Research Report

HR professional judgement: a Middle East perspective

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HR professional judgement: A Middle East perspective

Published November 2015

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The HR profession has traditionally been defined through a set of ‘best practices’, this knowledge, developed primarily in large Western organisations, is increasingly inadequate for businesses operating in the Middle East. Although relevant skills are critical for HR to lead innovation in people management in the region, it is essential that when applying these skills practitioners are also clear on their professional obligations. In order to help HR professionals make the right decisions, we are defining and testing a set of principles that will describe what HR professionals stand for.

Profession for the Future is CIPD's strategy to ensure we continue to fulfil our purpose as the world of work evolves. As part of this programme of work 'lenses' were identified which describe possible perspectives one may consider when making ethical choices about work. The 'lenses' were tested by examining the actual choices that HR professionals and business leaders make in specific workplace situations. We conducted a series of focus groups and a survey in partnership with YouGov in four regions – the UK, USA, Asia, and Middle East and North Africa (Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, UAE) across the public, private and voluntary sectors.

This report sets out to identify how HR practitioners and business leaders in the MENA region make professional judgements in situations dealing with people management and development. The survey found that HR and business leaders had conflicting points of view and different interpretations of value priorities in making people-related decisions in organisations. This report explores the emerging themes.

‘Firms have both an interest and a responsibility towards the people that work for them,
because what’s good for people is good for businesses, economies and society.’

Content of the report



Finding 1: Balancing competing stakeholder interests

Finding 2: A variety of perspectives on ‘fairness’

Finding 3: Current business needs preventing principled decisions


Appendix 1: Scenarios used in the survey of practitioners


Profession for the Future

... is the CIPD’s strategy to ensure we continue to fulfil our purpose as the world of work evolves.


CIPD Middle East

Welcome to CIPD Middle East, the place to find the latest HR news & opinion.