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Identifies an issue in your organisation that has multiple and varied approaches to its resolution. The issue need not be one of failure but may be a challenge facing an organisation. This should be current or impending but not a past issue. You will identify and integrate a range of theories and techniques drawn from multiple appropriate disciplines from your MBA in the creation of appropriate solutions So, how will you approach this assessment? 

Oman Oil and Gas Industry

Attracting job applicants is an important issue in the process of recruitment because it entails how organizations compete for skills in the labor market, which is often in short supply (Oman Society of Petroleum Services 2017). In this regard, companies may attract potential employees through employer branding initiatives. Employer branding initiative may increase the competitiveness of companies by attaining differentiation (Figurska 2013). When employers communicate their positive and unique aspects and the corresponding employment value proposition effectively, employer branding initiatives lead to increased employer attractiveness in the labor market, particularly, among potential candidates who are skilled (Janine, 2016).

Therefore, one of the main contributions of this research paper will be to evaluate the attractiveness dimensions of Petroleum Development Oman (PDO). The increase in new generations of employers in companies presents challenges to the practices and policies that are concerned with people management (Jonze & Öster, 2017). A new generation of millennials is entering the job market, and their preferences in the workplace may be different from previous generations (Braga 2016). This may need rethinking and adjusting people practices of people management in organizations, specifically, in the processes of recruitment and retention (Rösler 2016).

Many studies have reported that different employee generations usually prioritize different things in the workplace. This appears to be true for millennials, for instance, more interest in new technology and their desire for quick career development (Jonze & Öster 2017). Further, other generations also have their expectations with regards to potential employers. There are limited research studies regarding the factors that influence the attractiveness of employers and what different generations prefer (Jonze & Öster 2017). Therefore, this research will address this limitation by investigating employer attractiveness characteristics that different generations prioritize in the oil and gas industry in Oman. For the researcher to achieve this goal, a case study of PDO will be appropriate.

Oil and gas industry plays a significant role in the economy of Oman. For instance, oil and gas revenue accounted for over 27 percent of Gross Domestic Product in 2017 (Alami 2017). Although the government of Oman is trying to diversify its economy, the oil and gas industry is still the most significant contributor to the economy of Oman, and it is still growing (Rahman 2017). The industry is still growing because the government of Oman has come up with new strategies to improve the output of oil to meet rising demand. Oman is focusing on enhanced oil recovery (EOR), techniques that may account for over 22 percent of oil output in the next four years (Rahman 2017). Presently, EOR accounts for a significant share of gas consumption in Oman (Alami 2018). The total production of condensate and crude oil in Oman reached 29.03 million barrels in April 2018 (Sultan, 2018). This resulted from an average daily output of 967,750 barrels daily during April according to the monthly report by the Ministry of Oil and gas (Sultan 2018).

Company Overview of Petroleum Development Oman, LLC

It is worth noting that Oman is the largest natural gas and oil producer in the Middle East that is not a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Sultan, 2018). Since Oman is at the Arabian Peninsula, its proximity to the Gulf of Oman, Persian Gulf, and the Arabian Sea gives it access to essential corridors of energy in the world (Christensen & Schneider 2015). This improves the position of Oman in the world energy supply chain. To take advantage of this strategic position, Oman plans to construct a state of the art storage and oil refining complex at Ad Duqm, which lies near Hormuz Strait (Li 2017).

PDO is the largest oil and gas production and exploration company in Oman. The company was founded in 1925 and is headquartered in Muscat, Oman. PDO business interest is in Exploration, development, production, transportation, and storage of hydrocarbons in Oman (Braga 2016). The company was known as Petroleum Development (Oman) Limited until 1980 when it changes its name to Petroleum Development Oman, LLC. Oil production of PDO accounts for over 70 percent of Oman’s crude oil production, and almost all of the country’s gas supply (Rahman 2017). The government of Oman owns PDO with 60 percent stake, Royal Dutch Shell has 34 percent stake, TOTAL has 4 percent stake, and Partex 2 percent (Oman Society of Petroleum Services 2017).

With more than 8,000 employees and over 45,000 contractors, PDO can operate in an area of around 100,000 kilometers squared (Alami, 2016). The company has about 130 fields of production and almost 6000 production wells. The company does its best to be a good corporate citizen (Oman Society of Petroleum Services 2017). For this reason, PDO operations are environmentally friendly and in a sustainable manner. The company also deals honestly and transparently on the basis of competitive and open bidding with suppliers and contractors. Also, the company invests in community and social projects (Alami 2016).

