have collected from your fieldwork should provide
answers to these questions.
3.You should, as a matter of priority, focus attention on data that is directly relevant to the research
4.You should avoid the mistake of including analysis that might be interesting in a general way, but is not
linked to the original direction of the dissertation.
5.Peripheral data can be included as an appendix, however you are reminded that there is a limit of
twenty-five pages for appendices. The introduction should also explain how the results are to be
6.This is the heart of the dissertation and must be more than descriptive.This chapter develops analytic
and critical thinking on primary results and analysis with reference to theoretical arguments grounded in
the literature review.
7.You should try to highlight where there are major differences and similarities from the literature or
between different groups.
- Where a model or framework of analysis has been used or is being developed you should highlight the
main relationships as well as explaining the reason and significance behind features or decisions being
This chapter presents the discussion of the study findings obtained from the data analyses
of the information gathered from the research participants using survey questionnaires. The first
part of the discussion chapter is a reminder of the research objectives, the review of the literature
as well as the evaluation of the various themes, issues and frameworks as well as the specific set
of research questions that were developed. The second part of the chapter focuses on specific
discussion of the study findings obtained from the data analyses based on an analytic and critical
thinking of primary results which is developed through an analysis with reference to theoretical
arguments grounded in the literature review. The discussion of the study findings will as a matter
of priority focus attention on the study findings obtained from the data analyses that is directly
relevant to the research questions.
The discussion of the study findings will be done with a reference to the objectives of the
study as well as the research questions based on an analytic and critical thinking of primary
results which is developed through an analysis with reference to theoretical arguments grounded
in the literature review. As a result, this section of the discussion chapter will introduce the basis
of the research and revisit the primary objectives of this study which are as follows: 1) to
determine the internal challenges faced by employees working in oil and gas companies during
the surge of oil and gas prices; 2) to investigate the external problems that workers in the Qatari
O+G firms experience in the face of declining oil and gas prices; and 3) establish appropriate
recommendations and conclusions that identify approaches of solving the negative impacts of
these factors on the performance of employees within organizations in Qatar.
As such, the discussion of the study findings will also be done with reference to the
research questions which include: 1) what are the internal factors that affect the performance of
employees within oil and gas companies within developing states such as Qatar in the face of oil
price drops?; 2) what are the external factors that affect the performance of employees within oil
and gas companies’ undeveloped states as a result of the rise of oil price drops?; and 3) what are
the approaches that can be employed in solving the internal and external factors that affect the
performance of employees in these companies as a result of drops in oil prices?.
Apparently, the research objectives and questions focus on the background of the falling
oil prices as opposed to the greater internal efficiency of the firm. This is especially so, given
that the fall in the prices have the most influential impact. As such, these outcomes are what
determine the efficiency of the firms in the sector, and the motivational issues among the
employees, consequently. Hence, the focus on oil prices is justified.
The findings of this study have significance for the body of knowledge on employee
performance as well as business practice. First, from an enterprise perspective it is important for
oil and gas companies to identify factors that affect the performance of employees, which is
essential in helping the companies in this sector to formulate appropriate workforce policies and
guidelines aimed at optimal utilisation of potential, skills, knowledge and expertise of
employees. Thus, through this study a methodological guidance is provided which has a practical
significance towards oil and gas companies in Qatar to correctly develop human capital
management and leadership practises not only at departmental level but also at executive level.
Secondly, the study may enhance employees’ performance awareness among stakeholders in oil
and gas companies including managers and investors in the oil and gas industry in Qatar and
across the world. For example, the research findings from this study may be of significant
assistance to oil and gas industry managers in better understanding and managing of workforce
and employees’ performance and investors may use employees’ performance efficiency as a
benchmark of assessing the ability of a company operating in oil and gas company sector to
create value. Also, the study is important in enabling oil and gas companies in Qatar to better
understand the employees’ performance drivers, and have a more definite and direct
understanding of the elements of employees’ performance in order to know how different
elements can be combined for optimal harnessing of companies’ workforce potential.
As a result, this study discussion chapter will strive to ensure that an analytic and critical
thinking of primary results which is developed through an analysis with reference to theoretical
arguments grounded in the literature review. Thus, it is imperative to reiterate that, employees’
performance within an organization at various levels such as department, management and
leadership plays a significant role in influencing the company goals and objectives either
positively or negatively. As such, the nature of employee performance provides the management
with an understanding of whether the corporate goals and objectives are clear to the workers or
not. Usually, a positive performance might signify that the employees understand and that they
have a right attitude towards the goals. However, in the case of persistent poor performance, it
becomes perceptible that there is an issue with the manner in which the workers perceive the
goals and objectives. Thus, motivation is fundamental towards aligning the employee with the
corporate goals and objectives. With people-oriented structure, systems, processes, and culture,
there is a possibility that the employees will be motivated towards attaining the set goals.
