Factors affecting employees’ performance in the Qatar oil and gas employees
This research project is my original work and has not been submitted for the award of bachelor’s degree in any other institution of higher learning
This research project has been submitted for examination with my approval as the Supervisor.
I thank my family for the special love and support they have accorded to during my work in this research paper. I am forever grateful for the special love, guidance and unending care. My sincere gratitude goes to my professor for mentoring me throughout the research period. The guidance and patience was beyond my expectations. Am more so grateful to my school for the academic support that received, without which I would be much less educated in the area research writing. To my family, schoolmates and friends who had to make time for me even when I could not do the same for them and still understand and cheer me on.
The global decline in oil price has adversely affected oil prices in countries such as Qatar. This situation has made Qatar operate below the national budget and made the country run on a deficit of about $13 billion. It is therefore important to examine how employees in oil and gas producing firms behave and assist the management to influence the company’s goals objectives. This study therefore sought to focus on the internal and external challenges facing the workforce in oil and gas firm in Qatar. The research further discusses the internal and external variables that influence the performance of employees in oil and gas industries. The study meant to understand the internal factors that influence the performance of employees in companies with developing states like Qatar. Another research question is what are the external factors that affect the performance of employees in oil and gas firms, and what are the approaches that can be employed to solve internal and external factors that affect the performance of employees in these companies? There were two objectives that guided the study. First is to determine the internal challenges faced by employees in oil and gas producing firms, and to investigate the external problems that workers in Qatar firms experience when oil and gas price decline. Using an interpretivist research philosophy, the study used questionnaires as he primary means of data collection researchers recruited only 100 participants for the study with 105 questionnaires used among the participants.
Qatar, which has been a member of The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) since 1961, and is also among the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), is considered to have been significantly negatively influenced by the global decline in price for petroleum products following the market glut experienced over the recent past (Qatar Oil & Gas Report, 2015). This is attributable to the fact that there has been a decline in oil prices over the recent past, which has far reaching effects on the country’s economy as well as economies of the regional nations and members of GCC. For instance, according to Milmo (2016) there was a decline of oil prices by 70% globally in 2015, which had been orchestrated by increased oil production by the leading oil producers in the Middle East and GCC members, which has, to a considerable extent, shaken the country’s economy.
As a result, this situation has caused the country to operate below its national budget threshold, which has seen the country run up a budget deficit of approximately $13 billion, a financial figure that if compared to the economy of Qatar as a whole constitutes about 0.8% of the country’s GDP (Breunig & TseChern, 2015; Kulkarni, 2015; Milmo, 2016). Milmo (2016) emphasise that, despite the low level of GDP indebtedness caused by this fall in oil prices; it can potentially have an impact on an economy that is not fully diversified to reduce dependence on the oil and Gas (O+G) industry such as Qatar, compared to countries such as Spain, Greece and Italy that have extensively diversified economies.
The Qatari economy is largely dependent on oil and gas. Nonetheless, the CIA Yearbook (2016) explained that there has been significant growth in sectors such as financial services, manufacturing, and construction, thus lifting the non-oil sectors to at least half of the country’s nominal GDP. The CIA Year Book (2016) also indicated that oil and gas have helped the country to become the global leader in per-capita income. In addition, Qatar has the world’s lowest unemployment rate (0.4 percent) thanks to the robustness of the oil and gas sector. It has also been reported that the Qatari oil reserves are in excess of 25 trillion barrels. According to the CIA Year book (2016), at the current levels, this reserve amount should be enough to present the country with sustained economic benefits for the next 56 years.
For an economy that is developing, such as that of Qatar, with an overreliance on oil and gas as well as their subsequent products as the core drivers of the economy, there is a high likelihood that prices will decline at the slightest economic shock and this will be mirrored by the neighbouring countries in the region (Milmo, 2016). This phenomenon would equally result in a decline in the prices of related inputs that used to produce these products, leading to far-reaching effects that negatively impact the economy as well as performance of companies operating in the oil and gas sector (Milmo, 2016).
According to the United Arab Emirates Oil & Gas Report (2015), despite the vast wealth that Qatar has accumulated because of its oil abundance, the country is still considered a developing country mainly due to the fact that there has been no wide diversification of the economy as observed in developed nations. According to Byun and Hollander (2015), Qatar scores poorly in terms of the Gini Index, a measure of relative wealth equality and poverty, in which the index ranges from zero (0) to one (1), whereby the former corresponds to perfect equality (where income is equal for everyone) and the latter corresponds to perfect inequality (where the entire income is held by one person while the income of the rest equates to zero). In this case Qatar scores 0.41, which is high compared to developed countries that in most cases tend to have a Gini Index score of approximately 0.3 meaning that Qatar has to implement the necessary measures to make sure that income levels among its population become more equally distributed (Byun & Hollander, 2015). This scenario may have far reaching impact on the performance of employees in oil and gas companies within an organisation context, which usually includes the departmental, managerial as well as leadership levels (Al Muftah & Lafi, 2011; Aguinis, 2012; Al-Harthy, 2013; Thao & Hwang, 2015).
As the CIA Yearbook (2016) mentioned, the rate of employment in Qatar is the best in the world. The manufacturing sector now provides many employment opportunities. For example, according to the Statistica report of workforce composition in 2013 the agriculture sector accounted for 1.4% of the workforce, whereas services and industry sectors accounted for 46.8% and 51.6% respectively (Statistica, 2016). In aggregate, 42 % of current employment in Qatar is dominated by foreigners, with most of them working in the manufacturing sector. According to Statistica (2016), in the manufacturing and production industry, the oil and gas sector accounts for the major employment part. According to Statistica (2016), of the 51.6% manufacturing industry jobs, 91% are found in the oil and industry sector. In addition, at least half of the current workers in this sector are Qataris. The balance is made up of foreigners from different parts of the world.
According to Al Muftah and Lafi (2011), in recent times a significant number of organisations have become fully aware of the importance of employee performance, which has led them to devise ways that are appropriate in increasing employee performance. In addition, efforts in finding out and implementing the ways and/or strategies through which high performance levels among the company employees can be attained has become one of the fundamental practises and decisive factors pursued by most successful organisations (Lam, Yik & Schaubroeck, 2012; Thao & Hwang, 2015).
Moreover, irrespective of declining global oil and gas prices, the performance of employees within an organisation often stems from managerial practises adopted by a particular oil and gas company. For instance, the mission of a company management with regards to its human capital is, usually, to get the employees together with the purpose of accomplishing corporate goals and objectives through efficient and effective utilisation of available resources (Mathis & Jackson, 2011; Northouse, 2013). Manpower or employees’ performance can be substantially boosted through heightened efforts towards promoting factors that are fundamental in enhancing the employees’ job satisfaction, creativity, motivational level, as well as ensuring that the workplace environment is comfortable and conducive, among other factors (Armstrong & Murlis, 2004; Bartram & Casimir, 2007; Appiah, 2012).
Narehan et al. (2014) noted that the prevailing social demands and economic conditions have drastically changed the role of work throughout the world. This assertion is made with reference to the previous role of work, which was primarily done as a matter of survival and necessity (Fedor & Rensvold, 2012; Das et al., 2013). Throughout the evolution of human resources capital, the role of work has progressively changed, together with the components of the workforce (Armstrong & Murlis, 2004). For instance, in today’s workforce, work is not only considered a necessity, but also employees also consider it should provide them with personal satisfaction. As a result, the management of oil and gas companies should strive to ensure appropriate motivation and leadership methods are adopted to achieve optimal performance from employees (Webb, Jeffrey & Schulz, 2011). As such, it is important to devise strategies to acknowledge that the industry is comprised of diversity, considering that almost half of the aggregate Qatari workforce and that of the oil and gas industry is formed by foreigners. Thus, any motivation and leadership strategy should be tailored to meet the various demands as manifested by the diversity.
There is an ongoing belief among Westerners that there are four main groups working in Qatar – ranked in order of importance, if not value and size. First, Qatari male citizens; second Western World ex-pats; third, office and shop workers from developing world countries like the Philippines and finally, the road and building constructions workers, largely from the Indian sub-continent. Then, of course, Westerner’s perceptions are that in all groups, women are at least one or two layers ‘lower’ in terms of their status in Qatari society. Indeed, the O+G industry is mainly comprised of men as opposed to women. For instance, according to the Labor Force Sample Survey 2014 published by the Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics in 2015 showed that, out of a 1.7 million workforce, 24.1% worked in the O+G industry in the following composition: 12.2% Qatari males, 3.4% Qatari females, 6.1% Non-Qatari males and 2.4% Non-Qatari females. Moreover, the Labor Force Sample Survey 2014 show that relative distribution of the labour force in O+G industry at different levels was as follows: among the Qatari 56% were highly skilled, 31% were skilled, 7% had limited skill and 6% were unskilled; whereas among the expatriates 16% were highly skilled, 16% were skilled, a colossal 47% had limited skill and 21% were unskilled. As such, this shows that Qataris often work at higher levels while most expatriates occupy lower levels in masses meaning that they are the people who carry out the bulk of the processes that take place in the O+G industry. It is often stated that the Qatari men, unlike women, have the required strength to carry out the mostly demanding tasks involved in the O+G industry.
