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The UK vs. UAE: Marketing Management Report

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Abstract

Making a decision on the career path is one of the most important aspects that students should consider. As a result, I have recognized the need to determine my career path before I graduate with a university degree. As a management student, I intend to make a career in the hospitality industry as a Marketing Manager. However, I recognize the fact that I have to make a decision on whether to work in the UK or the UAE. The two countries form the basis of my analysis. Some of the factors that I have taken into account in the process of analyzing my career prospects in the two countries include cultural diversity, the working environment, the likelihood of achieving my career development goals, the labor market, and employment laws. A comprehensive review of the two markets indicates the UK to be the most favorable country. Consequently, I intend to start my career in the UK hospitality industry.

The decision on the career path

As a student, I have gained sufficient knowledge and skills that will be of great benefit in my future career. I am greatly interested in marketing and management, and after an extensive personal evaluation, I have decided to select a career as a marketing manager within the hospitality industry. My passion for marketing has significantly been influenced by the various modules that I have studied as a student at the university. The hospitality industry is experiencing numerous challenges such as intense competition and changes in consumer behavior. Therefore, it is imperative for marketing managers to possess adequate skills and knowledge in order to deal with market changes. In a bid to position me as a marketing manager effectively and to boost my employability, I intend to enhance my marketing management skills by taking a master’s degree course in Events Management.

In an effort to stimulate its economic growth, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is investing extensively in various economic sectors. The hospitality industry is one of the sectors that have undergone significant growth over the past 6 years. The industry is expected to grow with a margin of 10% within the next 4 years (Jones 2012). The potential of growth within the UAE hospitality industry has informed my decision to work within this environment in my quest to ensure that I am successful in my career path.

Understanding the working environment

Despite the fact that I have never been employed, I have had the opportunity to work as a volunteer in different institutions. This aspect has acquainted me with the knowledge that will be of great benefit in my future career as a marketing manager in the hospitality industry. In order to understand the dynamics within the industry, I sought the opinion of industry managers in the UK and the UAE. The objective of the analysis is to gather career development tactics that I will integrate into my professional development plan. Some of the parties that I interviewed include the Sales and Marketing Director of a UK firm, the Marketing Manager of Sheffield United’s, the Marketing Manager for ND Department of Commerce- Tourism Division, and the Marketing Manager of The Paper Company UK. However, the process of collecting primary and secondary data regarding the UAE was very challenging. For example, most people that I approached were not willing to provide information on marketing and managerial roles. Cultural difference is one of the major hindrances that I encountered in the interviewing process. Despite these challenges, I managed to gather sufficient primary and secondary data that has been of great significance in my quest to determine the degree of fit in the UAE and the UK hospitality industry and hence my career path.

Career decision making-motivation

The decision to select marketing as my career was motivated by the courses that I have studied in the university over the past three years. Over the years, my love and passion for art have grown tremendously. Moreover, I have also developed a great passion with regard to marketing. Combining art and marketing skills presents a unique opportunity to improve my employability, as I will integrate creativity in the course of executing my duties as a manager in the hospitality industry.

According to Jackson (2002), creativity enables marketing managers to identify, assess, and determine the viability of various market opportunities. Moreover, marketing processes in the hospitality industry are quite challenging due to the intangible nature of the product. Consequently, it is paramount for the marketing manager to ensure that optimal marketing decisions are integrated. In the hospitality industry, I will utilize my passion for art in formulating and designing effective marketing strategies. By utilizing my passion for art within my career, I will be more productive, which will culminate in a high level of job satisfaction. The table below illustrates my personal traits, job requirements, and job factors that have influenced my decision for a career in the hospitality industry.

Personal Traits Job requirements Job factors
Sociable personality Long working hours Low wage
Passion for art Passion Very competitive
Creativity, imagination, and originality Ability to deal with new challenges and to make an effective decision Dynamic work environment

Table 1: Choosing a career path.

When building career paths, one should gather adequate information regarding the career. Poor career choice may affect an individual’s job performance negatively due to a lack of the necessary competency requirements (Carter, Cook & Morsey 2009). Consequently, it is imperative for one to undertake a comprehensive assessment of his or her dream career. In a bid to achieve this goal, one should assess the benefits and challenges of working within his or her dream industry. The chart below illustrates a summary of the pros and cons of working as a marketing manager in the hospitality industry.