This research will investigate employer attractiveness issues in the oil and gas industry in Oman. It will analyze the different matters that different generations prioritize in the workplace. The research will also identify the reasons why PDO attracts more employees, using the company as a case study.

Change in organizations is inevitable, but not everyone in organizations knows how to deal with change (Davis 2017). Change management and learning how to handle it takes time, effort, training, and energy (Goksoy 2017). This is why there are theories and models for change management. Some of the change management models that are related to the problem stated above are Lewin's Change Management Model and Kotter's Change Management theory. These change management models have been successfully and effectively applied to industries and businesses with the objective of dealing with change and transition (Clegg & Matos 2017). Since a new generation of employees is joining the workforce, PDO needs to deal with this change to ensure that they become attractive to the new generation of employees.

Problem Statement

Change management refers to the transitioning or change of people, companies, project, and groups from one state to another (Goksoy 2017). When the term change management is applied to projects and organizations, it refers to the process of changing or transitioning the scope of the project to meet changing objectives and needs (Christensen & Schneider 2015). After some time, an organization may need to make changes regarding operations, finance, and marketing or human resource management to boost the chances of a business to achieve its goals (Dawson 2013).

The main advantage of change management is that it increases the chances of a company staying within its budget and higher return on investment (Baxi 2014). The two change models mentioned above are discussed below.

Lewin's Change Management model is a useful model that makes it possible for organizations to understand structured and organizational change (Cummings et al., 2016). This model was developed in the 1950s by Kurt Lewin and is still valid today. This change model consists of three stages.

  • This is the first stage of change management process according to this model. It entails the organizational preparation for the change (Cummings et al., 2016). At this stage, the company must be prepared for the change and appreciate the fact that change is needed and vital. This stage is crucial because people are always resistant to change, and it is essential in breaking the current state of affairs. The primary objective in this stage is to explain to people that the status quo needs to change, and it is essential that it changes because it can result in it better performance and high profits (Cummings et al., 2016). An organization also examines its core at this stage (Cummings et al., 2016).
  • This is the stage where the real change or transition takes place. The process of change may take time because people take time to embrace change, new developments, and new occurrences (Cummings et al., 2016). Reassurance and good leadership are important at this stage to make the process easier for individuals involved in the process and steer the organization forward towards the right direction. Therefore, time and proper communication are essential for change to happen successfully (Cummings et al., 2016).
  • Since the people involved have accepted, implemented, and embraced change, the organization is required to begin becoming stable again (Cummings et al., 2016). This is the time when everyone in the company starts to refreeze, and things become standard and routine is achieved. This stage of the Kurt Lewin’s Change management model requires the assistance of everyone in the organization to ensure that the made changes are applied throughout and implemented even after the goals of the organization have been achieved (Cummings et al., 2016). With the stability brought in this stage, employees get confident of the realized change and comfortable. Other stakeholders of the company and the entire society notice this change. If potential employees see a change, it may help attract them to the company (Clegg & Matos 2017).

John Kotter developed the Kotter's Change Management theory. He divided the change management theory into eight stages. Each of these eight stages focuses on a central principle related to the how people respond to change (Galvin & Clark 2015).

  • Increase urgency. Here, a sense of urgency is created among everyone in the organization to drive them to move towards the company’s objectives (Galvin & Clark 2015).
  • Build the team. This Kotter’s change management theory step entails getting the right people to join the team by selecting people with different skills, commitment, and knowledge (Galvin & Clark 2015). Since there is a new generation getting into the job market, PDO would need people with skills to know the needs of this new generation of workers to be attractive to them.
  • Getting the vision right. At this stage, the right vision is created by considering creativity, strategy, objectives, and emotional connect (Galvin & Clark 2015).
  • It is essential to communicate with people at this stage concerning the change and why the change is needed. This helps in getting support.
  • Getting things moving. For the organization to start moving forward, the organization will need support, get rid of the impediments, and use feedback constructively.
  • Emphasize on short-term objectives. Emphasizing on short-term objectives and divide the final goal achievable into small parts (Sivertzen et al., 2016). This is the right way of achieving success without unnecessary pressure.
  • The key to success in creating the needed change in the organization will depend on persistence by everyone involved. This is important no matter how hard it sometimes seems to attain change.
  • The last step is to incorporate change (Galvin & Clark 2015). Apart from managing change efficiently, it is critical to reinforce the change and make it part of the organizational culture.

Advantages of the Kotter’s Change Management Model

  • The model is presented in step by step fashion which makes it easy to follow.
  • The primary idea behind the model is to welcome and prepare for the change rather than change itself.

Disadvantages

  • It may be difficult to skip one step since the model is a step by step model.
  • The process of change using this model can be time-consuming.