According to Milmo (2016), expatriates from the western world come second in the list as they are perceived as having the right skills and knowledge to motivate the men to execute the industrial tasks. In addition, expatriate workers from the developing world usually Asia and Africa are usually not regarded as highly as those from the western world, but they seem to massively occupy the lower levels and do the menial jobs that require little or no skills within the O+G industry, essentially meaning that they play an imperative role to drive the industry as a whole. However, in their countries the level of industrialization is low, meaning that they mostly have knowledge in administrative tasks. Thus, when they come to Qatar, they are seen as necessary to play a supportive role to their western counterparts and indigenous Qatari. According to De Bel-Air (2014), the composition of foreign workers in Qatar by selected nationalities or countries of citizenship in 2013 were as follows: Indians (31.2%), Nepalese (23.5%), Philippines (11.4%), Bangladeshi (9.0%) and others (10.1%). Due to the cultural diversity across different occupation levels makes it important to develop motivation strategies in order to improve performance irregardless of where they fall in the priority list. This is because each of these foreign workers is affected in the same way when it comes to motivational issues due to the prevailing working conditions in the foreign country and complexity orchestrated by the cultural diversity of the workforce. Thus, they are all of interest concerning the present research study to investigate the impact of motivation on performance.
According to Al Muftah and Lafi (2011), work-life programs and benefits is one of the fundamental ways through which professional and personal goals and objectives among oil and gas companies’ employees can be attained. Alternatively, the behaviour of individual employees with regards to attitudes and perceptions also play a significant role in influencing the performance levels, hence there is need to ensure that the right attitude is maintained through motivation and appropriate remuneration in order to maintain high efficiency and productivity (Hellriegel, Slocum & Woodman, 2011; Hu, & Kaplan, 2015). According to Hellriegel et al. (2012), various factors are attributable to the performance of employees at work place, since employees’ performance at work place is considered as the way of performing job tasks in accordance with the stipulated job description. Thus, considering that performance concerns completion of a task within prescribed boundaries, it is evidently clear that employees’ performance is affected by various factors that ought to be investigated in the context of oil and gas industry in Qatar.
As a result, this research is aimed at identification and measurement of the level of factors that affect job performance effectiveness among oil and gas companies’ employees in Qatar within the context of an organization at departmental, managerial and leadership levels. The research will strive to identify the necessary variables including working environment, motivation, organizational culture, leadership and training.
The study is a quantitative one and it will strive to establish the relationship that exist between the variables mentioned above and performance of employees in Qatar’s oil and gas industry. From the perspective of Westerners, the Qatari O+G industry is largely controlled and managed by Westerners, who are very highly paid and have lots of other benefits to motivate them, as otherwise, who would want to go and live in the midst of a desert, in an alien culture, in temperatures that are so high year around?
This is indeed true, considering that the majority of oil extracting and exporting firms are headed by managers from western countries. This claim was confirmed by Carroll (2016) who revealed that in every company operating in the Qatari oil and gas industry, there has to be a manager from the western nations, given that they are perceived as having high knowledge and skills. Considering the industry’s wealth, these managers are provided with robust compensation and benefits. Hence, it is apparent that money-oriented rewards are among the most essential motivators for the western managers.
Human capital is among the most important assets that significantly contribute to the production levels in oil and gas companies (Narehanet al., 2014). Therefore, it is important to understand how the performance of employees or job behaviour among employees of oil and gas companies in Qatar assists departments, managements and executive leaders to influence organizational goals and objectives either positively or negatively.
Considering that the performance of employees is affected by a wide range of workplace factors, this study focuses on investigating the oil and gas industry scenario in Qatar in order to determine the factors or variables that affect the performance of employees either positively or negatively. By doing so, the study will also play a critical role in highlighting how employees’ performance is affected either positively or negatively by these factors or variables together with the interactions between them.
The variables or factors that have been determined to influence the performance of employees at workplace in the scenario of oil and gas industry include organization culture, leadership style, workplace environment, organization structure, financial rewards as well as job stress. The current study will focus on the junior managers and line employees working in the oil and gas industry, both Qataris and foreigners. The participants will come from two companies operating within the sector.
There has been description of these variables in different studies and their influence on the performance of employees at work place has been confirmed (Hellriegel, Slocum & Woodman, 2011; Hu, & Kaplan, 2015). An appropriate balance must be achieved between these variables or factors in order to ensure that oil and gas companies optimally utilise the potential of their workforce. This is important because, failure to achieve this balance the workforce may become counterproductive or underutilised leading to a decline in production levels, which subsequently results to a decline in the company revenues and profitability. Since these variables or factors can either positively or negatively influence the performance of employees across sectors, it becomes inevitable to investigate them as well as their interactions to determine the appropriate combination for optimal performance among employees to be achieved.
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. Therefore, motivation is key 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.
1.4 Research Questions:
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
The primary objectives of this study include:
- To determine the internal challenges faced by employees working in oil and gas companies during the surge of oil and gas prices
- To investigate the external problems that workers in the Qatari O+G firms experience in the face of declining oil and gas prices
- 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.
The research objective and questions, the research objective 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 significances 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.
In overall, the aim of this dissertation is to investigate employees’ performance within an organization at departmental, managerial and leadership levels at oil and gas companies operating in Qatar with the aid of survey data gathered at firm level. Following the introduction as the first chapter, which provides background information about the research topic, aim, problem statement, objectives as well as significance of the study and the research questions; the reminder of the dissertation is organized in subsequent chapters as follows. The second chapter provides the literature review by discussing theoretical basis of the research topic based on previous studies and also describe the situation of oil and gas companies in Qatar. In this chapter, also the key terms are introduced in addition to reviewing existing theoretical and empirical literature on the research topic. The third chapter is the methodology and it describes the methods adopted to test the hypotheses, and also describes the target population, research sample and data as well as variables employed in the study. The fourth chapter is the data analysis and study findings and it presents the study results through analysed data and its interpretation. Finally, the fifth chapter is the discussion and conclusion and it is concerned with elucidation of the research findings with reference to findings of previous studies, making of conclusions as well as highlighting limitations of the study and giving recommendation for future research.
The international energy business is the largest industry in the world. According to IRENA (2016), the industry contributes about $5 trillion (8.2 percent) each year to global GDP, with the largest share ($4.4 trillion) derived directly from oil, coal, and natural gas. It has been reported that the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states are dominant in expanding the global energy industry. IRENA (2016) supposed that the abundance of hydrocarbon resources in the GCC market usually makes it not only the premier producer but also the chief exporter of petroleum products, crude oil, and natural gas. The researcher added that the GCC accounts approximately a quarter of the international production of crude oil. Besides, it has been reported that the GCC stands out for having the second (Saudi Arabia), sixth (UAE), and ninth (Kuwait) largest global producers of the resource. The same can be said about the production of petroleum products. IRENA (2016) revealed that Saudi Arabia, with at least eight operational refineries as well as a capacity of over 2.2 million barrels per day (b/d), is the largest producer of petroleum products among the GCC member states. However, UAE and Kuwait are also major producers. The trade of energy resources in the GCC also serves to expand the global energy economy. According to IRENA (2016), GCC accounts for at least 80 percent of the Middle East’s aggregate liquid energy exports.
After the decision of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states in 2014 not to cut the production of oil following the drop in oil prices, the cost of a barrel of oil has significantly fallen to its lowest price since 2015. According to Milmo (2016), the drop in oil prices in this case badly affects the economy of Qatar since the stock markets around the world are significantly affected by these drops. Therefore, not only does the country’s GDP fall, but its large foreign investments in companies overseas also suffer (pp.38). The decrease in oil prices in Qatar was brought about by several factors that include the following: changing policy objectives of the GCC member states; the increasing decline in global oil product demands, and an increase in oil production from other oil producing economies. Additionally, the decrease in GCC’s geopolitical concerns that appertain to supply disruptions in other countries that depend on oil from Qatar is another challenge that has resulted in the drop in oil prices.
Krane (2015) supports the views of Milmo (2016) by stating that in as much as several O+G importing countries have immensely benefited from the drops in oil prices, the effects and impacts of these price drops may not be positive worldwide (pp.16). This can be depicted in the fact that some of the leading oil producing states such as Qatar struggle in maintaining their economy and stability as a result of declines in oil revenues (United Arab Emirates Oil & Gas Report 2015, pp.110). As a result of the destabilizing effects that result from a drop in oil prices, serious implications for companies and their workforce are considered to be immense.
Smead (2015) states that a decrease in oil prices has the capacity to significantly strengthen the dollar, a factor that would affect Qatar’s currency as a result of the state’s dependence on commodity exports (pp.85). As a result of oil price drops in a state’s financial assets, widespread defaults in companies are likely to be experienced. This is attributed to the fact that the precipitation of financial contagion may lead to instabilities in such organizations.
However, Marais (2016) contrasts the views of other authors since he alleges that Qatar seems to be immune to the effects of price drops in its oil products. According to this author, the economic performance of Qatar is still strong even with the drop in oil prices, an aspect that is attributed to the state’s expansion in other entities such as the non-hydrocarbon industry and its large sovereign fund investments overseas (Qatar Oil & Gas Report 2015, pp.65). This industry is considered to drive the state’s economic momentum, thus propelling the spending made on investments. Breunig and Tse Chern (2015) also point to Qatar’s construction and banking industries as robust in recording the state’s economic growth (pp.114).
