PROPOSED TITLE: “An Analysis of the Reputation Management of the Abu Dhabi Police amongst the Expatriate Community”Keywords: Corporate reputation, public relations, community relations, communicationsAbstract: The purpose of this proposed study is to assess the effectiveness of the reputation management practises of the Abu Dhabi Police department (ADP) in the context of the perceptions of the expatriate community in Abu Dhabi. The primary research will take two directions: First, a content analysis of public relations communications from the ADP – those issued directly and through secondary media sources – will be conducted.
Second, a series of in-depth interviews with a number of residents representing a cross-section of the expatriate community in Abu Dhabi will be conducted, and their impressions analysed. The expected deliverables of this research are conclusions qualitatively describing the effectiveness of the ADP’s reputation management practises, and recommendations how those practises may be improved or refined. The value of this proposed study comes from its relevance – Abu Dhabi has a very large population of foreign nationals, far larger, in fact, than the native Emirati population – and from the gap in existing research; very little research appears to have been done on corporate reputation management for public sector organisations of any kind, and none has been done in the context of the police organisation in Abu Dhabi, or elsewhere in the United Arab Emirates. Literature Review: 1.
BackgroundAbu Dhabi is the capital and largest of the United Arab Emirates (which include Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm al-Quwain), and along with Abu Dhabi and Sharjah accounts for about 85% of the UAE’s population, of which about 80% is made up of expatriate nationals, nearly all of whom are guest workers.
About 45% of the expatriate population are South Asian (Indians and Pakistanis), with Iranians and Arabs from other parts of the Middle East comprising about 30%, and Westerners (Europeans, Australians, and North Americans) making up about 5% of the population (Foley, 1999: 26). From the perspective of Western expatriates, who generally view conditions in the UAE positively, there are sharp divisions in their host society which are probably most obvious in Abu Dhabi, being the political and economic centre of the UAE; native Emiratis – who are a minority in their own land – are considered almost a separate society, with a social hierarchy amongst the foreign population consisting of, from top to bottom, Westerners, other Arabs, Iranians, Filipinos, and South Asians and Africans (Davis, 2007: 63-66; Hari, 2009).
The attitude towards the police among European or American expatriates is not necessarily fearful, but cautious; some anecdotally relate stories of serious trouble encountered with the authorities for what in their home countries would be relatively minor offenses, such as traffic infractions or use of alcohol (Hari, 2009). For their part, good corporate reputation and its consequences, good community relations, are a critical priority for the ADP.
According to ADP Director of Police Operations and Human Resources Major General Mohammed Al Menhali, “Our priorities are to maintain security and safety for all, make roads safer, control crime, take more of a community-based approach in order to help build confidence in our services, and support Abu Dhabi in its creation of the most open, efficient and safe business and tourist environment possible.
We are committed to developing our people and capabilities to achieve this. Abu Dhabi is one of the safest cities in the world and we want to keep it this way. ” (Hendrikz, 2011)