Financialization and Outsourcing in a Different Guise: The Ethical Chaos of Workforce Localization in the United Arab Emirates

Source of Publication

Journal of Business Ethics


© 2014, The Author(s). This paper addresses the tension between the government policy to increase the number of citizens working in the private sector in the United Arab Emirates and the organizational preference for employing expatriate workers. Currently a dominant construal of the limited success of the policy is that the local workforce, traditionally employed largely in government positions, is unwilling to commit to the perceived greater rigor of the private sector. The author reconceptualizes the issue as one deriving from a principle of corporate financialization in which companies claim the right to optimize their labor costs as much as possible. This paper briefly discusses corporate financialization, overviews the workforce localization program in the United Arab Emirates, termed Emiratization, highlights the reasons cited for its limited success, and argues that this is due to corporate strategy of selecting their workforce according to financial and rights-related criteria. The issue is an ethical one in that a local population, the natural labor force, is marginalized in a national context of immigration laws permitting the large scale importation of cheaper and more compliant foreign labor.

Document Type


First Page


Last Page


Publication Date




Author First name, Last name, Institution

Valerie Priscilla Goby, Zayed University