Several researchers have attempted to explore the important internal factors that have led to the decline in the prices of oil and gas. One of the largest influences has been the GCC tax structure. Daou (2016) reported that, while the recent tax reforms (the VAT common framework) were optimal, the GCC failed to a introduce tax administration system that incorporates best practice methodologies, systems, and procedures to guarantee efficient tax revenue management. The researcher added that the tax structure has already caused a shift in demand for oil and gas (Daou, 2016). With this, the prices of the resources have to decline. In another study by Tverberg (2014), it was revealed that the GCC culture has played a significant part. As such, the GCC’s energy use culture is evolving, however gradually. These findings resonate with those of Nusair (2016) who revealed that the GCC member states have realized that they have an obligation to the environment. Therefore, they have joined the western nations in fighting global warming. Even though the subjects are still reluctant to change, the production of non-renewable energy resources is slowly rising. In the light of this, it is apparent that the price of the oil and natural gas has to fall.
According to Rotich (2015), Human Resource Management (HRM) has undergone various changes in its history. The earliest form of HRM was industrial welfare from 1833 all through to 1913 (Cascio, 2015). However, at around 1916, recruitment and section were introduced. After the Second World War, other personnel activities, which included training, discipline, wage policies, morale and motivation, safety, and health, were acquired (Rotich, 2015). In the 1970s, during a period of rapid industrialization, industrial relations became the norm. Still in the same period, the employment legislation scope was increased, with the personnel function taking the role of the specialist advisor, who ensured that managers did not contravene the law. In the 1990s, flexibility and diversity were set as part of the HRM practice. A recent addition to the HRM sphere was aspects of Information Technology, and this is confirmed by the fact that more and more companies have implemented an e-recruitment strategy, and make much use of social media (Rotich, 2015).
At present, HRM is regarded as one of the most important management functions, given that the productivity of other departments depends on the HRM decisions. Hence, the contemporary managers often make strategic decisions regarding the manner in which labor can be utilized best. Nonetheless, most managers draw on the various schools of thoughts to develop optimal choices, For example, using motivation theory, HRM managers seek to understand the needs of their workers (Cascio, 2015). Subsequently, the managers tend to create a working system that corresponds with those demands. This is the reason that one will find firms offering competitive salaries, innovative benefit packages, and interactive work conditions and processes (Cascio, 2015).
Webb, Jeffrey and Schulz (2011) pointed out to the fact that employees are the organization’s most important resource and need to be properly compensated in order to achieve the goals of an organization. As detailed initially, the development of the human resource management (HRM) approach is based on approaches aimed at utilizing people and treating them as resources in order to realize an organization’s objectives (Webb, Jeffrey & Schulz 2011, pp.212). This clearly denotes the functional role of HRM within these organizations, an effort directed towards initiating high performance work systems. This aspect consequently entails linking the workforce in different departments within an organization. Thus, O+G companies incorporate the use of effective HRM systems to increase their competitive nature through an investment in employee development.
The concept of employee performance is often associated with the workforce’s ability to achieve quality in relation to output, the presence of employees on the job, the timeliness of the output, and the effectiveness of the work completed. Fedor and Rensvold (2012, pp.790) stated that an efficient leadership style has a bearing that encourages employee performance. The views of Lin (2011) are in support of those of Fedor and Rensvold (2012). According to Lin (2011), employee performance involves the successful completion of duties and responsibilities as developed by the supervisors and top managers of an organization (pp.895). In this case, the performance of employees according to these authors may be considered in the perspective of three elements that enables them to perform better, with the determinacy of their performance considered as wholly dependent on their declarative knowledge, motivations and procedural knowledge. In short, it is essential to establish that efficient human resource practices have a positive impact on the performance of employees within an organization.
As a result of the drops in oil prices in Qatar, Das et al. (2013, pp. 52) noted that there are five internal human resource management practices that affect the performance of employees. This consequently includes organizations efforts directed towards eliminating recruitment packages and competitive compensation levels, the elimination of training and development, including personal appraisals and the layoff of staff members with the aim of stabilizing the functions of these organizations. In this case, organizations are forced to restructure their systems and functions during such periods in order to remain competitive in the market as stated by Hu and Kaplan (2015). The sharp decline in oil prices has tipped several companies into recession, an aspect that has slumped investment levels within the O+G industry. Many employees have been laid off as a result of this slump, thus affecting the functions of HRM within the organizations (Hu & Kaplan 2015, pp. 125). In their article, Hu and Kaplan (2015) have clearly pointed out how the layoffs of employees within this sector affects various operations of oil and gas companies, including a decline in production of goods and services within these projects such as O+G ripping services, engineering and construction services.
The decline in oil prices has caused employees in O+G organizations in the state of Qatar to experience various external issues that impact their performance. Jaffe and Elass, (2015) purported that the drop in oil prices has in fact led to the cancellation of a series of projects within the energy companies’ proposals, which has in turn resulted in significant job cuts. Several foreign expatriates have also left Qatar to take their families back to their home nation. According to Jaffe and Elass (2015), this results from the outcome of the efforts of O+G corporations that are aimed at establishing the right sizing of their organizations human resources. In essence, oil companies in this region have taken steps in downsizing their workforce and cancelling their projects as an approach of cushioning the workforce on the impact of the falling oil prices. Hu and Kaplan (2015) support these views when they pointed out that several companies in Qatar demurred on the renewal of their contracts with other companies worldwide.
In addition to this, the depression in oil prices has also seen oilfield service companies and their sub-contractors suffer from some huge drops in their organizational activities, thus impacting the performance of employees – and the need for them. There are many instances of reductions in spending on staffs on pertinent activities such as training and development, motivation and empowerment by organizations as a result of low incomes received by these companies (Salehi, Save, Nel & Almquist, 2015, pp.47). The drop in oil prices has also seen several employees in companies dealing in the O+G sector encounter an increase in financial pressures. This results from swelling prices of products and services within the emirates economy of this nation, an aspect that has affected these employees immensely. As a result of the scope of staff cuts, many Qatari citizens working in these companies have been rendered jobless, thus their survival has turned out to be challenging.
The low levels of oil prices are likely to result in a new market equilibrium that is depicted to last longer as compared to the short-term price limitations that occurred in 2008-2009. As a result of this current situation, all the net oil exporters in Qatar are predicted to face challenges in adjusting to the macro-and microeconomic factors, an element that affects several oil producing companies and their employees.
Qatar primarily depends on oil for many purposes that include planting its fields, powering cars, operating some of its oil-powered irrigation systems and to be used as raw materials in the production of different products that include fabrics and medicines (Kilian, & Lewis, 2011, pp.1048). Several industries have therefore been developed that produce products that are consumed by the population both at home and abroad, an aspect that has seen the employment of many workers from the country.
When the price of oil is low, the production of several products is likely to decline, thus leading to a series of secondary effects such as job losses, debt defaults as a result of deflation, the loss of letters of credit that are required by exporters and the decline in oil exporters (Kilian, & Lewis, 2011, pp.1049).The low oil price makes it more challenging for drillers to repay their loans that are taken to enhance the process. These results in lower cash flows and interest rates on some of the new loans that is consequently higher thus affecting different individuals who would require loans from banks.
Once the lowering of oil prices are experienced in states such as Qatar, the prices of different commodities also fall to levels that make different products available for consumers, an element that cuts down the shares of production on different commodities (Kilian, & Vigfusson 2011, pp.336). When the production of commodities drops and prices are fixed on the concept of affordability, an aspect that cuts back on several aspects such as housing, food, and cars, thus impacting the employees of different organizations is experienced.
Human resources, or employees, are the backbone a company. They are the most vital asset of an organization. Proper use of a company’s employees could improve the bottom line of the firm and lead the company from bottom to up. Performance is understood as the accomplishment of a particular duty or job measured against predetermined known standards of speed, cost, completeness and accuracy (Richard et al. 2012). Employee performance is of great importance given that the success of an organization is directly associated with the employee’s job performance. Various researchers have reported that the success of staff members at their functions would further the organization’s success (Richard et al. 2012). Human resource managers in O+G companies in Qatar and other oil producing countries in the region need to first hire people who have the right qualifications and skills for the job. Following the completion of the hiring process, the HR professionals should seek to make sure that the work of a staff member is aligned closely with the objectives and goals of the company. In order to attain strong employee work performance, HR managers execute training and development programs, carry out employee performance evaluations, and choose when to reassign and/or promote staffs (Hsin-Hsi 2012).
The job performance of employees within an organization is affected in a negative or positive way by various factors. Examples of these factors include organizational culture, style of leadership used, training and development, personality trait of employees, motivation, workplace environment, job stress, job satisfaction, as well as organization structure among other factors. Managers in O+G companies need to be aware of the many factors affecting the work performance of their employees and strive to improve them (Dutton & Kleiner 2015). Business organizations are dependent on their human resources to deliver and produce high quality services and/or products. Ewenstein, Hancock and Komm (2016) pointed out that as they attempt to carry out their job tasks, workers are affected by both external and internal forces. Employers who recognize these internal and external forces and who are ready to counter or leverage them would be able to increase employee performance, loyalty as well as productivity.
Each employee in any O+G company in Qatar or any other O+G producing and exporting country has to work in accordance with what is expected of him or her. Most definitely, there are a number of things that these employees have to achieve in performing their employment functions.
Dutton and Kleiner (2015) reported that staff members who are trained and educated according to their field generally tend to work better, smarter and more efficiently than others. It is important that O+G companies in Qatar and in other oil producing and exporting nations in the region allocate sufficient amount of money for training their employees in order to improve their skills as well as knowledge regularly. As the skills and knowledge of employees increases, so does their job performance and achievement.
According to Root (2014), the working environment has a great influence on the achievement and performance of employees in O+G companies. A positive working environment includes colleagues who are supportive and friendly, leaders and top managers who give positive motivation in the workplace, and comfortable work environment. In an uncomfortable working environment with leaders who undervalue workers and colleagues who are hostile, the work performance of an employee is likely to reduce (Root 2014). On the whole, the workplace environment is an important factor in terms of keeping staff members in an O+G company satisfied.
