Technical talent development strategies to support tecnology advancement in the hydrocarbon industry in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Alzahrani, Hasan J. (2012) Technical talent development strategies to support tecnology advancement in the hydrocarbon industry in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. PhD thesis, Dublin City University.
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This thesis focuses on technical talent development in terms of; i) defining top competencies for engineers and scientists involved in technology development in hydrocarbon industry of Saudi Arabia, ii) finding practical strategies to enhance technical talent development, iii) discovering challenges facing the implementation of these strategies with suggested mitigation measures and iv) recommending an implementation plan to use the research results.
This research work has confirmed that there are common competencies that every technology developer in the hydrocarbon industry in Saudi Arabia shall strive to attain and maintain. The top technical knowledge and competencies came out to be adequate filled experience, knowledge of research methods, up-to-date in specialty, and simulation modeling. The critical soft skills are effective communication, analytical capability, teamwork, and drive for results. From business domain, top competencies are economic evaluation and understanding of global and local perspectives. This work has explored fourteen different technical talent development strategies. The research revealed the following top five strategies; 1) Gain several years of field experience in the core hydrocarbon sector. 2) Participate in joint industry projects. 3) Implement a structured technical development program where career paths are defined by competencies and tasks. (4) Implement a mentorship program to formally select and qualify mentors. (5) Provide various venues of knowledge exchange between professionals. The research drilled down further into potential challenges that might hinder the technical talent development and confirmed several different challenges. The major one is retaining high potential individuals in the technical path. It was evident that management path is more attractive than technical path in terms of career progression and rewarding opportunities. Several mitigation means were suggested to reduce the impact of these challenges. The thesis has laid down an implementation plan to benefit from the research outcomes.
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