An Investigation into the Effectiveness of the RewardSystem in the Government Sector in the Sultanate ofOman and the Potential for Introducinga Total Reward Strategy

UoM administered thesis: Phd

  • Authors:
  • Khalid Al Jarradi


The problem of the migration of talent from developed countries is not a new one, andessentially it is understood that the reward systems of the countries involved are at faultin not providing individuals with rewards that they value. In the Sultanate of Oman,such a brain drain is not yet a problem, but over the last few years there has been anincreasing departure of talented people from the Omani Government Sector, as theprivate sector has more to offer. Such a phenomenon is wasteful in respect of thetraining investment which might have been made in these people, but it is alsodamaging to the government sector as a whole since the aim of providing qualityservices to the nation is made more difficult to achieve as employees of high calibreleave.Consequently, this thesis explores the issue of why people resign from the governmentsector to work elsewhere, and in so doing it focuses on the current reward system withinthe sector. Through a comprehensive literature review, it considers both academic andpractitioner perspectives on the issue of reward, concentrating particularly on theconcept of Total Reward which embraces the notion of a mixture of wide-rangingtangible and intangible rewards that are designed with employee involvement to ensuretheir attractiveness, and to ultimately secure loyalty and reduce employee turnover.The study then conducts an empirical exercise in which a large sample of governmentemployees from the full range of ministries where resignations are taking place,participate in a questionnaire survey, seeking to establish their views on the currentreward system and the potential for the introduction of a Total Reward strategy.Additionally, a number of in-depth interviews are held with employees, and focusgroups are also conducted, as a means of securing a third source of empiricalinformation. The data obtained is triangulated to establish a detailed employerperspective, and then considered in the light of the literature.The finding is that the reward system in its current form is not appropriate since it doesnot cater for employees' needs. It is characterised by a lack of rigorous and transparentcriteria on which to assess employees' eligibility for various rewards, and consequently,has allowed favouritism and nepotism to creep into a system that was intended to beoperated on the basis of merit. This is dispiriting for employees who have no faith intheir managers to determine their individual performance, and hence offer rewards on afair basis.It is concluded that a Total Reward strategy is a desirable way forward since this wouldstem the flow of talented people from the government sector, but it is alsoacknowledged that there are critical success factors associated with the implementationof such an initiative and that for these to be in place, a culture change within thegovernment sector would need to occur.


Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Award date31 Dec 2011