In their survey, Hsin-Hsi (2012) found that 10 percent of the surveyed workers reported that the workplace environment was a vital factor in keeping them contented whereas other crucial aspects included compensation, recognition and praise as reported by 29 percent of those surveyed. Employees who are satisfied and contented with their workplace environment are inclined to exhibit high work performance. Other important factors are promotions and engaging in recreation activities at the workplace which are helpful in improving health, increasing self-esteem and confidence, reducing stress, and relaxing the mind. In essence, recreation at the place of work has a positive effect on the performance of workers since employee job satisfaction will increase, their quality of service would increase, and their work productivity also increases (Saira et al. 2016).
2.4.3 Leadership style
There are many styles of leadership including participative, charismatic, transformational, democratic and autocratic styles among others. The performance of employees comprises meeting the set deadlines, carrying out the defined functions and tasks, efficiency and effectiveness in carrying out work, as well as employee competency. Richard et al. (2012) pointed out that top managers and leaders in O+G companies need to have strong styles of leadership that would stimulate the performance of their workers. Researchers have reported that there is a strong correlation between the behavior of a leader in an organization and the level of performance of her subordinates: a leader who motivates and inspires her followers tends to bring out the best in those employees (Lepine et al. 2016). On the whole, the leader influences workers toward attaining the goals and objectives of the company. As such, a leader’s behavior and the leadership style they adopt could have a noteworthy effect on work outcomes, and on how jobs are done.
The culture of an organization defines how the staff members carry out their job tasks and interact with one another within the company. In any business organization, the cultural paradigm consists of different symbols, rituals, values and beliefs governing how people in the organization operate (Nag 2011). A company’s organizational culture has a great impact on how workers conduct themselves with suppliers, customers, and their fellow employees. Organizational culture, as Lefifi (2015) pointed out, includes more than simply a work environment. It also includes empowerment/autonomy given to workers, growth plans of the company, and attitude of the company’s management toward employees. Furthermore, tone at the company’s senior management level is utilized in describing the culture of an organization. While a negative tone could result in absences, employee dissatisfaction, vandalism and even theft, a positive tone could help the workers to become happier and more productive, which in turn help to improve their job performance (Lefifi 2015).
Organizational cultures could have different impacts on the levels of motivation and performance of the workers. In many instances, staff members work harder to attain the goals and objectives of their company if they see themselves as being part of the organizational culture. The culture of an organization offers a framework regarding the behavior of workers within the organization. The effect of culture on the performance of employees could either be negative or positive. According to Nag (2011), the culture of an organization in which staff members are seen as a vital element of the company’s growth process promotes commitment of staffs toward the company. They align their objectives as well as goals with the goals/objectives of their company and feel responsible for the company’s overall well-being. As their efforts are consequently recognized by the organization’s top managers and rewarded, the workers have great job satisfaction. In such corporate cultures, workers are dedicated to attaining their goals/objectives; hence they have a positive effect on the company’s overall performance (Root 2014).
Conversely, in companies in which managers are taskmasters rather than being facilitators, staffs live in mistrust and fear, and work is a dull and unexciting chore. Given that they are not involved in the company’s overall goals and objectives, they do not actually recognize the implication of their tasks and might therefore not be dedicated to attaining them (Lefifi 2015). An O+G company in which various departments do not cooperate will end up having staff members working in silos. The workers may also end up working toward undercutting or denting the efforts of other departments. These are both damaging to the company’s overall health. To a large extent, the culture of an organization determines employee performance. For this reason, negative factors that hold back the job performance of workers should be eliminated so as to promote a positive corporate culture or positive workplace environment (Root 2014).
To obtain the best work performance from workers in O+G companies, it is important to have some type of motivation besides the monthly payment. Saira et al. (2016) stated that motivation could be in the form of a career path which actually leads to management, a chance to take part in company projects, or even monetary incentives. Effective motivation could make employees more productive. If there are no motivating factors however, workers could be left looking for reasons to do their best at work and give their maximum effort. Hsin-Hsi (2012) reported that motivation is an essential driving force to attain any given task.
The two kinds of motivation are extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. While extrinsic motivation is founded upon external sources, intrinsic motivation is understood as the inner force of the employee to achieve a particular objective or goal (Hsin-His 2012). The level of employee motivation has a direct impact on the performance of workers in O+G companies in Qatar. It is notable that together with skills, abilities, and knowledge, motivation is a vital aspect that actually contributes to job performance of an employee. Researchers have found that positive reinforcement improved employees’ level of performance from 44% to 96%, since regular feedback as well as recognition gave the workers the psychological feeling that in fact influenced their work performance positively and strongly (Ewenstein, Hancock & Komm 2016).
Motivations can also be categorized as fear motivation, incentive motivation or achievement motivation. Fear motivation – punishment and fear of punishment greatly influence workers to carry out their tasks effectively. If an employee breaks some rules, does not follow the set down company policies, behaves in an unacceptable manner, and/or fails to complete his or her work tasks within the required timeframe, that employee is likely to face disciplinary action for instance suspension or firing. As such, since many workers tend to fear punishment, they will strive to complete their tasks properly, on time and in accordance with the requirements and description to avoid punishment (Dutton & Kleiner 2015). This in turn helps to improve their job performance. Incentive performance – in general, behaviors that are positively reinforced would become strengthened by the employee. Root (2014) noted that fiscal or non-fiscal incentives and rewards are crucial in motivating workers to work in an efficient and productive way. If workers are aware that they would be rewarded or that achieving a particular job assignment would give them benefit, then they are very likely to try their best and make their best effort to carry out the work effectively and satisfactorily (Root 2014). Achievement motivation – every person has a need for achievement. The need for achievement is an essential aspect of human personality. People who have a high level of achievement motivation generally have the willingness of going very far to attain their objectives and goals, in spite of hurdles and impediments in their way (Lefifi 2015).
Organizational structures define the departmental structure, supervisory relationships, as well as workflow in an organization. The structure of an organization is focused not just on the layout of departments within an organization, but also on work responsibilities in the context of reporting relationships (Latifi & Shooshtarian 2011). There are various sorts of organizational structures including innovative, divisional, professional, bureaucratic and flat organizational structure. Lefifi (2015) reported that the performance of employees are inhibited in companies with organizational structures such as bureaucratic organizational structure where work is very structured and formalized, typified by a lot of standards, procedures, policies and routines. Conversely, the performance of workers tends to be promoted in O+G companies with organizational structures that are informal and unstructured, and where employees have autonomy with regard to how they perform their job tasks (Lefifi 2015).
Job stress is understood as the damaging emotional and physical responses that take place whenever job requirements do not fit with the needs, resources and abilities of the employee (Karasek & Theorell 2012). Work stress is a significant challenge to individual physical and mental health, as well as organizational health. In his study, Park (2012) found that employees who experience work stress have a higher likelihood of being poorly motivated, unhealthy, less safe at the workplace, and less productive. As a result, O+G firms in Qatar with stressed workers tend not to succeed within a competitive market. In Qatar, it is estimated that stress related to work costs the nation’s economy a substantial amount in litigation, healthcare, sick pay, as well as lost productivity costs (Karasek & Theorell 2012).
This is of great importance in enhancing employee job performance. Even new staffs will benefit very much from orientations programs as well as training and development programs that are aimed at helping them attain the company’s performance objectives. While training activities will help the staff members to improve their work performance at the present time, development activities help to prepare staffs for their future responsibilities and roles (Root 2014). Rapid changes in consumer preferences, technology and regulations necessitate many business organizations to implement continuing employee training and development efforts. In their study, Hsin-Hsi (2012) learned that training and development programs help staff members to acquire skills and knowledge that they require in order to stay up to date in their fields and help the organization to sustain a competitive edge. Managers may carry out a needs analysis for the purpose of ensuring that training and development activities are actually matched to the employment tasks and skills of the employee. No staff member would like to take part in a training activity that does not relate to his or her performance objectives and goals.
Research philosophies have been applied in most of the studies as guides to achieving the research objectives. According to Lewis and Thornhill (2009), there are two main research philosophies commonly applied by mainstream researchers. These two main philosophies include the positivist and interpretivist philosophy (Lewis and Thornhill, 2009). Idyllically, the popular research philosophies have been attributed to the noble work of Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2009). Throughout the tenacity of research studies, researchers have constantly applied the two philosophies. According to Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2009), the two main (positivism and Interpretivism philosophies) have remained applicable in most of the research studies in most of the studies subject to their significance in guiding the research studies. However, there are varied opinions on the relevance of specific philosophies in various studies. To determine the applicability and the validity of a philosophy, the researchers must ascertain the relevance of the philosophy being applied. As such, research philosophy has remained a commonplace for guided research studies.
The reliability of a study depends on the philosophy adopted by researchers. Nevertheless, researchers maintain that the best choice of philosophy must often conform to the objectives of the study. For instance, the philosophy must be a guide towards achieving the aims of the study. Therefore, researchers must understand the outlook of the research before they can choose the type of philosophy to be applied. The outlook of the research determines the objectives that the study seeks to find. According to Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2009) the research outlook is the general design of the research study that determines how the study is conducted and concluded. The research outlook is however blended by the philosophical approaches. As such, Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2009) maintain that every research study must be based on a particular research philosophy.
