The manufacturing industry sector is one of the dynamic and important productive sectors of the economy. Hence, efforts have been made in the literature to assess the performance of this sector in many countries. In this paper, the business excellence of 19 industrial groups in the manufacturing industrial sector of the Sultanate of Oman is evaluated using data envelopment analysis. Using data for the year 2001, three of the 19 industrial groups, namely refined petro‐products (ISIC code 23), office, accounting/computer machinery (ISIC code 30) and medical precision/optical instruments (ISIC code 33), have been assessed to be operating at the highest level of business excellence. Patterns of efficiency changes in these industrial groups over the time period 1997‐2001 are studied using the Malmquist productivity index (MPI) approach. The average MPI over this period has declined for the entire manufacturing industry, and technology change contributed significantly to this decline in spite of a slight improvement in the technical efficiency change. The industrial group chemicals/chemical products (ISIC code 24) have shown poor performance in terms of technical efficiency and technology change during this period. Hence, it is important to study the technology management practices of this industrial group further, and if necessary to provide further investment to improve technologies.
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