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Title: Developing the education system in the Sultanate of Oman through implementing total quality management- the Ministry of Education Central headquarters- a case study
Author: Al Nabhani, Maryam
ISNI:       0000 0001 3407 4954
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2007
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Abstract 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 planning. 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.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: L Education (General) ; LB Theory and practice of education