The research philosophies are known to have very distinctive variations that make them applicable in specific studies. Every research study has a distinctive outlook. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the researchers to determine the applicability of the philosophies to a given study. For example, Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2009) acknowledge that while applying the interpretivist philosophy, researchers often ignore the normalities as well as the rules of the research environment arguing that the changes that are experienced in such environment are often unforeseeable and, therefore, force individuals to ignore the norms and the rules of the business environment. On the other side, Wang (2000) reiterate that individuals with their distinct views are able to propose relevant ideas and arguments.
On the contrary, Hill (2003) reiterates that the positivist philosophy recognises, follows and upholds the rules and norms of the business environment. This means that every researcher applying the positivist approach must rely on the background environments of the businesses. In this philosophy, the researchers must, therefore, be able to apply the scientific methods that help in the determining the nature of the business environments. As such, it is arguable that the philosophy states the standards as well as the rules that future researchers will rely on in their future studies. Interpretivism has blended the research studies in very many instances. Taylor (2005) argues that this philosophy has unveiled uncountable advantages to researchers.
Scientific studies are often complex in nature and require extensive comparison. In this sense, researchers normally employ interpretivist approach. In this research study, interpretivist philosophy has been applied with the view of determining both the external and internal factors affecting the performance of employees in the Qatari state O+G company. Ideally, it sets the rules upon which the researchers lay out their studies. In this research study, the researchers has, therefore, chosen the interpretivist research philosophy over the positivist philosophy. Since the study sought to consider the rules, guidelines as well as the standards that control the business environments in most of the common organisations, this approach has helped in determining how the various internal and external factors affect the employee affect the productivity of employees in oil and gas companies in state of Qatar after the 2015 oil drop (Tsai & Wang, 2013).
It is significant for the researchers to study how factors such as the compensation structure, job security and workforce autonomy affect employees’ productivity across Qatar states. On the other hand, this study will apply the available statistical analysis tools to find the results of the entire study. As such, the study’s primary data collection will be the principal method of obtaining data in this study. In addition to this, the participants in this study will be expected to provide information on the impacts of employee jobs security, workforce autonomy and compensation structures on the productivity of employees working in the a state in Qatar. While taking note on the interpretivist approach in this study, the study will also be built through the review of existing literature studies. This means that the researcher will obtain the relevant information related to the study and use the information to help in answering the study questions. The literature review and the findings from the existing literature will help in the testing of the study variables. The study analysis will then be done based on other methods for statistical analysis such as Statistical Packages for Social Sciences (SPSS) as well as the Microsoft Excel.
In this study, the questionnaire has been used as a primary source of data. To obtain data from the participants in this study, the questionnaire had been considered as the most appropriate data collection tool. One of the significance of using the questionnaire is because it will ensure collection of data independently. As such, the data collected by questionnaire will be specific to various participants. According to Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2009), questionnaires are very critical tools that can be used in collecting systematic data from a larger sample of many participants. In many instances, the data from questionnaires can be used in determining the actual responses of the participants without the interference of the other external individuals. Although the questionnaires also have certain limitations, Appleton, Song and Xia (2014) acknowledge the application of the questionnaires in most of the research studies initiate effective and accurate collection of data. In such cases, the participants are protected and are able to answer the questionnaire questions without fear or interference.
In this manner, Punch (2013) appraises the application of questionnaires stating that they are time-saving, cheaper compared to the other conventional data collection methods and able to be used with the larger samples. In studies where questionnaires are used, the validity of the findings has always remained high. Taylor (2005), notes that the responses given by most of the participants in questionnaires are personal sentiments. Questionnaires often give individuals room for self-expression thus, increasing the levels of valid responses. The questionnaire usage in both data collection and analysis has been appraised by many researchers. For example, Taylor (2005) acknowledged that the use of Bruton et al. (2015) makes it easier to analyse and collected data. The questionnaire helps in the collection of systematic data. This means that the systematic data can be easier to analyse compared to the non-systematic data.
Conversely, Punch (2013) notes that the use of questionnaire allows both statistical and descriptive data analysis unlike the other forms of data collection that restrict analysis and presentation. Based on the nature of the study, the quantitative techniques that will be used in the collection of data will lead to statistical data analysis (Taylor, 2005). Since the study will also have its qualitative components, the application of the questionnaire will be appropriate in doing a qualitative analysis.
According to Taylor, G. (2005) employee performance is affected by a number of factors. Some of these factors are intrinsic while some of them are extrinsic. Of the extrinsic factors, Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2009) note that compensatory structure, the workforce autonomy and the employee job security remains principal factors affecting the employee productivity. In this manner, Fan, Wong and Zhang (2013) note that it is important to study the relationship between the employee performance and these factors. The scale to be designed in this study aims at identifying the measures that can be used in determining the effects of job autonomy, employee job security as well as the employee compensation in the Chinese SOEs (Bruton et al. 2015). In order to measure the effects of the stated factors on employee performance, the researcher will ensure that he/she uses the scale to ascertain the relationships between the factors and the levels of performance.
This study is to find how the three factors (job autonomy, job security and employee compensation structures) affect the levels of employee performance in Qatari oil and gas companies. This being the main focus, the researcher has to compare the views from various participants. The responses were significant in determining the levels of employee performance in Qatari O+G companies. Therefore, the scale design will remain critical in ensuring that the relationship between the factors and the performance is confirmed. The variables of the study will, therefore, be included and discussed in the following tables.
Measure scale of Compensation
|1||The salary given to the workers is often adequate and reasonable to all the workers|
|2||The salary is inadequate and insufficient to most workers|
|3||The salary is equivalent to the work done by the workers|
|4||Workers appreciate the salary that they receive from the managers|
|5||Workers always complain about the salary that they get from the managers|
|6||All the workers regardless of their performance are entitled to pension and salary.|
|7||Only hardworking employees are rewarded, salaried and entitled to a pension.|
|8||Workers work hard because they know that they are pensioned|
|9||Workers work hard because they know they do not have a pension.|
Measure Scale for Job Security
|1||The job restriction disallows freedom off-duty|
|2||The job allows freedom and one may choose to be on duty or not|
|3||The work is monitored frequently and keenly and offenders are retrenched|
|4||Workers job is secure and safe making people free to do what they want.|
|5||All workers are entitled to pension|
Measure Scale for Workforce Autonomy
|1||Workers choose what they want to do without consulting the management|
|2||Workers must always work under the instruction and supervision by the management|
|3||Workers have the freedom to work together with the management of the organisations.|
|4||At work, there is support given to the workers by the management in order to ensure guidance.|
|5||Workers work alone without the interference of the management.|
|6||The workers are usually accurate in doing things by themselves without the support of the management.|
|7||Workers often error when not supported by the management|
|8||Workforce receives guidance from the managers frequently|
|9||The workforce guide themselves without the intervention of the managers|
At the end of the study, the completed questionnaires used in this study were appended as proof of the results. The questionnaires had the specific components and parts as stated in the section below.
The first part of the questionnaire had the identity details of the participants as well as the purpose of the questionnaire. The participants identified themselves with specific codes in order to ensure that there is anonymity during the study. In this manner, this section also contained the factors that were to be studied during this research. For example, the section identified factors such as employee job autonomy, compensation structure and the job security. The participants (individual workers from the Qatari O+G companies) derived the understanding of the factors to be studied from this section. In the first part, the participants identified the factors that they are aware of among the three identified factors. The participants were then being asked in this section to explain whether they enjoyed these factors or not. This was used as a confirmation that the participants were aware of the factors that affect their performance.
This first section is significant because it confirms whether the participants are aware of the factors that affect their performance. In this manner, the scale was designed in a manner that identified the degree of knowledge to confirm the level of knowledge. This means that the questionnaire assessed whether the factors (job security, compensation and job autonomy) affect their work.
The second part of the questionnaire is in the body of the questionnaire. This is where the researcher assigned responses which constituted a scale 4-pont Likert scale (1-agree, 2-disagree, 3-not sure, 4-I don’t know) for assessing the level of knowledge on the factors affecting the employees’ level of productivity. In the fourth sections, the researcher identified the details of the participants such as the demographics such as name, age, ethnicity, educational level, and frequency of purchasing as well as the levels of income.
The main aim of the study is to determine the factors affecting employees’ performance in the Qatari oil and gas employees. The interest therefore remains focused on the performance of the Qatari employees. In this study, there are many correlational factors that was included; however, the researchers use the three factors (job security, workforce autonomy and employee compensation structure) to determine how they affect the workforce productivity. Given there is a difference between the employee performances in Qatar O+G companies explained by extant literature, the study concentrated on the abovementioned factors. Since the study sought to find out the effects of these factors on the Qatari O+G employees, the employees in the Qatari state company were targeted. Although, Brandt, Van Biesebroeck and Zhang (2012) there are many Qatari companies that are eligible for the study, this study applied a concise sampling criterion in finding the best individuals to identify those who took part in this particular study. In order to be able to sample the best individuals for the study, there were factors that the researcher considered important.
One of the most important factors was the budget size for the study and its economic impacts to the researcher. Ideally, the high budget forced the researcher to restrict the sample to a given number of participants. In this manner, the researcher had to come up with another method of selecting the participants who met the specific eligibility factors. Time constraint was also a critical consideration that the researcher had to consider. Since there are many companies, the time that was needed was a lot (Tsai & Wang, 2013). In order to battle the time constraint, the researcher applied non-probability sampling. This is where participants with specific features were selected for the study. In this sense, non-probability sampling was the best method as it gave the research a mature sample for the study.