Pros Cons
Opportunity to travel Long working hours
Provides an opportunity to interact Volatile nature of the legal environment
Unique career growth opportunities The high rate of employee turnover

Table 2: Benefits and costs of working in the hospitality industry.

My passion for art and solving problems emanating from the external business environment are the main factors that have motivated me towards the hospitality industry. The high rate of globalization will stimulate growth within the hospitality industry. This aspect presents me with a unique opportunity to develop my career. In order to achieve this goal, effective career planning is paramount. According to Antoniu (2010), career planning enables individuals to integrate learning and development programs that align them with market changes as it increases their ability to achieve their desired career goals.

Career-planning process.
Figure 1: Career-planning process.

When planning for a career, one should factor in the likelihood of being promoted. Consequently, it is imperative for one to target an organization that has incorporated a comprehensive employee-career development program. According to Rothwell (2011), one should assess the career development models and programs implemented by the organization that he or she desires to work for in the future. During the formative stages of my career development, I intend to work in a relatively small organization in the UK hospitality industry. This decision hinges on the fact that the likelihood of being recognized in a small organization is relatively high as compared to working in a large organization.

According to Swartz (2013), working in small organizations presents employees with an opportunity to be involved in the decision-making process regarding the firm’s operational processes. Therefore, employees become directly involved in the formulation of policies. Employees in small organizations are also assigned tasks that enhance their knowledge and skills. Moreover, the possibility of being promoted in small organizations and hence climbing the corporate ladder is high. Therefore, working in a small organization will provide me with an extraordinary learning opportunity that will be of great significance in the course of executing my duties as a Marketing Manager in the future. Upon gaining the necessary skills and experience with regard to the operation of the hospitality industry, I intend to work in large organizations in the UK hospitality industry to gain additional experience regarding marketing in large organizations.

Migrant workers and culture- Recruitment and selection

Currently, the work environment is becoming very diverse (Janta, Ladkin & Lugosi 2011). Kundu (2001) asserts that culture is one of the factors increasing diversity in the workplace. HR managers should ensure the element of cultural diversity is taken into account in their firm’s recruitment processes. To be a successful Marketing Manager in the hospitality industry, it is imperative that I develop a comprehensive understanding of the local market in the UK and the UAE market. This move will increase the effectiveness with which I execute my duties and to achieve this goal, secondary sources of data will be used. From the research that I conducted, I realized that the UAE hospitality industry is more attractive compared to the UK industry as evidenced by the high rate of migration into the UAE compared to the rate of migration into the UK (Janta, Brown, Lugosi, & Ladkin 2011). The rate of migration into the UAE labor market was 90% compared to that of the UK, which is estimated to be 37%.

Despite the attractiveness of the UAE hospitality industry, the working conditions in the country are relatively harsh compared to the UK. A study conducted by Human Rights Watch (2012) shows that the state of human rights in the UAE is worsening. Migrant workers are the most affected. Some of the most prevalent human rights abuse issues are related to the restriction of employees’ freedom. For example, the UAE government confiscates the migrants’ passports, which affects the movement of migrants within the country adversely. Moreover, the employees cannot go back to their home countries (Latham & Watkins 2009).

Migrant workers in the UAE also suffer from long working hours and debt bondage, which is mainly caused by false promises by employers on wages and high recruitment fees. Janta (2011) highlights this phenomenon by asserting that migrants experience a significant gap between the promised and the actual wage that they receive. The less skilled employees are amongst the worst affected employee group. This trend has arisen from the failure of the UAE government to implement effective labor regulations (Sonmez et al. 2011).

On the other hand, the UK government is committed to ensuring that all employees working in the country are treated equally irrespective of their nationality. The UK government has achieved this goal by instituting a strong regulatory mechanism. To ensure compliance with the set labor regulations, the UK government has incorporated heavy fines to companies that provide misleading information to potential employees or those that do not comply with the employees’ statutory rights. From the above analysis, one can assert that the UK government has limited the amount of powers possessed by individual companies in controlling their employees. Moreover, trade unions in the UK seek to protect the employees’ rights. The trade unions pressure employers to ensure that employees are adequately remunerated.

