The career paths of female emirati graduates in the private sector in Dubai

Doctorate other than PhD

Hawkswell, Pamela M.. 2019. The career paths of female emirati graduates in the private sector in Dubai. Doctorate other than PhD Doctor of Education. University of Southern Queensland.

The career paths of female emirati graduates in the private sector in Dubai

TypeDoctorate other than PhD
AuthorHawkswell, Pamela M.
SupervisorMcIlveen, Peter
Hoare, Nancy
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Education
Number of Pages229
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Should the importance of the constructs of self-efficacy, outcome expectations and goal setting from the Social Cognitive Career Theory (SCCT) in shaping Emirati female graduates’ careers in the private sector in Dubai be ignored? Although only a minority of female graduates opt to work in the private sector in the United Arab Emirates, there are indications that those who do, feel strongly about the opportunities afforded to them—opportunities that are perceived as being stepping stones to their future careers. In what has become an increasingly competitive labour market, females are no longer willing to sit and wait for a position in the public sector—a sector that has now become saturated and no longer guarantees locals a career. Private sector operators are constantly seeking a better understanding of the terms and conditions that would attract more locals to their sector.

In this mixed-methods study comprising two sets of interviews and an on-line survey conducted over a period of some 2 years, constructs of the SCCT were scrutinised in an endeavour to better judge the validity of the theory in a Middle-Eastern context. In addition, another aim of the study was to better understand female Emirati graduate perceptions of their career paths in the private sector. What factors play a role in how female graduates utilise opportunities and more specifically who or what influences them to make the decisions they do related to everyday work situations and to their career paths generally?

Study 1, the first of two qualitative studies, comprised five in-depth interviews. Questions examined the SCCT’s main constructs of self-efficacy, outcome expectations and goal setting. Responses were coded and themed accordingly. Contextual impacts were also considered. Responses to goal setting questions influenced the final item set for Study 2.

Study 2 was an on-line quantitative survey comprising 43 questions over five question sets. There were 41 respondents in total. Questions sought to further examine the constructs of self-efficacy, outcome expectations and goal setting, this time using ready-made questions from various scales. Scales used were the Occupational Self-Efficacy Scale (Rigotti, Shyns & Mohr, 2008), Utrecht’s Work Engagement Scale (Schaufeli, Bakker & Salanova, 2006), the Vocational Outcome Expectations Scale (McWhirter & Metheny, 2009), and the Sources of Self-Efficacy and Outcome Expectations Scale (Lent, Ireland, Penn, Morris & Sappington 2017). Items for the final question set were researcher-designed.

Study 3, as a follow-up to Study 2, sought clarification of the information gathered in Study 2. It also sought further explanation for some unexpected data gathered in the study. Six in-depth interviews were conducted. Trends in responses were used to draw conclusions about specific aspects of a career in the private sector in Dubai.

KeywordsSCCT, private sector, career paths, female graduates, Middle East, mixed methods study
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020390404. Educational counselling
Byline AffiliationsSchool of Linguistics, Adult and Specialist Education
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