Additionally, non-probability sampling also improved the convenience during sampling. This means that the participants selected were individuals who were carefully selected. Since the sample was made of Qatari workers, Fan, Wong and Zhang (2013) posit that such sampling ensured that those included in the study were available and easily accessible. This helped in sampling individuals who ensured that the aims of the study were achieved.
On the contrary, non-probability sampling may also cause biases during sampling of the participants. Since there was the need in attaining convenience, this method of sampling was chosen for the study. Only qualified individuals were included in this research study. Some of the requirements during sampling required participants aged above 18 years, had to be workers in some of the renowned Qatari oil and gas companies and had to have willingness to take part in the study till the end.
Based on the requirements, the researcher recruited 100 participants only. This means that the researcher had to reproduce 105 questionnaires to be used among the participants. According to Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2009) the excess questionnaires help in ensuring accuracy in the distribution of the questionnaires. This limited the errors that might have arose during the study. The excess number also ensured that the questionnaires attained the validity rate. As such, the questionnaires distributed were statistically significant after the study. Larger samples require larger inputs in order to be able to come up with accurate results. This means that researchers dealing with larger samples must be able to spend larger amounts of money, resources, time and energy in conducting the studies.
Dealing with a large population of samples in various studies has remained one of the challenges for most researchers. However, the researchers may have all the money and resources needed in conducting surveys with such large samples, but the problem is that such studies may not yield accurate results. In this sense, it advisable to choose an easily manageable samples that are easier to work with. This is why this study ensured that the participants selected for the study were only 200 workers (Du, Tang & Young, 2012). In as much as this study sample is also large, it is thought to be a sizeable population that the researcher will be able to manage without limitations. Tsai and Wang (2013) say that there are a number of advantages in working with smaller populations. Ideally, the smaller populations reduce the time taken in conducting the study. A smaller sample is easier to manage as compared to the larger populations.
According to Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2009), larger populations tend to be tiresome when assessing. This means that the researchers may overlook some of the important procedures that are necessary for the processes of the study. While Cheng and Liu (2014) appraise larger population for the validity and generalisability of the findings from larger populations, Taylor (2005) negates the idea by saying that larger population lead to dilution of the results. In this case, the researcher in this study settled for a manageable and affordable population of participants.
This study was useful in very many ways. According to Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2009), such studies can be applied in very many situations where similar problems are experienced. Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2009), postulate that there are many problems that are only revealed through research studies. Ideally, findings from this study can be used in understanding the major cases of the problems that affect Qatari oil and gas company employees. In trying to find some of the challenges that the workers face in Qatar, the findings will be used across Qatar. This means that Qatar as a whole will be represented in the study. This, therefore, calls for concise analysis and interpretation of the findings. In order to be certain of the findings of the study, the researcher had to, conduct proper research that identified all the factors that affect the oil and gas company workers.
Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2009) agreed that primary data collection help researchers in understanding a number of aspects in the research studies. This data was the ultimate confirmation that the cited problems are actually present. The data will be relevant in making viable decisions concerning the performance of the employees in similar companies. The primary data will also make it easier for the researcher to confirm the claims in the literature materials. As such, the primary data will be used together with the secondary data in order to come up with conclusive reports on how compensation, job security and workforce autonomy affects the performance and productivity of the employees.
The final data from this study will be usable in various oil and gas companies within and outside Qatar. This study will, therefore, help in determining how the performance of the employees working in the oil and gas companies can be improved. Ideally, the information obtained from this study will be relevant in developing standards upon which the O+G companies can use to increase the levels of performance. Based on the study, there are a number of O+G companies that face challenges of productivity. In this sense, it is imperative to incorporate the information from this study in an attempt of improving the performances of the employees in the company (Du, Tang and Young, 2012). Therefore, the concise analysis will ensure the use of Microsoft Excel and SPSS. In addition, the correlation between compensation, job security as well as workforce autonomy and the level of productivity will be analyzed.
The participants’ voluntarism is one of the major issues that are considered as a challenge in the study. The participants must be aware of the requirements of the study. In this manner, the study only considered only individuals volunteers who were included in this study. Ideally, this study considered participant anonymity, therefore; the application of the questionnaire made it possible to conceal the identity of the participants. However, all the participants had to be eligible for the study before they were included. This means that individuals who did not meet the criteria were excluded from the study.
This chapter presents the analyses of the data resulted from the study. The first part of the chapter focuses on the relationship between the variables and the findings. Using descriptive statistics, this chapter employs both quantitative and qualitative statistical methods to explain the findings. The chapter gives both the quantitative analyses and an illustration of the study findings.
For the study, 95 questionnaires out of 100 were completed. During the study, it was evident that there were more males than females. The study findings indicate that 70.53% of the participants who participated in the study were males; females answered 29.47% of the questionnaires. This result indicates that there are more males working in Qatari O+G companies than females. With only 28 females included in this study, the findings indicate a large discrepancy between the employed males and females in Qatar, but this reflects both the working culture of the Middle East generally and the historic make-up of the O+G industry (Cheng & Liu 2014).
Figure 1: Gender
The majority of the participants who took part in this study were aged 31-35 years (25.26%). Individuals of ages 25-30 equalled 24.21% of the participants. Similarly, individuals of ages 36-45 also made 24.21% of the total population of the participants. Additionally, older individuals of 46-60 years totalled 13.68% of the participants. The younger participants of ages under 25 years comprised 8.42% of the total population of the participants. Moreover, individuals over 60 years made 4.21% of the participants.
Figure 2: Age distribution
Among some of the internal factors that affect employees in O+G companies in Qatar, job position and work experience were of great significance. As explained by Du, Tang and Young (2012), job experience determine the level of performance among the employees. In this study, majority of the workers had experience of slightly over 2 years of experience (53.68%). 15.79% of the participants had experience for almost 2 years. Also, 9.4% of the participants had experience of between 1 month and one year. Those with working experience for over 25 years were similar to workers who had experience of 2-5 years i.e. 1.05%. On the other side, those who had work experience between 6 and 10 years, 10 and 20 years, 21 and 25 years were 8.42%, 6.32% and 4.21% respectively.
Work experience at current position
Figure 3: work experience at current position
In many organizations, there must be various hierarchies of job positions (Fan, Wong & Zhang, 2013). In most organizations, there are three main job positions occupied by the employees (Ellison 2013). For example, the participants in this study fell into three main job positions namely: senior executive, middle level manager and staff. According to the findings, the majority of the participants belonged to staff category. Idyllically, 57.45% of the population were members of the staff as middle management had 29.79% of the participants. The senior executive category had only 12.77% of the participants.
Figure 4: Current Job positions
Job satisfaction is a strong indicator of employee performance in most institutions (Gibbons & Kleiner 1993). Whenever employees are contented with their job statuses, their performances must increase. This study reveals that majority of the participants (51.06%) agree that they are contented with their current jobs. A significant 12.77% strongly agreed that they are contented with their current jobs in O+G companies. On the other hand, 23.40% somewhat agreed. Only 9.57% disagreed while 3.19% strongly disagreed that they are contented with their work. The results however indicate that most workers are contented with their current job positions in the O+G companies.
Figure 5: Job satisfaction
Certain companies motivate employees as a way of rejuvenating their performance (Elangovan & Xie 1999). Ideally, most of the oil and gas companies use strategies that improve career growth of the staff members (Chen 2008). The findings revealed that most of the employees grow their careers while working in oil and gas companies. 74.47% of the participants agreed that their companies enable them grow, while 25.54% disagreed. Nevertheless, this finding shows that majority of workers in oil and gas companies grow their careers.
Career paths allow growth of staff
Figure 6: Career paths allow growth of staff
Additionally, intrinsic factors such as organizational career development programs can help in motivating the employees (Tsai & Wang 2013). In selective organizations, the career development programs help in increasing the level of commitment among workers. As such, workers performances increase as they are subjected to career development programs (Gibbons & Kleiner 1994). The study revealed that majority of workers agree that their companies have career development programs. Out of 94 participants who responded to this question, only 26.59% disagreed that they do not have career development programs.
Career development programs
Figure 7: Career development paths
Another internal factor that influences the performance of the employees is the internal training plan. Kent Romanoffken (1986) note that organizational training plans help the employees in expanding their skills through team-building. This study hover revealed that majority of the oil and gas companies lack annual training plans. 59.30% of the participants disagreed while 40.70% agreed that they have annual training plans in their companies.
When it comes to employee factors such as work enjoyment, most employees alluded to the fact that they enjoy working at their various companies. Specific external and internal factors influence the workers enjoyment of work. For instance, Chen (2008) acknowledged that level of compensation affects the attitudes that workers have at work. 74.73% of the participants agreed that they enjoy working at their companies while 27.27% disagreed.
The nature of work also affects the extent of performance among most workers (Connors 2004). Some workers find various jobs interesting while others find jobs challenging. The performance of the workers greatly rely on the interest of the workers. The study found out that most workers accept that their work is both interesting and challenging. 32.98% disagreed to the fact that their jobs are challenging and interesting. This indicates that most employees working in Qatari oil and gas companies find their work interesting and challenging. When asked whether they are still motivated in doing their work as the first time when they joined the company, 75.79% of the participants agreed. However, the remaining 24.11% disagreed. As such, more employees have been demotivated at work thus, reducing their performance.
The rate of work completion is a strong sign of good performance among employees. Consistency among the workers is also an additional indicator of good performance. In this study, most of the workers contended that they complete their work effectively. This is a sign of good performance among most of the workers.