The UAE government is not committed to improving the labor market in the country as evidenced by the fact that it has not allowed employees to form trade unions. Consequently, the employees’ collective bargaining power is severely affected. In the event of a dispute, employees have to make the issue known to the Ministry of Labour. Additionally, the UAE government has given companies discretion with regard to employee recruitment and selection. On the other hand, the UK government has given labor unions significant power and influence with regard to issues that arise in the course of executing duties. The working environment has a significant impact on the input to output ratio of migrant workers. Despite the high input of migrant workers in the UAE, the output is relatively low as compared to that of the UAE. The input to output ratio amongst migrant workers in the UAE is estimated to 70%:1.2% compared to that of the UK, which is 11.2%:7.5%.

From the above analysis, the UK labor market is more attractive compared to the UAE market as evidenced by the fact that the UK labor market is more developed and it takes into account employee rights. Therefore, the likelihood of attaining a high level of job satisfaction in the UK hospitality industry is relatively high as compared to working in the UAE.

My attractiveness to the UK hospitality industry is also enhanced by the high level of cultural diversity in the labor market. Firms within the UK hospitality industry do not discriminate against employees based on cultural differences. On the other hand, migrant workers in the UAE experience a high level of culture shock. Consequently, by working in the UAE hospitality industry, I am likely to experience cultural challenges that might limit my job satisfaction. However, such cultural differences present an opportunity for me to develop my cultural management strategies. Therefore, one can assert that the UAE hospitality industry is constricted both socially and culturally. Additionally, the level of discrimination for migrant workers in the UAE working environment is relatively high as compared to the UK.

Training and development

In the course of planning for a career path, it is imperative for one to take into account the element of change. This aspect arises from the fact one’s career is affected by changes that emanate from the internal and the external environments (Rao 2007). In a bid to position me in the labor market optimally, I will ensure that I engage in continuous training and development. Through effective training and development, I will increase the level of my skills and knowledge on various issues affecting the hospitality industry. Therefore, the likelihood of making an optimal marketing decision will increase. Moreover, training and development will play a critical role in eliminating career mismatch. One of the mechanisms that I will incorporate in my career development path is coaching and mentoring. According to Podsen and Denmark (2007), career mentoring enables individuals to acquire important skills and knowledge to continue on their career path. Therefore, I will ensure that I select an organization that has integrated employee training in its human resource management processes.

Considering the dynamic nature of the hospitality industry, firms in the UAE and the UK hospitality industry are increasingly focusing on how to improve their competitiveness. The development of a strong human capital is one of the ways through which the firms intend to achieve their desired level of competitiveness (Khurana, Khurana, & Sharma 2008). Therefore, firms within the industry are investing in human resource development programs. Through training and development, I will be in a position to deal with the cultural shock that I might experience by working in the UAE. This aspect affects their ability to execute their duties. According to Furnham (2009), culture shock entails four main stages, which include the honeymoon stage, crisis stage, recovery stage, and the adjustment stage as illustrated by the chart below.

Labor market and employment law

The UAE government has not implemented comprehensive labor market regulations. For example, salary packages within the UAE labor market are not controlled. Consequently, individuals’ salary packages within the private and the public sector are based on their negotiation skills. Additionally, the UAE government does not have a law stipulates the minimum wage. The salary arrived at during the contract discussion process becomes the minimum wage. The salary package is also used in the process of determining the “end-of-service gratuity pay” (Guide2dubai 2013, Para.14). Therefore, it is important for individuals seeking employment in the UAE to undertake comprehensive research on the prevailing wage and salary rates.

According to Guide2dubai (2013), the wage and salary levels in Dubai vary from one industry to another. Additionally, wage and salary packages are also determined by the employees’ level of qualification, experience, and nationality. Employees within the hospitality industry receive an average monthly salary of Dh. 8,750. With regard to the working environment, the UAE government has not set the minimum number of hours that an individual can work. Therefore, the likelihood of working for long hours in the UAE hospitality industry is relatively high.

