Sample Business Studies Paper on Outsourcing and Discrimination

Introduction and Literature review

Outsourcing is a common practice that businesses have embraced in the modern days to realize the business objectives efficiently. In most cases, companies opt for outsourcing because it offers cheap labor and allows them to operate in areas where the operational costs of the business are low such as taxes. Approximately, 80% of the employees working in the Gulf States are immigrants, indicating that the success of businesses in the region is largely contributed by outsourced employees. By using the outsourced employees, businesses are able to maximize their profit margins by cutting the operational costs (Population Division, 2015). However, the fact that there are high incidences of discrimination against the outsourced employees may lead to poor productivity in the companies. Discrimination in this context can be used to imply intentional or unintentional practices that lead to unequal treatment of the employees. The way that the employees are treated is not based on factors related to the ability of the individuals to perform their jobs.

One of the primary factors that motivate the employees is having a working environment where equality is given priority. This implies that the employees are likely to react negatively to their work if the working conditions tolerate discrimination. Sadly, many companies do not realize the harm they are doing to the future of the business by mistreating the outsourced employees. Discriminating against the outsourced employees in the region is likely to affect the human resource capital and as a result, the investors may shy away from investing in the country. Companies may also suffer greatly by losing talented outsourced employees. To address the situation before it gets out of control, it is important to carry out research on the extent to which the vice is occurring. There are three major factors that guide the research on discrimination faced by the outsourced employees in this paper. The first factor is the evaluation of the types of discrimination that the outsourced employees face. The second factor is the effect of this discrimination on the employees and lastly the persons responsible for this discrimination. Understanding the impact of discrimination on the employees is helpful in formulating strategies that address the issue, for not only the outsourced employees but also the regular employees presently and in future generations.

            Companies benefit from the outsourced employees because unlike the regular employees who may demand a high pay for their services, this class of employees can offer labor at low costs. The outsourced laborers do not only suffer the low payments for their services but they also take a longer duration before they can secure a regular job relative to other immigrants and citizens (Crossley, 2013; Hamza, 2015). Outsourcing is legal but in some cases, it is illegal as it is abused by companies who do not want to fulfill their legal obligations to the employees such as a fair wage rate. Despite the challenges that the outsourced employees face in the work environment, many companies across the globe are using the method to avoid high cost of labor. There are various forms of discrimination that the outsourced employees face in the UAE region. The types of jobs that the outsourced labor performs in most cases are the manual ones that pay poorly. The regular employees occupy the top positions and other jobs even if the outsourced laborers have the required skills. This is a form of discrimination based on the job descriptions. Some companies even go to an extent of specifying the school that the employees must have graduated from, cutting out many other interested employees that may be more qualified. There has been an increase in the number of female employees due to the changes in factors such as access to education and economic factors where some families are headed by women as the sole providers. The outsourced female employees face gender discrimination in because they are denied some basic rights such maternity leave. Most of them lose their jobs when they go for maternity leave. Language barrier is also a major factor that leads to discrimination of the outsourced employees since it limits their chances of securing jobs.

Discrimination of the outsourced employees has an adverse impact on their productivity due to the social, emotional, and physical impacts it has on them. The feeling of rejection or exclusion that is directed to them by the other employees or the employer for no reason may lead them to be withdrawn. They may develop a feeling of guilt, emptiness, and anxiety and this is worsened by the knowledge that they cannot do anything about the situation. The outsourced employees may develop stress-related illnesses that not only affect their productivity but also poor health. The discrimination they face in the workplace may leave them broken and may resort to drugs and alcohol, affecting their health even more badly. This also affects their financial stability and the ability to maintain their current jobs.

The high rate of discrimination of the outsourced employees can be reduced and eventually stopped by implementing the labor regulations in the region. The institutions responsible for ensuring that the rights of employees are protected are the labor unions but they have failed. It is the duty of the institution to ensure that the employers treat all the employees with dignity regardless of their terms of contract. Among the factors, that the labor unions should regulate is the minimum pay and safe working conditions. The other parties that have provided a conducive environment for discrimination of the outsourced employees is the human rights organizations whose role should see the discrimination against these employees end. The employers also have a role to play in ending the discrimination by encouraging equality in the workplace. Some employees, especially the regular ones discriminate the outsourced employees too.

Methodology

The research was based on quantitative design using survey questionnaires as the data collection tools. The respondents were required to fill a simple questionnaire with section A and B on personal concerns and career development respectively. The questionnaire was based on close-ended questions to make the data analysis more efficient. Using such questions makes the work of the data analyst easier as they do not have to go through the coding phase to classify the responses of the participants. The close-ended questions also make the responses standard unlike the open-ended questionnaires where the respondents can raise more issues than the researcher expects. The questions listed in the questionnaire were directly related to the discrimination of the outsourced employees. Regarding career development, the questions addressed factors that enhance career development such as training, recognition, performance management and the extent to which the employees are allowed to use the required tools. These questions were meant to test the likelihood of the outsourced employees to be promoted to regular employees and the extent to which they gained the necessary skills in their respective fields. On personal concerns, the respondents were required to indicate the extent to which the listed factors were true. The factors included the forms of discrimination such as racial and gender discrimination. They were also required to state whether they received equal treatment with the regular employees. The participants were also required to respond to whether they were bullied or treated unjustly.

