Developing the education system in the Sultanate of Oman through implementing total quality management: the Ministry of Education Central headquarters- a case study

Al Nabhani, Maryam bint Belarab bin Mohammed (2007) Developing the education system in the Sultanate of Oman through implementing total quality management: the Ministry of Education Central headquarters- a case study. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This study seeks to identify the issues that need addressing in the Ministry of Education in
Oman as it seeks to expand and improve its education system. The aims of this are (1) to
highlight the issues that need addressing in the Ministry of Education, (2) to present a
background survey on different approaches of managing change (3) to survey the literature
about TQM in order to discover the underlying philosophy of TQM, its gurus, its
development and its tools and techniques, (4) to review the experience of TQM in
education, its success in this field and to also identify limitations of TQM, (5) to examine
the feasibility of applying TQM in the MOE and (6) to design a model for implementing
TQM in MOE .
Firstly, an overview of the context of the study is presented. The major internal and
external challenges that face the Ministry of Education and call for change are highlighted.
This is followed by a description of the Sultanate of Oman, its location, climate, economy,
employment, population and how all these affect education and calls for change. After that,
education in Oman, its development and structures are examined. To ascertain an
understanding of the key issues in relation to the working of the MOE a preliminary study
was carried with four focus groups of MOE’s central headquarter directors, regional
directors, head teachers and teachers. The sample consists of 40 persons, 10 from each
group. From this study the following issues were identified; centralization, weak
communication, insufficient management support, weak teamwork motivation and faulty
Secondly, seven different approaches for managing change are discussed; the problemsolving
approach, the learning organization, the three-step model, the action research
model, the reengineering, Fullan’s theories of managing change, and Total Quality
Management. It is argued that six of these approaches were highlighted as effective
approaches in dealing with change but do not fully match the development needs of the
Ministry of Education in Oman. However, TQM seems to provide a possible approach for
developing the Ministry of Education Central Headquarters in Oman to be able to deal with
the internal and external challenges, to solve the existing issues highlighted by the pilot
study and fulfil the aspiration of the country and its demands. Drawing on the data from
both the pilot study and the literature on TQM, a draft of TQM Model for the MOE was
generated. The proposed TQM Tree Model consists of seven TQM principles that suit the
MOE; commitment toward TQM, focus on stakeholders, involvement and empowerment,
Maryam ALNabhani, 2007 iii
continuous improvement, training and education, tools and techniques, and rewards. The
views of different groups -top management, internal stakeholders and external
stakeholders- on the proposed model of TQM and views on issues related to
implementation -were also- gathered.
The third part of the thesis reports on the methodology; the data collection and analysis;
and the conclusions and recommendations. This stage of the research used a combination
of quantitative and qualitative methods. It used a closed item questionnaire to gain a broad
feel for the acceptability of the TQM ideas and to establish a broad baseline. In addition,
open-ended questions in the questionnaire and semi-structured interviews were used for the
same purpose and to provide additional information regarding the TQM implementation;
the possible obstacles and facilitating factors. The analysis showed that TQM Tree Model
was seen to be a possible approach by top management and stakeholders to develop the
Ministry of Education in Oman. The final stage of the study was to gather the views of
those in executive positions in the MOE regarding the proposed model of TQM and to
identify issues to be considered in an implementation framework. Thus semi-structured
interviews were conducted with six of the key personnel in the MOE. Some issues arising
from the analysis of all the data collected including final set of the interviews with the
executives led to the modification of the proposed TQM Tree Model. Three supportive
factors were added as roots for the model; teamwork, budget and communication. In the
light of the results from this study, the TQM principles and implementation in education,
an implementation framework for the TQM Tree Model in the MOE in Oman is proposed.
This implementation framework consists of five stages: the decision, the preparation, the
implementation, the evaluation and rewards, and the continuous improvement. Finally the
thesis concludes with some recommendations for education development in the light of
TQM, some recommendations for the MOE regarding the TQM and some
recommendations for further studies.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Educational administration- Total Quality Mnagament- Change Management
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Supervisor's Name: Forde, Prof Christine
Date of Award: 26 November 2007
Depositing User: Mrs maryam ALNabhani
Unique ID: glathesis:2007-41
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2007
Last Modified: 24 Apr 2018 15:43

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