Localization in the United Arab Emirates: a study of stereotypes, organizational socialization, employability and work outcomes

Publication Name

Personnel Review


Purpose: This paper aims to extend the traditional conceptualization of localization, which has largely focused on recruitment, by examining “employability” and “retention” as crucial determinants of localization success. Design/methodology/approach: Using survey data from local (Emirati) employees in private sector organizations in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the authors develop a holistic model of localization and test the relationships between stereotypes, organizational socialization, employability and retention outcomes, using Smart-PLS. Findings: Among the main findings are the significant influence of stereotypes on organizational socialization (OS) experiences of Emirati employees, with a negative relationship between “work ethics stereotypes” and perceptions of OS experiences. Strong evidence is also found for the indirect effects of OS experiences on retention of Emirati employees, mediated by employability. Research limitations/implications: This study contributes to the literature on localization by examining the relationships between key variables not examined together in previous research. In terms of limitations, the cross-sectional nature of the study prevents the identification of direction of causality among these relationships. Since employee integration, as part of localization efforts, is a gradual process, future research should include longitudinal studies. Practical implications: Employability has emerged as a significant challenge for organizations and governments working to implement successful localization initiatives. This study’s findings highlight several opportunities for organizational and governmental policy interventions to support successful localization. Originality/value: The authors’ holistic model extends localization literature by providing evidence for the role of stereotypes and employability as key constructs to be examined along with OS experiences and retention.



Link to publisher version (DOI)