Consistency and effectiveness in work completion
Figure 8: Consistency and effectiveness in work completion
Further, internal managerial challenges such as micromanagement affect the level of performance among most employees. For example, strict management prevent workers from exploring further skills. As such, workers may feel demotivated hence, reducing the level of performance. The study revealed that majority of workers in O+G companies are under strict management. Nevertheless, not all employees do the minimum work just to keep their employments. 54.73% of the participants disagreed with the fact that they do minimum task to keep their jobs. This indicates the commitment among the employees in the oil and gas companies. However, 45.26% accepted that the do minimum work to keep their jobs at the company. Such employees are less motivated thus, they have low performance.
Employee compensation is a vital factor that affects the level of performance among employees (Liu, Schuler & Zhang 2013). Well paid employees are motivated and committed to delivering high expectations (Yoon, Seo & Yoon 2004). This study revealed that more employees do not feel that their compensation match their experience. 52.17% of the participants felt that they are underpaid while 47.83% felt that they are properly paid.
Salary matches experience
Figure 9: Salary matches experience
Nonetheless, most of the employees agreed that the compensation they get is fair considering the type of job that they do to the company. Variations between various tasks may affect the level of satisfaction. While certain jobs are paid low, others are highly paid. This makes it difficult to uniformly motivate the employees. The study found that 74.53% get fair compensation while 24.47% disagreed. As such, more employees are motivated to working in their companies. Additionally, 69.15% acknowledged that the employment benefit package is equitable. Such internal factors facilitate high performance among employees from various companies.
Fair and equitable employment benefit package
Despite the oil price drops in Qatar, many companies have sustained employee performance (Liu, Schuler & Zhang 2013). Most of the employees agree with the fact that the oil price changes have affected their performance negatively. For example, the results indicated that 58.07% agree that oil price drop has reduced the level of their performance. However, 39.93% refuted the fact that oil price drops have affected the levels of performance in their companies.
Effects of oil price drop on performance
Every employee has performance targets in every company. Ideally, the performance target of every employee should be realistic to maintain the desired level of performance in every company (Martínez-Cañas, Ruiz-Palomino & Sáez-Martínez 2011). According to the study findings, 73.11% agreed that they have genuine performance targets. On the other side, 26.88% alluded that their performance target are not genuine. Oil price drop in Qatar has affected most companies (Screyer 2005). The study revealed that oil price drops have affected the working environments making it difficult to sustain good performance.
To some extent, the drops in oil prices in Qatar has led to workforce cut that has affected most of the employees. According to (Liu, Schuler & Zhang 2013), work-related stress may also affect the performance of the employees. The drop in oil prices has led to uncertainty among most of the workers in oil and gas companies. Cutting workforce has caused mixed reactions among workers in various companies. This has directly impacted the performance of many employees. Consequently, dissatisfaction and poor job performance have resulted in most of the companies. Nevertheless, only 30.85% of the participants agree that they are dissatisfied with the organizational culture that has affected their performance. Majority of the participants (69.15%) however believe that the change in oil prices has not affected the performance.
Change in Oil price vs. performance
Oil price change vs. job performance
Leadership styles greatly affect the performance of employees in most companies. Skudiene and Auruskeviciene (2012) acknowledged that companies that encourage employee autonomy tend to record better employee performance compared to the companies where leadership is centralized. This study revealed that majority of employees feel that the employee autonomy has been reduced after the fall in oil prices. 60.63% of the employees agreed that employee autonomy has been reduced after the fall in oil prices. 39.36% disagreed that autonomy of the employees has been affected by the drop in oil prices.
32.62% of participants admitted that leadership styles in the companies affect their job performance. On the other hand, 33.70% disagreed that the leadership style had relationship with the job performance. Moreover, 33.70% noted that the leadership has no effect on their job performance. In certain institutions, the leadership styles of the senior management affect the employee energy and commitment to work. To this end, it is admissible that leadership styles affect the performance of employees (Werner & Mero 1999).
Leadership vs. employee performance
Figure: leadership vs. job performance
In most of the oil and gas companies in Qatar, the commonest leadership style was found to be democratic leadership style. In most oil and gas companies, democratic type of leadership is common as it allows employs freedom and room for personal growth (Skudiene and Auruskeviciene 2012). Likewise, the study results postulated that majority of employees (41.30%) of the total population are subject to democratic leadership styles. However, authoritarian rule are experienced by 17.39%, Laissez Faire by 19.57% and autocratic by 21.74% respectively.
Conversely, a majority of firm managers engage the staff members into productive and timely exchange of ideas. The results indicate that 74.19% agree that their leaders give them timely correctional feedback. This improves the performance of the employees thus, it makes them more committed and devoted to work. On the other side, some employees felt that the reduction in oil prices led to reduction in spending, which has prevented company expenditure on training and development. This has affected the job performance of some employees negatively. For example, the study reveals that 74.44% acknowledge that international drop in oil prices has affected their job performance. Although, 25.54% disagree that this has affected their job performance.
Oil price change vs. training and development
According to the findings, the motivational and empowerment strategies used by most of the oil and gas companies have been affected by the drop in oil and gas prices. Most companies have levelled their expenditure on motivational programs that aim at promoting the skills of the employees. This phenomenon has reduced the employee performance in most companies in Qatar. 70.22% admitted that indeed the drop in oil price has affected the expenditure on motivational programs. This has consequently affected the performance of 66 employees among the participants. On the other side, 29.79% refused that there is relationship between oil price changes and the expenditure on motivational and empowerment programs.
The unprecedented drop in international oil prices affects the company sizes in most nations (Yuan-cheng et al., 2011). To cope up with the unpredictable oil markets, most companies lay off excess employees to create favourable economic atmospheres (Skudiene and Auruskeviciene, 2012). As a common practice in large companies, laying-off of employees help in reducing the company size and expenditure. As such, the strategy may affect the employees’ morale. Some employees may feel targeted or threatened when their counterparts have been laid off. This exercise affects the job performance of most employees. For instance, the study revealed that 72.33% agreed that oil price drops have affected the company sizes. According to the employees, many colleagues have been laid-off as a result of reduction in international oil prices. In this manner, the employees feel demotivated and insecure, thus reducing their job performance.
Company size & employee performance
This chapter has presented the findings of the study where 95 participants successfully responded to 30 different questions. The findings however indicate varied beliefs concerning the relationship between employee job performance and the drop in international oil prices. There is a strong correlation between the employee job performance and the drop in oil prices. As the oil price drops affect other internal and external factors such as company expenditure on employees, the workers levels of motivation and commitment become affected. The subsequent chapter will conclude and recommend better approaches to future research studies.
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 as a matter of priority focuses attention on the study findings obtained from the data analyses that is directly relevant to the research questions.
The discussion of the findings is done with 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.
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 productivity.
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 employee performance.
Considering work experience at present job position of the 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 look at how the workforce is distributed because work experience and job positions are some of the 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 & Sheeba, 2016).
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 leadership styles.
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.
From this research, it is evident that the oil and gas business is both the largest industry and the wealthiest sector globally. However, despite this impressive economic aspect, the human resource working in O+G companies in Qatar grapples with volatile working conditions, which tend to impact their productivity. The instability of oil prices has often led to reduced oil profits, and in reality, this culminates in serious implications for O+G companies and their employees. As an external factor, any slight drop in oil costs has the potential to bolster the dollar – the global currency in which all oil products and supplies are made. Consequently, because Qatar is largely reliant on O+G, a strengthened dollar affects the performance of local currencies. While Qatar had diversified the risks of this through non-hydrocarbon products, the failure of the regime to put in place a tax structure that adheres to best practices has been its worst undoing. As a result, the poorly formulated tax management structure in Qatar has helped tilt the demand for oil and gas to the disadvantage of the producing country. Through the use of state of the art HRM systems, O+G companies in Qatar can enhance not just their competitiveness but also invest in employee growth.
Nonetheless, from the findings; it becomes apparent that five internal HRM practices impact employee performance as a result of plummeting oil prices. Most O+G companies get cash-starved owing to reduced oil prices, as such, most of them try to restructure by doing away with recruitment packages, dignified paychecks, elimination of training and development and lay off employees to be to operate within not just lean budgets but enhance competitiveness. Apart from impacting performance, reduced oil prices drive these companies into an economic downturn, an issue that scales back investments in the O+G sector. As a countermeasure, companies lay off workers hence impacting the HRM activities in terms of reduced productivity. Consequently, the termination of a chain of projects among O+G companies to remain competitive has also culminated to significant job cuts. The reduced organisation activities have also been witnessed decreased oilfield service providers owing to plummeting oil prices an issue that affects employee performance in general. Again, the study established that while it is the prerogative of these O+G companies to ensure employees get appropriate training to enhance production and career growth, the companies are unable to meet these obligations because of the low incomes accrued from selling oil. On the contrary, O+G companies have to use hefty finances to procure products and services, which has a direct impact on the performance of poorly remunerated employees. Reduced oil prices have the propensity to create a new market symmetry that has been predicted to be around for the long haul. Essentially, all O+G companies in Qatar are likely to face enormous challenges in trying to balance internal and external variables, an element that has a negative bearing not just on employee performance but company financial portfolio as well. An interesting observation is that Qatar relies on oil and gas to undertake many activities like farming, powering irrigation contraptions and care engines and in the fabrication of fabrics as well as drugs. As such, Oil and Gas is the basis on which many industries are developed to fabricate products that are sold domestically and externally. Moreover, the study demonstrates that plummeting oil prices leads to the decline when it to the production of not just products, but hurt jobs, enhance debt defaults due to inflation, and declined export in oil. Subsequently, the economy hurts in general because drillers may not be able to repay loans that are taken to enhance these activities. With all these variables, such as curtailed cash flows and new credit facilities that are all time exaggerated, businesses tend to starve because of the high interest rates on loans. By and large, reduced oil prices lowers the costs of other products and services, essentially this leads to the restricted shares in the production of different merchandise, the effect of which is felt by employees in different organizations. And yet, because employees matter a great deal when it comes to performance of any organization, the prudent use of these employees could enhance the company’s wellbeing on the long term. While hiring competent employees is necessary, the HRM should ensure employees are aligned with the goals of the company to ensure performance is measured towards this realization.