Fishbone analysis, also known as cause and effect analysis is the right way for finding and analyzing the affecting aspects significantly in the identification of characteristics of work output quality (Ilmu 2016). For instance, the steps that should be taken to attract employees by PDO by carrying out fishbone analysis. Also, whether the program to attract new generation employees are efficient and effective in meeting the objectives of PDO.

Fishbone analysis attempts to identify the root cause or causes of a problem, which if eliminated will lead to a significant reduction or elimination of the problem (Andersen & Fagerhaug 2006). Root causes of problems are not always easy to detect. That is why an organization needs to dig deep to find the root cause (Andersen & Fagerhaug 2006). Companies like PDO are complex. For this reason, it is in many cases hard to isolate the root causes of problems. Also, it is possible that different causes combine to bring about a problem. Hence, fishbone analysis will be appropriate for this research. During a fishbone analysis, it is possible that by isolating and solving one of many root causes, the problem can be reduced or eliminated altogether (Andersen & Fagerhaug 2006). The researcher will carry out a fishbone analysis because it may present an opportunity to solve a problem by dissolving just one root cause (Andersen & Fagerhaug 2006). Since PDO is also one of the companies in Oman that attracts many employees, it would be important to use the fishbone analysis to study the root cause of this success this far. This may help to come up with strategies to solve employee attractiveness issues in future. When problems arise, symptoms are often what draws attention to the problems (Andersen & Fagerhaug 2006).

Applicable Change Management Models

A symptom is often a noticeable gap between reality and expectations. Fishbone analysis helps us to dissolve the problem at the root rather than quick fixes that may not solve the problem permanently (Andersen & Fagerhaug 2006). Once the root cause of an issue is dissolved, the problem will go away permanently. In complex organizations like PDO, it may be difficult to identify the root cause or causes as mentioned previously. In many instances, there are numerous root causes that contribute to a problem. Below are some of the concepts that can help in identifying the root cause of a problem. There are three criteria that can help in determining whether a cause is a root cause or a contributing cause.

Had the cause not have been present, would the problem have occurred? If the answer to this question is no, then it is not a root cause but a contributing cause. Another criterion is by asking the question, will the issue occur again because of the same cause if the cause is dissolved? If no, then the cause is a root cause. If yes, the cause is a contributing cause. Finally, will the dissolution of the cause result in the same events? If no, it is a root cause. If yes, the cause is a contributing cause (Andersen & Fagerhaug 2006). Other indicators of the root cause are that one runs into a dead end when they ask what caused the problem, everyone agrees that it is a root cause, the cause makes sense, is logical and gives clarity to the issue (Andersen & Fagerhaug 2006). The cause of a problem can be dissolved which implies that the problem can be reduced or avoided in future. Teams in organizations using the fishbone analysis in many circumstances do not know when to stop looking for the root cause. They find it difficult to decide that the root cause has been determined and that enough information has been gathered. This is often a judgment call that requires experience to muster.

Also, insufficient data and time constraints deter fishbone analysis efforts hence halting the analysis at a lower level. Using the guideline above a team can arrive at an approximate root cause that may be able to solve an underlying problem (Andersen & Fagerhaug 2006). Below is a fishbone analysis of the employment attractiveness issues in the oil and gas industry of Oman based on PDO. Effect is employer unattractiveness while the causes are PDO trying to solve an industry wide problem alone, young Omanis see careers in oil and gas as blue collar, belief that young Omanis are after money and big job titles, and inflexible work schedules.

Lewin’s Change Management Model

The following are the recommendations which if implemented, will ensure that PDO and the entire Oman oil and gas industry attracts young employees in this ever-changing labor force landscape.

  • Create flexibility in the workplace. According to Christensen & Schneider (2015), flexibility in the workplace in the most critical consideration for the new generation of workforce. They add that work-life balance is essential for young talent. Therefore, PDO and the whole oil and gas industry in Oman should encourage employees to individualize their working schedules. For instance, working from home when possible or going out for an hour during the day.
  • Provide attractive perks and benefits. As determined in the fishbone analysis, one of the causes of employer unattractiveness is the belief by employers that young people are after money and big job titles. Therefore, oil and gas companies should provide attractive perks and benefits. This is primarily because technology firms have raised the bar higher (Biswas 2015).
  • Think small. According to Sivertzen et al. (2016), few young graduates desire to work for large organizations. This implies that even large and established companies like PDO fall short of expectations of young employees. Young people want environments that encourage transparency, creative organizational culture, and opportunities to grow quickly in their careers (Pattnaik & Misra 2014). New generations employees have the misperception that the mentioned opportunities only exist in small organizations and startups. Therefore, PDO needs to provide evidence that it can give those opportunities and experiences better than smaller companies because they have resources.
  • Change young people’s perspective that a career in oil and gas is dirty. Many young people view oil and gas industry as a blue-collar industry (Sivertzen et al., 2016). This is because they are not aware that there are a variety of jobs in the industry. The innovations in the oil and gas industry will provide a range of opportunities that are more progressive (Sivertzen et al., 2016). The incorporation of digital technology in the oil and gas industry will change the needed skills in the industry. Attracting employees may be a challenge given the perception of young employees. Therefore, companies in the oil and gas industry should rethink their approach and focus on the needs of their workforce.

