Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Business schools and universities in Saudi Arabia : a stakeholder view of reputation
Author: Alharthi, I. J.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7428 5926
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2018
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
The focus of this research is Saudi Arabian Higher Education (HE), specifically, how business schools are perceived by their key stakeholders. This study enriches the existing body of literature pertaining to Higher Education (HE) in the Saudi Arabian context. It also aims to provide HE policy makers with insights to influence strategic decisions pertaining to business schools in Saudi Arabia in the future, drawing on the concepts of 'stakeholder differences' and 'reputation' The context of the research reveals important findings regarding its contribution and potential impact. All aspects of society and education in Saudi Arabia are influenced by religion and this is set out in the context and later examined in a discussion of how stakeholder views are influenced by the wider societal background. The concept of reputation is the lens through which this study positions and assesses stakeholders' views of business schools. Reputation is examined here in order to fully comprehend its underlying constructs, dimensions and the different ways in which these can be understood. In particular, reputation can be classified here as being based on judgment where stakeholders' own experience determines how reputation is constructed by them, or non-judgment based criteria where an external factor such as accreditation or ranking determines reputation. Methodologically, the research adopts an interpretivist approach, employing semi-structured interviews with individuals from different stakeholder groups including, academics, students, employers, and students' family members. Template Analysis, a specific form of thematic analysis for analysing and interpreting the collected interview data was adopted. The research contributes to methodological practice in this area by using parallel coding, in which English and Arabic transcripts were considered side by side to enhance the reliability of data. The methodology used also exemplifies the phases of Template Analysis and documents the progress from one phase to another. The research makes a significant contribution to our understanding of business education in Saudi Arabia, by demonstrating that business schools and business education in Saudi Arabia have significant distinguishing characteristics that differentiate them from their counterparts in the US and the UK. This is important as it reveals that existing research, mainly conducted in and written from a Western perspective is not entirely applicable to the Saudi context. The study is also the first of its kind to assess a wide spectrum of HE stakeholders in Saudi Arabia to understand their individual perspectives directly. By doing so it identifies potential conflicts of interest, whereby some aspects were viewed positively by some stakeholders and negatively by others. This adds detail and nuance to our understanding of how the reputation of business schools and business education is constructed in Saudi Arabia. This not only provides an interesting research finding but will also be of potential interest to policy makers in this field. The research concludes that for universities and business schools, an awareness of their own reputation and how it is managed could contribute significantly to their operation and further development, and a key outcome from this research is the call to introduce reputation management into the strategic development and policy guidelines for business schools in Saudi Arabia.
Supervisor: Anderson, Lisa Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral