Overview of Saudi Aramco: Effects of Using Nepotism and Cronyism in the Employment Process

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Vanderbilt University
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The article describes the overview of Saudi Aramco and the issues it is facing from aspects of inherent nepotism, favoritism, and cronyism on job satisfaction. The company has had a broader population of the workforce as aging as an aspect of implications to the firm, strategies, and challenges (AL-shawawreh, 2016). However, these cannot only be attributed to the aspect of the company preferring skill and experience over youth; there have been other inherent setbacks in play.

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Prior Research

An article by Parry (2011) discusses the needs for companies to change with respect to the changing demographics of the workplace. The article highlights the probable benefits that come with aging workforce, such as experience, but still shows their workplace is fast changing and if organizations are to make the best out of it, then they must adopt the modern trends. An article by Barnes provides a further detailed analysis of the impact of the aging workforce to the job industry through aspects such as age discrimination, recruitment practices and the constraints that tag along in the workplace following aging workforce. The only shortcoming that results from the literature of the article is the emphasis on favoritism as the major source of an aging workforce in the Armco industry. However, many other factors come into play whereby the management could opt not to adopt the new technological input into the industry so that they can retain the initial levels of output levels through the experienced workforce.

Problems Addressed Significance

The article highlights on the possible shortcomings of the company. As seen in the description, aspects of favoritism affect organizations adversely while also hindering growth and development as output of the company is negatively affected. It is also a limitation towards ethical standards within the organization; according to Fu (2015) in the United States, there is a managerial directive that stipulates no direct supervision is allowed over relatives. Also, the PA Ethics Commission provides a clause that prohibits nepotism by stating that no member is authorized to conduct any Commonwealth activities where any of their family members have economic interests (Pa.Cons.Stat.143.5 (C)). The article provides an insight into the manner in which the company has continually failed to meet the expected ethical standards as well as international standards.


The article utilizes both qualitative and quantitative studies of the topic. The data on the aging workforce has been a constant discussion in the field with the company failing to provide any solid basis for the strategy of executing their duties. The study entailed is inclined towards the quantitative study such as the use of questionnaires, polls and conducting a survey on from the companys database. While the qualitative study was also implemented in a minor aspect on the basis of previous results. The data collected on the basis of qualitative data some could have been outdated since the company takes a longer period to lay off some of the workers and therefore the time duration between a single data update and the next could be longer leading to data incoherence. Statistical data were evaluated on the basis of time series where the standard deviations were conducted alongside variances for the age and the number of the workers in the organization.


The article elaborates on the manner in which the productivity of the company has declined over time with respect to the rate of industrialization. The company has adopted the tendency to retain the workers with the argument that experience serves the companys objectives better, whereas the mechanization and the computerization of the industries have challenged the aging workforce since most of the activities have become automated. The article shows how the old age still in the industry has gradually been faced off by the technical advancements in the industry. This can be clearly elaborated from the articles section that discusses the setbacks facing the aging workforce. The labor force in the company is an aging one, and it brings a lot of challenges to the development strategies by the company while negatively implicating the output (Burtless, 2017). In consideration of the population in Aramco, it becomes evident that the company has retained most of the old workforce. This could be through aspects of favoritism and cronyism whereby the company desires to maintain the workforce that has the experience and one that can be controlled easily to fit the output targets of the enterprise. This has been a positive tendency of the company as it has dominated the word's crude oil industry while also providing for a promising future. However, the younger and the middle-aged population have pulled back from Aramco. This presents a tremendous negative prospect for the company as in the future, it may need to recruit from the younger population, but due to the aspects of job dissatisfaction, most of them shall have reiterated to other positions.

Further research

There is still room for more research as data collected is inclined towards one organization for which there needs to the availability of cross-sectional data that provides a basis for comparison on the factors that are behind the variables under investigation. Aging workforce is not only related to aspects of job experience and satisfaction, but aspects of favoritism in the form of cronyism may be in play and to identify such factors, deeper hypothesis testing needs to be conducted to test the relationship that exists between various variables.



Fu, I. (2015). Favoritism: Ethical Dilemmas Viewed Through Multiple Paradigms. The Journal of Values-Based Leadership, 8(1), 6.

Parry, E., & Harris, L. (2011). The employment relations challenges of an ageing workforce. London: Acas.

Barnes, H., Smeaton, D., & Taylor, R. (2009). An ageing workforce: the employers perspective. Brighton: Institute for Employment Studies.

Burtless, G. (2017) Is an Aging Workforce Less Productive? | Brookings Institution. Brookings. Retrieved from https://www.brookings.edu/blog/up-front/2013/06/10/is-an-aging-workforce-less-productive/Burtless, G. (2013). The impact of population aging and delayed retirement on workforce productivity.

AL-shawawreh, T. B. (2016). Economic Effects of Using Nepotism and Cronyism in the Employment Process in the Public Sector Institutions. Research in Applied Economics, 8(1), 58-67.

Nadeem, M., Ahmad, R., Ahmad, N., Batool, S. R., & Shafique, N. (2015). Favoritism, nepotism, and cronyism as predictors of job satisfaction: Evidence from Pakistan. Journal of Business and Management Research, 8, 224-228.

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