Attitudes toward the Effects of Privatization on the Employment System: A Study of Undergraduate College Students in Saudi Arabia

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Virginia Tech

This study aims to examine the attitudes of the Saudi undergraduate college students toward the anticipated effects of privatization on the employment system of the Saudi privatized SOEs. Using survey questionnaire data collected in May 2002 from 672 Saudi undergraduate college students, the study results reveal varied attitudes. On the one hand, large percentages of the respondents prefer working under close supervision of Saudi management, having a salary based on productivity, being promoted based upon performance (rather than seniority), and adhering to prescribed procedures in executing job tasks. On the other hand, high percentages of the study respondents tend to dislike the concepts of putting forth more effort to meet management's plans, of working on nights and weekend, and of compromising job security in return for a higher salary. In addition, while the majority of the study respondents believe that privatization of state-owned enterprises is best for the local economy, their support for privatization is qualified by their insistence or desire that it not negatively impact their own interests.

The statistical significance and association analyses reveal that the effects of academic majors and province on respondents' attitudes toward promotion criteria, teaming, and management's nationality are indeed significant. In addition, gender, SES, living areas prior to college entry, and adherence to religion are significantly related to respondents' attitudes toward privatization in general and toward some of its potential effects on the employment system. Recommendations are provided.

employment system, privatized state-owned Enterprises, privatization in Saudi Arabia., privatization