There is need for training and education for O+ G Company in Qatar this is because training and education can improve employee performance in comparison to others. As such, O+ G organisations in Qatar allocate enough resources for training and education programs to enhance workers’ skills and knowledge on a regular basis. In turn, this can greatly increase employee performance and achievement of target goals. With regards to findings, about 59.30% of sampled workers disputed the presence of training plans in their companies, while 40.70% affirmed their presence. This pattern can have significant impacts on employee performance in O+G companies in Qatar as it contradicts previous studies that show that training programs are necessary in terms of increasing employee skills to increase the general organisational goals as well as their performance (Kent Romanoffken 1986).
Development and training programs are useful when it comes to increasing performance of workers. In this respect, development initiatives help workers to learn about (Karasek & Theorell 2012). With regards to O+G companies, development programs can assist in preparing workers for future roles (Root 2014). Following considerable changes in consumer demands and preferences, adoption of development programs is a must. O+G companies should therefore implement development initiatives to help their employees gain the required up-to-date skills while helping companies to remain competitive. This can only be effective is development activities match each worker’s roles as well as skills since no employee is ready to take part in development program that does match their performance goals. This is demonstrated in the findings whereby approximately, 74.19% alleged that they are provided with timely feedback by their managers. This is important when it comes to increase workers performance, which makes them more dedicated to their duties in oil and gas companies in Qatar. Due to the decline oil price O+G companies have reduced investments in training and development because of involved financial restraints. For this reason, this greatly influences employee performance. Findings illustrated that reduction in significantly job performance by roughly 74.44%. In general internal and external factors including training and education programs; workplace environment; management style; organisational culture; organisational structure; motivation; development and training plans have considerable affected O+G companies in Qatar after 2015 oil and gas price reductions.
Good performance should focus on understanding employee needs and formulating working systems that match with work related demands. High productivity is also an aspect of linking employees in different departments in a given organization. The integrated application of HRM systems to enhance the competitive aspect of O+G companies in Qatar should be prioritized. Moreover, the attainment of quality outputs is anchored on the leadership style. The democratic leadership style, for instance, has the propensity to motivate employees to work towards meeting deadlines effectively. To this effect, it is vital to acknowledge the fact that proficient human resource practices have a positive effect on the performance of workers within the firm.
Employee performance is also dependent on workplace environment. As such, in O+ G companies’ employee performance is determined by workplace setting. For instance, a positive working environment should involve support from senior executives, supportive colleagues and motivation. On the other hand, in uncomfortable workplaces are associated with senior managers undervaluing employees and hostile colleagues, which significantly minimises employee performance. Generally, workplace setting as a vital aspect of performance as it can help in ensuring that workers in O+ G organisations are contented. Satisfied workers with working environment are likely to perform better. This should however be accompanied by promotions and participation in recreational activities that is useful in enhancing health, self-esteem and confidence while minimizing stress. Recreational activities in working environment help in increasing employee performance due to improved job satisfaction, service quality and productivity (Saira et al. 2016). According to the findings, majority of employees about 74.73% like their current working environment compared to roughly 27.27%. This means that O+G companies in Qatar have a supportive as well as positive workplace environment for enhanced employee performance.
Nonetheless, work related stresses can significantly employee performance. Therefore, O+G companies should reduce employee job stress and in turn address issues like absenteeism, poor motivation and less efficient. In turn this can contribute to significant amount on sick leaves, reduced efficiency, litigation and medical costs (Karasek & Theorell 2012). This also affects these organisations competitiveness.
Leadership style is also important in increasing employee performance. For that reason, senior executives in O+ G companies should have strong management style to trigger performance of workers. There is a significant relationship between leadership behavior and degree of performance of workers, or instance, leaders that motivate employees within the organisation get the best o workers (Lepine et al. 2016). By and large, leaders are instrumental when it comes to influencing workers to achieve O+ G companies’ goals. For that reason, management behavior and styles can be beneficial on work results and the way in which duties are performed. The widely used management style in oil and gas firms in Qatar is democratic leadership style that gives workers opportunities for autonomy as well as personal growth. About 41.30 % of participants reported that their companies used democratic leadership style while 17.39%, 19.57% and 21.71% practice authoritarian, Laissez-Faire and autocratic styles respectively. With regards to employee autonomy in O+G companies has decreased following the reduction of oil prices. When it comes to influence of leadership style on employee performance, about 32.62% agreed, 33.70% disagreed, while 33.70% stated that management style does not impact employee performance. In general, leadership style affects employee performance in oil and gas companies in Qatar.
Again, organisational culture is an essential element that influences performance of workers in O+ G companies. These Organisations’ culture greatly influences the manner in which employees interact with not only suppliers but also clients and colleagues. Organisational culture comprises of firms’ growth strategies, employee empowerment and management attitudes towards employees (Lefifi 2015). Therefore, organisational culture has various influences on performance O+ G companies. For example, organisational culture has different degree of influence on employee performance. Usually, workers strive to work hard to realize the firm’s goals if they are considered part of the organisational culture. This is because organisational presents a structure about employee behaviors. As such, O+ G companies should see organisations as part of the organisation to foster their expansion and growth and dedicate of workers towards the firm. This way the organisational culture can help workers align their goals with the O+ G companies’ objectives while being accountable to the wellbeing of firms. Continuous recognition as well as reward of workers in O+ G companies by senior executives considerably increases job contentment. In such organisational cultures, workers are committed to realize target objective, thus a positive impact on the general performance of the O+ G companies. Managers should be facilitators to help address the challenges of the lack of cooperation within organisation that can contribute to performing tasks in silos or reducing attempts o the organisation, which ultimately affect the general wellbeing of the firm. Basically, organisational culture is an important determinant of performance of workers in O+G companies; therefore, negative elements that hinder worker performance must be eliminated to foster a positive culture in workplace (Root 2014). Another internal aspect important is job position, which does not affect employee performance though essential when it comes to organisational structure. According to the findings, there are three major job positions including staff, middle level management and senior executive that was represented by 57.45%, 29.79% and 12.77% respectively. This position must be reflected in the organisation’s job positions.
Motivation is another factor that can considerably increase employee performance in O+ G companies. In this regards, motivation can take many forms including monetary benefits, training programs to further career growth, participation in organisation’s projects among others. Findings demonstrated that career paths that allow employee growth and are found common in oil and gas companies in Qatar, this was reported by 74.47% of employees. This is an indication the majority of employees in oil and gas companies can undertake career growth through education and training programs provided by these firms. Good motivation strategies can guarantee employee productivity. In particular, motivation is the driving force when it comes to attain the organisation’s goals and objectives. The degree of worker motivation can directly influence performance of workers in O+G organisation in Qatar. Motivation alone is not adequate; instead it should be integrated with knowledge, skills and competencies to lead to increased performance. Positive reinforcement are important in increasing workers performance level, as regular feedback and recognition presents employees with psychological feeling that in turn affects performance in a positive manner (Ewenstein, Hancock & Komm 2016). Based on the findings a number of workers are satisfied with their respective job positions in O+ G organisations. These findings demonstrate significant degree of motivation among workers that subsequently increase their performance.
There are different organisational structures such as innovative, divisional, professional, bureaucratic and flat organizational structure. Employee performance is determined by the type of organisational structure (Lefifi 2015) As such, O+G companies should adopt a bureaucratic structure where tasks are formalised as well as structured and characterized by policies and procedures, which hinders workers from being innovative. On the contrary, O+G companies can adopt informal and unstructured organisational structure as it widely used in other regions and gives employees the freedom when it comes to carrying out tasks (Lefifi 2015). Findings show that many workers in oil and gas firms in Qatar work under stringent management, however a few do minimum tasks to keep their jobs. For example, approximately 45.26% reported that they do minimum duties to keep their jobs while 54.73% do not such an idea.
It is acknowledged that international decrease in oil price has affected job performance, therefore; oils and gas companies in Qatar should adopt empowerment motivational tactics to help counter these reductions. Based on the fact that employee performance is reliant on various factors, O+G companies in Qatar should understand such factors and its influence on performance while adopting necessary strategies. This is vital when it comes to harnessing the potential of such factors to enhance the overall performance of oil and gas organizations in Qatar. Largely, internal as well as external forces significantly affect worker performance in workplaces (Ewenstein, Hancock & Komm 2016). Therefore, understanding these forces can be an important milestone as it can help to leverage, tackle and in turn increase workforce efficiency and performance. In particular, decreases in global oil prices greatly affect the performance of workers. For example, reduction of oil price after 2015 in Qatar, external and internal forces like motivation, firm expenditure on workers and dedication. Based on the findings of the study, work experience is important in factor in employee performance. However, future research should be dedicated to understanding why reduced oil pricing bolsters the dollar currency against the local currency, which in turn impairs the smooth functioning of not just O+G companies but employee performance owing to the scarcity of resources.
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