On the other hand, the UK government has developed a comprehensive labor market and employment laws. All organizations are required to adhere to the set of laws and regulations. These laws relate to the minimum wage, maximum working hours per week, maximum days of work per week, number of hours between shifts, number of hours that an employee is eligible to an off between shifts and number of break times. The table below illustrates the employment laws in the UK.

UK
Minimum wage € 631
Maximum working hours per week 48
Maximum days of work per week 6 to 7
Hours off between shifts 11
Break Times 20 minutes for
every 6 hours

Table 3: Employment laws in the UK.

From the above analysis, working in the UK hospitality industry is more attractive compared to working in the UAE.

Evaluating the career decision

The research conducted on my career path has enabled me to decide on the UK as the most favorable country to work in, which arises from the fact that the UK hospitality industry is more structured as compared to the UAE. For example, the UAE government is concerned with the welfare of employees in the hospitality industry as illustrated by the set labor and employment laws. However, the interviews that I conducted as illustrated by appendixes A, B, C, and D have also provided me with great insight with regard to my career path. First, I have learned that it is important to select a career that one is passionate about in life. This knowledge was gained from the response of the interview that I conducted with the Marketing Manager of Sheffield United, in the UK, as illustrated in appendix B. Selecting a career that is aligned with one’s passion is important in ensuring that one attains the desired level of job satisfaction.

The interviews were also of great importance in my career decision in that they helped me appreciate the fact that it is important for one to take advantage of opportunities that emerge from the external business environment. This aspect will play a critical role in enhancing my competitiveness in the labor market. Therefore, I should not limit myself to working in the UK. However, I should face challenges that arise in the labor market. Additionally, I should also take advantage of learning opportunities that come my way.

Reference List

Antonio, E 2010, ‘Career planning process and its role in human resource development’, Annals of the University of Petrosani, vol. 10 no. 2, pp. 13-22.

Carter, G, Cook, K & Dorsey, D 2009, Career paths: Charting courses to success for organizations and their employees, Wiley, Chicester.

Furnham, 2009, The psychology of behavior at work, Psychology Press, New York.

Guide2Dubai: Living in Dubai; salary and pay scale in Dubai 2013, Web.

2012, Web.

Jackson, T 2002, ‘The management of people across cultures: valuing people differently’, Journal of Human Resource Management, vol. 41 no. 4, pp. 455-475.

Janta, H 2011, ‘Polish migrant workers in the UK hospitality industry: Profiles, work experience and methods for accessing employment’, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 23 no.6, pp. 803-819.

Janta, H, Ladkin, A, Brown, L & Lugosi, P 2011, ‘Employment experiences of Polish migrant workers in the UK hospitality sector’, Tourism Management, vol. 32 no.5, pp. 1006-1019.

Janta, H, Brown, L, Lugosi, P & Ladkin, 2011, ‘Migrant relationships and tourism employment’, Annals of Tourism Research, vol.38 no. 4, pp. 1322-1343.

Jones, R 2012, , Web.

Khurana, A, Khurana, P & Sharma, H 2008, Human resource management, FK Publication, New Jersey.

Kundu, S 2001, ‘Managing cross cultural diversity; a challenge for present and future organisations’, Delhi Business Review, vol. 2 no. 2, pp. 1-8.

2009, Web.

Posen, I & Denmark, V 2007, Coaching and mentoring first year and student teachers, Eye On Education, New York.

Rao, V 2007, Human resource management; text and cases, Excel Books, New Delhi.

Rothwell, W 2011, Career planning and succession management; developing your organizations, Greenwood Publishing, New York.

Sonmez, S, Apostopoulos, Y, Tran, D & Rentrope, S 2011, Human rights and health disparities for migrant workers in the UAE, University of North Carolina, North Carolina.

Swartz, M 2013, , Web.

