University of Oulu

Arslan, A., Al Kharusi, S., Hussain, S.M. and Alo, O. (2023), "Sustainable entrepreneurship development in Oman: a multi-stakeholder qualitative study", International Journal of Organizational Analysis, Vol. 31 No. 8, pp. 35-59.

Sustainable entrepreneurship development in Oman : a multi-stakeholder qualitative study

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Author: Arslan, Ahmad1; Al Kharusi, Sami2; Hussain, Syed Mujahid2;
Organizations: 1Department of Marketing, Management and International Business, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Department of Economics and Finance, College of Economics and Political Science, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman
3Business School, University of Sunderland, Sunderland, UK
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.3 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Emerald, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-02-14


Purpose: Even though sustainable entrepreneurship has increasingly received researchers’ attention in recent years, the topic remains rather under-researched in natural resources’ rich Gulf countries such as Oman. Hence, this paper aims to fill this gap in the literature and, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, is one of the first attempts to assess the state of sustainable entrepreneurship development in Oman from a multi-stakeholder perspective.

Design/methodology/approach: This paper uses a qualitative research approach where in-depth semi-structured interviews were undertaken with 12 respondents representing relevant stakeholders of sustainable entrepreneurship development in Oman. The interviewees included four sustainable entrepreneurs, four policymakers and four educationists representing entrepreneurial skills development institutes in Oman.

Findings: This papers’ findings highlight that despite some positive improvements, several critical challenges remain, which hinder sustainable entrepreneurship development. The authors further found the role of FinTech to be critical in this concern by all stakeholders, though its usage and acceptance remain low. Also, the costs associated with the post-carbon (sustainable) economy and different profitability evolution have resulted in a slow change in the policy development in this concern. From an educational (skills development) perspective, a lack of context-specific training programmes and culture-based hesitations appeared to be hindering achieving sustainable entrepreneurship possibilities in Oman. The nascent entrepreneurial ecosystem, bureaucracy and lack of human capital (attraction as well as retention) appeared to be significant challenges for entrepreneurs. Finally, the findings highlighted the need for cross-sector collaboration with clear benchmarks for effective policy development concerning sustainable entrepreneurship in Oman.

Originality/value: To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this paper is the first academic study explicitly highlighting the state of sustainable entrepreneurship in Oman by incorporating the development initiatives as well as the major challenges in the analysis. Secondly, this study is also a pioneering work specifying the interlinkage between financing (FinTech), policy initiatives and skills development and the development of a sustainable entrepreneurship ecosystem in an under-researched context of Oman. Finally, the transition to a sustainable economy is challenging in natural resources’ dependent economies like Oman, as it needs to be supported by the mindset change in the larger society (legitimacy). In this concern, this paper, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, is one of the first academic endeavours to also specify the role of legitimacy from the perspective of different stakeholders (and larger society) for sustainable entrepreneurship development in such contexts.

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Series: International journal of organizational analysis
ISSN: 1934-8835
ISSN-E: 1758-8561
ISSN-L: 1934-8835
Volume: 31
Issue: 8
Pages: 35 - 59
DOI: 10.1108/ijoa-11-2022-3497
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 512 Business and management
Funding: The project was funded by Sultan Qaboos University internal grant number IG/EPS/ECOF/22/02.
Copyright information: © 2023, Ahmad Arslan, Sami Al Kharusi, Syed Mujahid Hussain and Obinna Alo. Published by Emerald Publishing Limited. This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) licence. Anyone may reproduce, distribute, translate and create derivative works of this article (for both commercial & non-commercial purposes), subject to full attribution to the original publication and authors. The full terms of this licence may be seen at