Results

The sample for the research comprised of 60% male and 40% female within the age bracket of 18 and 45.

 

The female respondents aged between 26 and 35 responded to most of the questions asked.

About 36.6% of the respondents had high school diplomas, 53.3% had bachelors degree while the professionals with doctorate degree were only 10%.

 

The participants were from different nationalities with 83.3% being Asians, 10% from GCC and Middle East and 6.6% UAE nationals.

 

Only 13.3% of the respondents claimed to have very well paying jobs, while 33. 3% claimed to be poorly paid.

 

After the data was converted into percentages, it was presented in bar graphs for easy interpretation.

 

From the study, it is evident that discrimination of the outsourced employees based on race, nationality and creed is not common as majority of the respondents disagreed but this does not rule out the fact that it exists. There are incidences where the outsourced employees are treated differently from the regular employees but it only accounted for 10% of the respondents. Only about 6% of the employees reported to be bullied at work, ruling out bullying as a means through which discrimination against the employees happen.

 

On career development, most of the respondents reported to be dissatisfied with the recognition they receive after working. Although majority of the respondents reported to have been trained in their areas of work, they are rarely involved in performance management. About 30% of the respondents indicated that they did not have hope for advancing their careers as outsourced employees.

 

Discussion and interpretation

It is evident that most of the outsourced employees who face discrimination at the workplace work do not earn a lot of money. This may be due to their low level of professionalism and competency based by their education level. Majority of these employees have college degrees thus, they may not be able to perform well in positions that require specialized skills such as management. The low level of educational qualification may also limit their chances of advancing their careers. Some of the responses given by the respondents are not consistent with the literature review in relation to how the outsourced employees are treated. Most of the respondents may have given inaccurate information for fear of being fired from their work. Most of the employees strongly disagree with the statement that they are treated differently from the regular employees. In the real sense, the outsourced employees are treated differently from the rest of the employees in terms of working conditions and salaries. According to Stevens, Hussein, and Manthorpe (2012), most of the outsourced employees in UAE are poorly paid and they work under bad working conditions.

 

Recommendation

It is the duty of the labor unions, the employers, and the government to ensure that the all employees are treated with fairness and equality in their workplace. There should be proper mechanisms to address the incidences of discrimination of the outsourced employees. The employees should also be educated on their rights and mechanisms put in place to enable them report any case of discrimination at the workplace. Companies and individuals must observe the employment contracts in the country to avoid cases of discrimination of outsourced employees. Since 2011, it is possible for an employee to have their work permit extended as long as the contract ends due to expiration of time. The employee must also have worked with the employer for two year and above. It is through implementation of these contracts that the welfare of the employees in UAE will be enhanced.

 

Conclusion

According to Stevens, Hussein, and Manthorpe (2012), racial and other forms of discrimination is the main challenge facing the outsourced employees in the United Kingdom. The situation in UAE is not different and it is likely to affect the labor rates in the region. Discriminating the employees has an adverse impact on their productivity as well as their social and economic welfare. Further, the fact that the outsourced labor is cheaper than regular labor is likely to push the rates of labor downwards thus affecting the economic growth of countries in the near future. It is important for the law enforcement agencies, human rights organizations and labor unions to formulate strategies that deal with protecting the welfare of the outsourced laborers. In the present study, it is evident that the welfare of outsourced employees is still poor and actions have to be taken by the UAE labor unions to control the situation before the matter gets out of hand. If the labor rates for the outsourced employees continue to drop, the average labor rates for the regular jobs may drop and this may discourage skilled employees from working in the region.
References

 

Crossley, N. (2013). Wanted: lawful use of UAE labor law on ‘discrimination’. The National. Retrieved from http://www.thenational.ae/thenationalconversation/comment/wanted-lawful-use-of-uae-labour-law-on-discrimination#page2

Hamza, S. (2015). Migrant Labor in the Arabian Gulf: A Case Study of Dubai, UAE. Pursuit: The Journal of Undergraduate Research at the University of Tennessee, 6(1), 81-114.

Population Division: World Population Prospects, the 2015 Revision. (2015). United Nations: Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Retrieved from http://esa.un.org/unpd/wpp/DataQuery/

Stevens, M., Hussein, S. & Manthorpe, J. (2012). Experiences of racism and discrimination among migrant care workers in England: Findings from a mixed-methods research project. Ethnic & Racial Studies, 35(2), 259-280.