Appendices

Appendix A

Sales and Marketing Director the UK

Upon completing my studies, I sailed a lot in different parts of the world. Sailing made me appreciate the importance of conserving the environment. As a result, I decided to take a degree in Environment Science at the University. After graduating, I continued traveling to different parts of the world. The first place I went after graduation was Kenya and I lived there for 3 years working on different development programs. Despite the fact that life in Kenya was challenging, I really enjoyed the environment. My experiences back in Kenya have played a significant role in shaping who I am today as I developed a better understanding of what I wanted in life. Being in Kenya also provided me with an opportunity to continue with my studies. I enrolled in a Ph.D. program. However, I experienced numerous challenges in my effort to complete the degree. Within the 3 years that I worked in Kenya, I married and started a family. This taught me how to be responsible in order to provide for my family. Thus, I was pushed into entrepreneurship and I started my own business entailed designing and making flower vases. The idea originated from my personal experience at the local hospitals. My target customer groups included patients, their friends, and their families.

I started selling flower vases next to Tesco Stores in the UK. Within no time, Tesco’s management identified my products, which they liked very much. Therefore, we entered into a business deal whereby I was required to supply 60, 0000 flower vases per week to Tesco. In summary, I can say that my success in business was due to my passion for traveling.

Appendix B

Career Advice on becoming a Marketing Manager Sheffield United’s UK

When I was young, I had no idea what I wanted to become when I grow up. During my school years, marketing was one of my favorite subjects. My interest in the subject arose from the realization of the fact that marketing can be applied in different fields. Additionally, I also loved music but I did not have a clear idea of how I would use my skills in music later in life. After completing my A-level, I was not ready to join the labor market. Therefore, my parents encouraged me to go to university. At the university, I selected marketing as one of my major subjects. In the course of my studies, I sought an attachment with a local manufacturing company. The internship provided me with a unique learning opportunity. For example, I gained practical experience of how marketing is done within the real world. After completing university, I sought marketing jobs locally. This led me to the sports industry. During my formative years, football was one of my favorite sports. Despite the fact that I have a job, I like to learn. As a result, I am interested in taking on challenges.

Appendix C

Marketing Manager ND Department of Commerce

I am a marketing manager for the ND Department of Commerce –Tourism Division and my duty includes advertising and marketing programs for various record agencies. I also undertake other activities such as online marketing and conducting independent research studies.

How many hours do you work?

Normally, I work for 40 hours per week. When you love your job, you tend to do more. Thus, your work is not limited to a particular schedule.

How is the working environment?

Working in the music industry in North Dakota is challenging with regard to time and budgeting. One has to ensure that the music calendar and the set budget are adhered to in order to prevent losses. Therefore, one has to be very effective with regard to planning. In summary, one needs to be conscious of time and cost.

What were your favorite classes in college?

My favorite class was Shakespeare but I think that was because I loved my professor, he was a genius. Other classes that interested me included mass media, history, and political sciences. Despite my passion in different classes, my passion was in media. I started working in high school as an editor of the school newspaper. On joining college, I joined the college newspaper-editing group until I completed my studies.

How did you get your first job?

As I was graduating, it happened that I was seating in the professor’s room. His friend called him enquiring whether he knows a media relations coordinator assistant. I told the professor that I could take the job. Thus, my first job was y sheer luck.

Appendix D

Marketing Manager – The Paper Company UK

How long have you been working

I have been working for 9 years.

What does your job entail?

Undertaking various promotional and sales activities, scanning the environment to identify business opportunities from the external and internal business environment, identifying products that a firm can develop in order to exploit the opportunity, developing the necessary products, and selling them to the target market.

What were your favorite subjects in school?

I really liked sports during my schooling years. Additionally, I also loved designing and being creative. I scored a high grade in designing. Marketing is another subject that I really enjoyed in school. Upon evaluation, I perceived an opportunity if I integrated marketing and may desire to design. At the university, I studied Operations Management, which has been of great help in shaping my marketing career.

What did you do after completing your studies?

After completing my studies, I traveled across New Zealand working as a teacher. During this time, I undertook a personal evaluation in order to understand what I wanted to do in life. Additionally, I also got an opportunity to interact with and understand people from different cultural backgrounds. This played a significant role in improving my skills and experience. Later, I started a project on Paper Company.

What was your first job?

I was offered a job as a marketing manager.

What are your career prospects?

I perceive myself continuing with my career in the paper industry. However, I intend to travel and explore business opportunities in different countries and to learn about the culture of other people.

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