A consideration of the oil and gas company scenario, various factors in a work
environment are believed to affect the performance of employees. Therefore, this study aims to
focus on the internal as well as external challenges faced by employees working in oil and gas
companies, especially during the surge of oil and gas prices which has negatively hit Qatar’s
economy. The study will also discuss in details both the internal and external variables that affect
the performance of employees in oil and gas industry in Qatar. This introductory section of the
discussion chapter plays an imperative role in setting the pace for the evaluation of the study
findings which is attributable to the fact that, the objectives of the study as well as the research
questions will be used as the benchmark to evaluate the study findings.
5.2. Discussion of the Study Findings
The variables included for consideration in this study were those that are imperative in
determining the internal and the external factors that affect the performance of employees in oil
and gas companies in state of Qatar after the 2015 oil price drop. This is attributable to the fact
that, employees’ job performance within an organisation is affected either positively or
negatively by a variety of factors including organizational culture, training and development,
style of leadership, personality trait of employees, workplace environment, motivation, job
stress, as well as job satisfaction among other factors (Dutton & Kleiner, 2015). As a result,
managers in O+G companies in Qatar need to understand a vast range of factors that can
potentially affect their employees’ work performance and strive to devise appropriate strategies
to harness the potential of these factors in order to improve the performance of their
organisations. Ewenstein, Hancock and Komm (2016) pointed out that, employees are affected
by both internal as well as external forces as they attempt to carry out their job tasks and roles.
Recognition of these internal and external factors by employers followed by countering or
leveraging on them would significantly improve employees’ loyalty, performance, as well as
From the study findings it is evidently clear that, varied beliefs are expressed sampled
employees concerning how their job performance was affected by the drop in international oil
prices. There is a strong correlation between the employee job performance and the drop in oil
prices in Qatar after 2015. As oil prices drop internal and external factors that affect employee
performance such as levels of motivation among employees, company expenditure on employees
and commitment also become affected. With the test results presented in the previous chapter,
the three research objectives and questions were addressed by determining both the internal and
external factors that affect the performance of employees in oil and gas companies in state of
Qatar after the 2015 oil price drop subsequent to establishing appropriate recommendations and
conclusions that identify approaches of solving the negative impacts of these factors on
Considering work experience at present job position of sampled employees it was
determined that the workforce is relatively dispersed according to the years of work experience
at present job position. Thus, it is imperative to keen look at how the workforce is distributed
because work experience and job positions are some of fundamental internal factors that
significantly affect employees’ performance within O+G companies in Qatar. In this study, it
was found that the work experience of most of the employees in their present position (53.68%)
was slightly above 2 years, whereas work experience of 15.79% of the sampled employees in
their present position was almost 2 years. In addition, 9.4% of employees had a work experience
of between 1 month and one year in their present position, while those with a work experience of
more than 25 years in their present position was 1.05% and similar to those who had work
experience of between 2 and 5 years in their current position. Furthermore, the proportions of
employees who had work experiences of between 6 and 10 years, 10 and 20 years, as well as 21
and 25 years in their present positions were 8.42%, 6.32% and 4.21% respectively. These
findings concurs with those obtained by Du, Tang and Young (2012), who reiterated that job
experience is a key determinant of employees’ performance and this factor seem to be considered
by sampled companies by ensuring even distribution of their workforce.
Job positions is another internal factor that may not affect employee performance, but
crucial in shaping organisational structure. The study findings indicate that the sampled
employees fell into three main job positions such as: staff, middle level management and senior
executive. Majority of the employees belonged to the staff category and this is logical because
the number of employees at lower levels is obviously more compared to top levels. In particular,
the proportions of employees in the category of staff, middle level management and senior
executives were 57.45%, 29.79% and 12.77% respectively. These findings concur to those
obtained by Ellison (2013) and Fan, Wong and Zhang (2013) who emphasized that in many
organisations, various hierarchies must be portrayed in job positions and employees usually
occupy three main job positions.
According to Gibbons and Kleiner (1994), job satisfaction is often strongly related to
high levels of employee performance mainly because contentment of employees with their job
statuses significantly improves their productivity and performance. The study finding shows that
employees’ contentment range from strongly agree to strongly disagree with majority agreeing to
be contented. The proportions of employees in accordance to their levels of contentment
including strongly agree, agree, somewhat agree, disagree and strongly disagree were 12.77%,
51.06%, 23.40%, 9.57% and 3.19% respectively. These results indicate that, most employees are
contented with the job positions they are working at currently in the O+G companies. These
findings can be viewed as an indicator of considerable levels of motivation among employees.
