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The use of information management towards strategic decision effectiveness in higher education institutions in the context of Bahrain

Esra Saleh Al Dhaen (College of Business and Finance, Ahlia University, Manama, Bahrain)

The Bottom Line

ISSN: 0888-045X

Article publication date: 14 July 2021

Issue publication date: 9 September 2021




Strategic decision importance has rarely been investigated as a decision-specific characteristic in the strategic decision-making process (SDMP) literature taking into consideration information management while taking important strategic decisions. Here, the ability of decision importance to predict decision effectiveness as an outcome of SDMPs in higher education institutions (HEIs) is examined in the context of Bahrain.


A conceptual model is developed relating decision importance to decision effectiveness indirectly via the SDMP characteristics intuition, rationality and decentralization. Data from a cross-sectional questionnaire completed by leaders of HEIs and academics involved in strategic decision-making in Bahrain are used to test the model and hypotheses via correlation analysis. The paper also considers a literature review of the use of information management while taking a strategic decision.


Decision importance is shown to positively influence decision effectiveness in Bahraini HEIs mediated by rationality and by decentralization in decision-making, although negative effects of decentralization are also demonstrated. However, decision importance does not influence decision effectiveness mediated by intuition.

Research limitations/implications

Due to the small sample size, the results cannot be generalized to contexts beyond HEIs in Bahrain. Additional SDMP characteristics of significance in the context of HEIs could be future investigated, for instance, political behaviour and lateral communication, are not included in the model. Future research exploring the latter two aspects could provide deeper insight into the findings.

Practical implications

The findings of this paper could be considered by HEIs senior management and members of the governing body while strategic decision-making, which could be at different levels, including strategic planning or assessing a strategic decision in terms of effectiveness. This paper will also provide insight one the use of information while considering strategic decision-making.

Social implications

A model leading for effective strategic decision-making could be used by leaders of HEIs and regulators including licensing bodies and QA agencies to set standards for HEIs for sustainable performance and quality education in line with United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and Initiative. Strategic decision-making will have an impact on the overall performance of HEIs and serve all relevant stakeholder’s including parents, students, employers and industry.


Little research conducted in relation to strategic decision-making in the Gulf Cooperation Council therefore, this research will add original findings and the outcome of this study will lead to future research related to SDMP and the use of information management in the overall strategic decision-making.



Al Dhaen, E.S. (2021), "The use of information management towards strategic decision effectiveness in higher education institutions in the context of Bahrain", The Bottom Line, Vol. 34 No. 2, pp. 143-169.



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