Reference List

Alami, R., 2016. Oil in Egypt, Oman, and Syria: Some Macroeconomic Implications. Journal of Energy Studies, XV(4), pp. 123-203.

Alami, R., 2018. Oil in Egypt, Oman, and Syria: Macroeconomics Implications, London: Oxford Institute for Energy Studies.

Andersen, B. & Fagerhaug, T., 2006. Root Cause Analysis, Second Edition: Simplified Tools and Techniques. 2nd ed. Chicago: ASQ Quality Press.

Baxi, M., 2014. Organizational Change Management Models: Shift and Drift Changes. 2nd ed. London: Project Management Institute.

Biswas, B. D., 2015. Employee Benefits Design and Compensation. 4th ed. London: SAGE Publications.

Braga, B. M., 2016. Employer attractiveness from a generational perspective: Implications for employer branding. Journal of Human Resources, IV(6), pp. 45-89.

Christensen, K. & Schneider, B., 2015. Workplace Flexibility: Realigning 20th-Century Jobs for a 21st-Century Workforce. 3rd ed. New York: Cornell University Press.

Clegg, S. & Matos, J. A., 2017. Sustainability and Organizational Change Management. 3rd ed. Melbourne: Taylor & Francis.

Cummings, S., Bridgman, T. & Brown, K. G., 2016. Unfreezing change as three steps: Rethinking Kurt Lewin's Legacy for Change Management. Human Relations, XI(10), pp. 34-56.

Davis, B., 2017. Mastering Organizational Change Management. 1st ed. Los Angeles: J. Ross Publishing, Incorporated.

Dawson, P., 2013. Understanding Organizational Change: The Contemporary Experience of People at Work. 1st ed. New Delhi: SAGE Publications.

Figurska, I., 2013. Employer Branding as a Human Resource Management Strategy. Human Resources Management and Ergonomics, VI(2), pp. 45-78.

Galvin, T. P. & Clark, L. D., 2015. Beyond Kotter’s Leading Change: A Broad Perspective on Organizational. Journal of Leadership and Management, II(1), pp. 61-72.

Goksoy, A., 2017. Organizational Change Management Strategies in Modern Business. 4th ed. New York: IGI Global.

Ilmu, D., 2016. The Application of Fishbone Diagram Analisis. Journal Business Management, II(6), pp. 67-98.

Janine, W. A., 2016. Employer Branding and its Effect on Organizational Attractiveness Via the World Wide Web: Results of quantitative and qualitative studies combined. Journal of Human Resources Management, IV(7), pp. 125-189.

Jonze, J. & Öster, H., 2017. Employer Branding in Human Resource Management: The Importance of Recruiting and Retaining Employees. Journal of Business Management, IX(8), pp. 234-309.

Li, G., 2017. World Atlas of Oil and Gas Basins. 6th ed. New York: Wiley.

Oman Society of Petroleum Services, 2017. Labour Market Intelligence Study, Muscat: Arabian Research Bureau.

Pattnaik, S. K. & Misra, R. K., 2014. Employer Attractiveness: A Conceptual Framework & Scale Development. Journal of Industrial Relations, L(2), pp. 318-327.

Rahman, M. M., 2017. Quantitative risk management in gas injection project: a case study from Oman oil and gas industry. Journal of Industrial Engineering International, VII(4), pp. 89-113.

Rösler, P., 2016. Rethinking Arab Employment: A Systemic Approach for Resource-Endowed Economies. Journal of Energy Studies, II(10), pp. 67-98.

Sivertzen, A.-M., Nilsen, E. R. & Olafsen, A. H., 2016. Employer branding: employer attractiveness and the use of social media. Journal of Human Resource Management, V(6), pp. 109-125.

Sultan, Z., 2018. The Dynamic of Value Co-Creation and its interrelationship with employer branding: a study on the oil and gas industry in Oman. Journal of International Energy Studies, I(8), pp. 56-79.

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