Exploration of Islamic Moral Axioms in Employer-Employee Relationships in Saudi Arabia

Sunday, June 26, 2016: 10:45 AM-12:15 PM
87 Dwinelle (Dwinelle Hall)
Saud Alshathri, Alfaisal University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Necati Aydin, Alfaisal University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
In his forthcoming paper (Aydin 2015), titled “Moral Economics Axioms, Preference, Choice, and Welfare in Conventional and Islamic Economic”, Professor Necati Aydin lays the groundwork of the core moral, fundamental differences between conventional and Islamic economics. One of the postulated Islamic-axioms of morality and economics is that humans can only be treated as an end in themselves, not as a mean (Aydin 2015). This differs significantly from the capitalistic, free-market morality- as explored in this paper. In the latter framework, Humans can and should be treated as means to ends, whereby the end is profitability. Such treatment is widely visible in capitalistic economies, as when corporations leverage their power to contract people at the minimum possible salary for which they would agree to work. Humans-as-ends perspective would not allow such treatment; it will compel a kind of treatment in which the employers looks to empower and enable the development of the employee, for the latter’s own good. It will compel a different usage of power, the manifestation of which will be apparent in a true Islamic Economy.

The goal of the study is to assess the existence of the aforementioned axiom in the Saudi Arabian economy, by assessing employer-employee relationships. The research question then is: Do Saudi Arabian employer-to-employee relationships stems from and adhere to the governing principles of Islamic morality (as they self-proclaim), or is it more in line with free-market, capitalistic, secular morality?

To answer this question, we will be conducting a research-survey, whereby the targeted population are employers. A randomly-selected body of 200 employers will be sampled.

The survey will investigate the moral-axiom of interest- weather employers perceive and treat employees as mere means to an end, or as end in themselves. We will explore both subjective views and objective information- such as salaries. Proper regression analysis will then be employed to arrive at the outcome.

In this research, we are hypothesizing that employer-employee relationships in Saudi Arabia are governed by secular, capitalistic, morality. We expect the research outcome to indicate a capitalistic-driven behaviors in employment relationships in Saudi Arabia.