This concurs with the findings of Hsin-Hsi (2012) who reported that motivation both intrinsic
and extrinsic is essential in ensuring that employees are contented and satisfied with their jobs
subsequently improving their performance.
Saira et al. (2016) stated that career paths that allow growth of staff are a powerful non-
monetary source of motivation. Elangovan and Xie (1999) concur with this assertion by
reiterating that, some companies use employee motivation to rejuvenate the performance of their
workforce. This is attributable to the fact that, effective motivation has the potential of
significantly improving productivity and performance among employees. This means that, a
company may fail to achieve optimal performance of its employees due to lack of motivation (Al
Muftah & Lafi, 2011). The study findings revealed that career paths that allow growth of
employees are present in many O+G companies, whereby 74.47% of participants affirmed the
presence of career paths that allow their professional growth in their companies while 25.54%
disagreed. This shows that majority of employees in O+G companies can pursue career growth
paths in their current companies. These findings concur with those reported by Chen (2008) that,
most O+G companies use strategies that target improvement of career growth of their staff
members as an approach for their motivation. Dutton and Kleiner (2015) reported that employees
who are appropriately trained and educated in accordance with their field often work effectively,
more efficiently, smarter, and better compared to others. As a result, it is imperative for O+G
companies in Qatar to allocate sufficient budgets for training their employees in order to achieve
consistent improvement the performance of their workforce (Al-Harthy, 2013; Thiyakesh &
Furthermore, motivation of employees and subsequent improvement of employee job
performance can also be achieved through appropriate career development programs. According
to Root (2014), new employees can significantly benefit from orientation programs to familiarise
them with their new working environment, while other employees can be enabled to achieve the
performance objectives of the company through regular training and career development
programs. Tsai and Wang (2013) emphasise that, career development programs are an intrinsic
factor that can considerably improve motivation of employees as well as their performance. The
study finding shows that 73.41% of sampled employees agreed that career development
programs are present in their companies, while only 26.59% disagreed. These findings affirms
those reported by Gibbons and Kleiner (1994) that, career development programs play an
imperative role in increasing commitment levels among the employees subsequently leading to
improvements in employees’ loyalty and performance.
Alternatively, internal training plan is another internal factor that is believed to influence
employees’ performance. However, the study findings indicate that 59.30% of sampled
employees disputed the presence of annual training plans in their companies, while 40.70%
affirmed their presence. This trend may negatively affect the performance of employees within
O+G companies in Qatar because it is against the study findings reported by Kent Romanoffken
(1986) who noted that, organizational training plans play an important role expanding skills of
employees through team-building subsequently improving their performance as well as the
overall performance of the company.
According to Root (2014), working environment and job stress can significantly
influence the performance of employees in O+G companies since a positive and stress-free
working environment including supportive and friendly workmates, supervisors, leaders and top
managers who encourage and motivate employees can lead to a comfortable and optimal
working environment. Consistency and effectiveness in work completion is a direct outcome of
work environment and job stress, which are positively related to work enjoyment. The findings
of this study revealed that, 74.73% of the participants agreed that they enjoy working at their
companies while 27.27% disagreed. On the other hand, 75.79% of the participants agreed to be
still motivated in doing their work as the first time when they joined the company while 24.11%
disagreed. This is indicative of a positive working environment within O+G companies in Qatar,
and concurs with the survey findings by Hsin-His (2012) who reported that working environment
was an important factor to ensure employees were contended subsequently influencing their
performance. Furthermore, this is in tandem with organisational culture, which consists of
varied values, rituals, symbols and beliefs stipulating the company’s organisational governance
and operations (Nag, 2011). According to Lefifi (2015), organisational culture not only influence
performance of employees through its impact on working environment and job stress, but
through a myriad of interactions on the conduct of employees with customers, suppliers as well
as workmates meaning that it can have far reaching effects in the company’s performance either
positively or negatively.
Organisational structure is another factor that can significantly affect employees’
performance as a result of internal managerial challenges such as rigidity of the organisational
structure and micromanagement of employees due to a bureaucratic approach to management.
As a result, strict management discourages employees from exploring further skills or
challenging tasks because of low morale, motivation and lack of enthusiasm caused by the
company’s organisational structure, which subsequently leads to a decline in performance levels.
