Perceptions of the Demand for Cultural Diversity in the Omani Workplace and Its Availability Among Secondary School Students

  • Aisha Salim Al-HarthiEmail author
  • Hamood Khalfan Al-Harthi
Part of the Technical and Vocational Education and Training: Issues, Concerns and Prospects book series (TVET, volume 17)


This research study investigated perceptions of the demand for cultural diversity in the Omani workplace from the perspective of a sample of 137 employees in supervisory roles in public and private organizations and the perspective of another sample of 245 school students at their last year of public education. Demand for cultural diversity is investigated from the perspectives of the previously mentioned groups according to (1) factors driving the demand for cultural diversity, (2) awareness of demanded types of cultural diversity, (3) demanded attributes of cultural diversity, and (4) demanded cultural diversity skills.

Results of the study indicate that there is high demand for cultural diversity in the Omani workplace. The highest ranked factors driving the demand for cultural diversity in the Omani workplace are associated with more use of technology and rising levels of educational attainment of Omani workers. The need to hire more foreign workers and the dominance of Western work ethics in the Omani workplace are ranked as the lowest ranked factors driving the demand for cultural diversity. The study also found that cultural-specific/traditional types of diversity in the Omani society such as ethnicity, tribe, and Islamic sects are ranked less important as compared to the more general types such as gender, educational attainment, and languages. This reflects a more culturally neutral workplace environment in the Omani labor market. The study also found statistically significant differences in the way employers and students rated the importance of factors and types of cultural diversity. There are also significant differences between the attributes and skills for cultural diversity demanded by the workplace and the levels at which students rated their possession of these attributes and skills. The study concludes that there is a discrepancy between the workplace demand for cultural diversity and the preparation of the educational system to meet this demand.


Direct Foreign Investment Cultural Diversity Cultural Attribute Secondary School Student Foreign Worker 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aisha Salim Al-Harthi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Hamood Khalfan Al-Harthi
    • 1
  1. 1.College of EducationSultan Qaboos UniversityMuscatOMAN

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