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Enhancing higher education services in the Sultanate of Oman through implementing total quality management: Sultan Qaboos University as case study

By the end of last century, higher educational institutions in general and in the Sultanate of Oman faced the problem of how to respond to dramatic changes in society and business as they where called upon to provide society and the marketplace with well qualified graduates and quality services. Many institutions round the world found the solution in adopting the new management approach known as Total Quality Management (TQM). A survey of TQM literature reveals that a number of public and private higher education institutions in the USA, the UK and many other countries in the world have adopted TQM principles in order to improve their educational processes and services, to satisfy their customers, and to gain competitive advantages. The objective of this study is to examine the extent to which the environment of higher education sectors in general and Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) in particular is suitable for the implementation of TQM principles. To achieve this goal the author proposed a model consisting of eight principles. These principles were used to explore the opinions of staff members of SQU and the environment of the university in order to arrive at a framework for implementation of the TQM model. The nature of this research was exploratory and descriptive. A questionnaire contain thirty statements was designed to examine the extent of agreement among staff members of SQU to the eight principles of the proposed model. The researcher also conducted open face-to-face interviews to measure the extent to which the environment of SQU was suitable to the implementing of TQM principles. One-way ANOVA tests were used to calculate the means, standard deviations, and variances of each statement in order to determine the significant differences between the means of opinions of the three groups of the sample according to their occupation levels. The thesis's contribution to knowledge can be summarized as follows: a) It is the first study of its kind to measure the possibility of implementing TQM principles in the field of higher education services in the Sultanate of Oman. b) The study presents a TQM model in the belief that its implementation will enhance higher education services in the Sultanate of Oman in general and in SQU in particular. c) The study presents a framework for implementing the proposed model. According to the research questions, the present study reached the following: 1) The literature on TQM and its implementation in higher education has revealed that everyone can adopt TQM in the higher education field on condition that there is commitment to its principles. 2) The discussions of the present study regarding the feasibility of the application of TQM in the SQU showed that there are some obstacles facing its success, i. e. lack of participation of juniors staff in decision making, lack of clarity of the responsibilities for senior positions, lack of clarity of formal procedures and criteria for those related to rewards system, promotions system, measurement of staff performance, moreover, the absence of strategic plan for training. On the other hand there is an excellent infrastructure, which can help with the implementation of TQM with the environment of SQU. 3) The primary data analysis revealed that the three groups of the sample agreed the commitment to TQM principles would help SQU to improve and reduce the cost of its services. Data also showed that the sample agreed that only the leadership of SQU has the decision-making powers as to whether to adopt TQM principles in SQU or not.
Date January 2003
CreatorsAl-Ghanboosi, Salim Saleem Mohammed
PublisherUniversity of Manchester
Source SetsEthos UK
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeElectronic Thesis or Dissertation

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