The study findings revealed that majority of employees in O+G companies are working under
strict management, but not all of them who do the minimum work just to keep their
employments. This is because 54.73% of the sampled employees disagreed to be doing minimum
work just to keep their jobs while 45.26% affirmed. This is an indication of considerable
commitment and motivation among the employees in the oil and gas companies, even though
more efforts deem necessary to improve levels of commitment and motivation among employees
to higher levels. These findings seem to concur with those reported by Lefifi (2015) that,
employees’ performance is hindered in companies with bureaucratic organizational structures
where work routines are strictly structured and formalized, and employees do not have any
chance to be innovative.
According to Liu, Schuler and Zhang (2013), employee compensation is fundamental in
motivating employees and improving their performance because well paid employees tend to
have higher levels of motivation and commitment to deliver high performance levels. The
findings of the study revealed that 52.17% of the participants felt that their compensation did not
match their experience hence underpaid, while 47.83% felt properly remunerated. However,
concerning fair and equitable employment benefit package some employees agreed while other
disagreed. The study findings revealed that 74.53% felt that their compensation was fair while
24.47% felt that compensation was not fair. Alternatively, 69.15% of sampled employees
acknowledged that their employment benefit package is equitable while 30.85% disagreed.
This is very imperative because variations between different tasks may affect the level of
satisfaction (Yoon, Seo & Yoon, 2004). Effects of oil price drop on performance are also
determined where irrespective of the drop in oil prices in Qatar because many O+G companies
have ensured that employee performance is sustained (Liu, Schuler & Zhang, 2013). A
significant proportion of employees concur that the changes in oil price have negatively affected
their performance. For example, the study findings revealed that 58.07% of the participants
agreed that the drop in oil prices has diminished their levels of performance while 39.93%
refuted that a drop in oil prices has affected their performance levels in their companies.
Leadership styles are believed to greatly affect employees’ performance in most
companies. The extent of employees’ performance is comprised of various factors such as
meeting the set deadlines, effectiveness and efficiency in carrying out work, carrying out the
defined functions and tasks, as well as employee competency mostly by the company’s
leadership style. According to Skudiene & Auruskeviciene (2012), the commonest leadership
style in many O+G companies in Qatar is the democratic leadership style which allows
employees a room and freedom for personal growth. This is confirmed by the study findings
which the proportions of leadership styles such as democratic, authoritarian, Laissez-Faire and
autocratic to be 41.30%, 17.39%, 19.57% and 21.74% respectively. Richard et al. (2012)
emphasised that leaders and top managers in O+G companies need to adopt appropriate
leadership styles that have potential of stimulating employees’ performance even if it is by
blending a variety of leadership styles. This is attributable to the fact that, researchers have
reported the existence of a strong relationship between a leader’s behaviour in an organisation
and the performance level of subordinates (Lepine et al., 2016).
Moreover, the study findings revealed that majority of the sampled employees (60.63%)
felt that the autonomy of employees has been reduced within O+G companies in Qatar after the
fall in oil prices while 39.63% disagreed with this assertion. In addition, the opinion of
participants on whether leadership styles affect performance in their companies was varied; for
example, 32.62% agreed, 33.70% disagreed, while the remaining 33.70% noted that the style of
leadership has no effect on their job performance. Werner & Mero (1999) affirms that, in some
organisations the senior management influences employees’ motivation, energy, morale,
enthusiasm and commitment to work through the leadership styles they adopt or embrace. As a
result, to this end it is admissible that the performance of employees can be affected by
Moreover, the relationship between oil price changes and training and development was
also established whereby it was found that majority of company managers engage their
employees into productive as well as timely exchange of ideas. The study findings revealed that
74.19% of the research participants agree that they are given timely correctional feedback by
their leaders while 25.81% disagree. This plays an imperative role in the improvement of
employees’ performance thus, making them more devoted and committed to their work. On the
other side, there was a feeling among some employees that the decline in oil prices had resulted
to a decreased spending by O+G companies due to financial constraints, which has subsequently
led to a slashed company spending on training and development. As a result, this has negatively
affected some employees’ job performance. For example, the study findings revealed that
74.44% of the research participants acknowledged that global drop in oil prices has affected their
job performance while 25.54% refute that this drop in oil prices has affected their job
performance. As a result, the empowerment and motivational strategies used by most of the O+G
companies have been considerably affected by the global drop in oil and gas prices. Finally,
unprecedented drop in global oil prices has also been found to significantly affect company sizes
not only in Qatar but across most oil producing nations (Yuan-Cheng et al., 2011). To this end, it
is undoubtedly admissible that the performance of employees has been affected by the internal
and the external factors in oil and gas companies in state of Qatar after the 2015 oil price drop.
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