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Objectives and feasibility of the dissertation

The Introduction to the dissertation should set out the background to the research study and
address the following areas:
The context in which the research took place
� What is the background, the context, in which the research took place?
� Why is this subject or issue important
� Who are the key participants and/or
“actors” in the area under investigation?
� Are there important trends or pivotal variables of which the reader needs to be made aware?
� A clear and succinct statement of the aims and objectives that the dissertation is going to
� Have you presented a clear and unambiguous exposition of your research aim, the objectives
you will address to meet this aim and your research questions?
The reasons why this study was carried out
� Was this study undertaken for example in order to test some aspect of professional or business
practice or theory or framework of analysis?
� Was the research carried out to fulfil the demands of a business organisation?
The way the Dissertation is to be organized:
You should write your dissertation with the idea in mind that the intended reader and reviewer
has some shared understanding of the area being investigated, however, underpinning concepts
and arguments still need to be included as otherwise the depth of research will be compromised.
In this way, you will not be tempted to make too many implicit assumptions, i.e. by making the
erroneous assumptions that the reader has your degree of knowledge about the matters in
question or can follow, exactly, your thought processes without your spelling them out. It should
be a document which is “self-contained” and does not need any additional explanation, or
interpretation, or reference to other documents in order that it may be fully understood.
This short final section of the Introduction should tell the reader what topics are going to be
discussed in each of the chapters and how the chapters are related to each other. In this way, you
are, in effect, providing the reader with a “road map” of the work ahead. Thus, at a glance, they
can see
(1) where they are starting from,
(2) the context in which the journey is taking place,
(3) where they are going to end up, and
(4) the route which they will take to reach their final destination. Such a “map” will enable the
reader to navigate their way through your work much more easily and appreciate to the
maximum what you have done.

The Performance of Employees in O+G Companies in Qatar 2


Chapter One

1.0 Aim, objectives and feasibility of the dissertation
1.1 Background Information
Qatar which is a member of United Arab Emirates (UAE), and also among the members
of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is considered to have been significantly influenced
negatively by the global decline of demand 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 demand as well as 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% in 2015 globally, which has to a considerable extent shaken the country’s economy. As a
result, this situation has caused the country to operate below its proposed budget’s threshold,
which has seen the country budget run through a 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 & Tse Chern, 2015; Kulkarni, 2015; Milmo, 2016).
For an economy that is developing such as that of Qatar, an overreliance on oil and gas as
well as their subsequent products as the core drivers of the economy, there is a high likelihood of
the prices to decline at the slightest economic shock if this practise is replicated by the
neighbouring countries as well as the region (Milmo, 2016). This phenomenon would equally
result to a decline in the prices of related inputs that used to produce these products, leading to

The Performance of Employees in O+G Companies in Qatar 3
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, which range 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 considerably 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 has 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 (Aguinis, 2012; Al Muftah & Lafi, 2011; Al-Harthy,
2013; Thao & Hwang, 2015).
According to Al Muftah and Lafi (2011), in recent times a significant number of
organisations have become fully aware of the imperativeness of employee performance, which
has led them to embark of devising ways that are appropriate to increase employee performance.
In addition, efforts of finding out and implementing the ways and/or strategies through which
high performance level among the company employees can be attained has become one of the
fundamental practises and decisive factors pursued by most successful organisations (Lam, Yik

The Performance of Employees in O+G Companies in Qatar 4
& Schaubroeck, 2012; Thao & Hwang, 2015). However, irrespective of the 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 a 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 (Appiah, 2012; Armstrong & Murlis, 2004; Bartram & Casimir,
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 (Das et al., 2013; Fedor & Rensvold, 2012). Throughout the evolution of human
resources capital, the role of work has progressively changed consistently together with the
components of the workforce (Armstrong & Murlis, 2004). For instance, in today’s workforce,
work is not only considered a necessity but employees also consider it to 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).
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

The Performance of Employees in O+G Companies in Qatar 5
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.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Human capital is among the most important assets that significantly contribute to the
production levels in oil and gas companies (Narehan et 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

The Performance of Employees in O+G Companies in Qatar 6
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
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.
1.3 Aims of the Study
It is highly imperative for the determination of the fact 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.

The Performance of Employees in O+G Companies in Qatar 7
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:

  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?
  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?
    1.5 Research Objectives
    The primary objectives of this study include:
  4. Establish the internal and external factors that impact employee performance in oil and
    gas companies in the state of Qatar following the drop in oil prices.
  5. 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 Performance of Employees in O+G Companies in Qatar 8

1.6 Significance of the Study
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 highly
imperative 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
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

The Performance of Employees in O+G Companies in Qatar 9
how different elements can be combined for optimal harnessing of companies’ workforce

1.7 Structure of the Dissertation
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 Performance of Employees in O+G Companies in Qatar 10


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