An exploratory study of localisation drivers and barriers of oil and gas service firms: a case study approach.
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MCDONALD, J. 2017. An exploratory study of localisation drivers and barriers of oil and gas service firms: a case study approach. Robert Gordon University, DBA thesis.
The purpose of this thesis is to explore and understand the ‘localisation’ phenomenon from a geographical, cultural, technical and governmental theme to help explain why the level of local content in the oil and gas engineering and technical services private sector tends to flatten out at specific engineering and management skillsets in order to balance quality and delivery of the service and maintain operational excellence. Five research objectives were developed to achieve the research aim to provide a clear understanding, from a corporate strategic perspective, of the drivers and perceived barriers to successful localisation. For the purposes of this thesis, the term "localisation" is understood to mean “when a local national is filling a required job sufficiently competently to fulfil organisational needs” (Potter 1989). Due to the nature of investigation, this study adopted a qualitative inquiry. Thus, a mix of qualitative data collection methods were used such as document, experienced observation, and interviews with senior managers at the corporate strategic level of the business. An interview guide was developed from a conceptual framework generated from the literature review. The study targeted an ‘elite’ sample of oil and gas executives/ managers who are considered role models in the case study organisation. This study argues that a form of grounded theory/qualitative inquiry is adopted during data analysis using open, axial, and selective coding, leading to an evolved conceptual framework of localisation drivers and barriers. In addition to a thematic analysis, an integrated view from the researcher as an experienced observer resulted in a validated conceptual framework. This framework provides a holistic set of factors that must be considered, and understood, from a corporate strategic perspective as being directly influential in achieving successful localisation of a subsidiary part of the business. It is found that four of the five objectives were met and objective five partially achieved which identified an opportunity for further research to investigate and develop weightings across the four localisation barrier themes to determine an optimised balance of cost, delivery, and local content to maintain the desired operational excellence in the oil and gas services contractor industry. The study appears to have a contribution to knowledge through the evolving conceptual framework of localisation and provides the first holistic view of both localisation drivers and barriers relevant to oil and gas services contractors. A methodological contribution is worth noting since the researcher acted as an experienced observer during the process of this research. No doubt, industrial experience of the research and his access to the senior management has been one of the key contributing factors to a successful completion of the study. Finally, one can argue that this study has made contribution to the policy makers who provided access to the researcher. The findings of this study will provide a better and clear understanding of localisation and its drivers and barriers.