Exploring Challenges and Opportunities for High-Level Integration of TQM into Saudi Arabian Public Universities: A Qualitative Exploratory Study

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Alhamami, Mubarak A M (2023) Exploring Challenges and Opportunities for High-Level Integration of TQM into Saudi Arabian Public Universities: A Qualitative Exploratory Study. PhD thesis, Victoria University.


This qualitative exploratory study seeks to explore and identify the challenges and opportunities for the high-level integration of critical success factors (CSFs) derived from total quality management (TQM) to promote quality practices for improvement in the context of Saudi Arabian public universities. In this qualitative study, multiple universities were employed as the source of the primary data to investigate the topic. Specifically, three public universities in the Saudi Arabian higher education sector were chosen for this qualitative exploratory research study, which involved fieldwork. Semi-structured in-depth interviews with study participants across the three universities were the main instrument for the collection of relevant data. In total, 29 in-depth semi-structured interviews were carried out with quality developers, including both male and female quality deanship personnel, across the three universities. The data collected were then analysed thematically, using both deductive and inductive approaches underpinned by Yin’s five-phase approach for analysing research study data. The tools available in NVivo 12 software package were used to assist the analysis, which included organising, coding and navigating through the study data. The findings of the current study highlight both the external and internal drivers contributing to the initiation of quality development strategies and plans in these three universities, to enable the greater integration of quality values for quality improvement and excellence. The findings also uncover barriers to quality development, including both managerial and people-related challenges, that have hindered the achievement of the high-level integration of TQM CSFs, which has made the adoption and practices of quality values and tools such a challenging task in these public universities. The implications of the current study findings will be valuable for leadership and quality developers in the context of Saudi Arabian public universities to assist them to capitalise on the opportunities available and optimise their approaches to overcoming barriers to promote the high-level integration of TQM values and practices to create a quality culture in these educational institutions. Furthermore, suggestions are provided for future research studies focusing on the application of the TQM philosophy in universities.

Item type Thesis (PhD thesis)
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/47742
Subjects Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 3507 Strategy, management and organisational behaviour
Current > Division/Research > Institute for Sustainable Industries and Liveable Cities
Keywords critical success factors; total quality management; Saudi Arabia; university; education system
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