Higher education institutions (HEIs) worldwide are required to acquire accreditation for the sake of their academic reputation at the institutional as well as programs levels. Meeting the requirements of standards established by accrediting bodies can be daunting for HEIs undergoing accreditation for the first time. Drastic organizational change is required to overhaul and implement systems to meet the requirements of quality standards. HEIs in the Sultanate of Oman are determined to acquire and maintain institutional accreditation from the Oman Academic Accreditation Authority (OAAA). The purpose of this paper is to describe how a HEI has undergone organizational change to meet the requirement of the research–teaching nexus standard using Lewin’s and McKinsey 7-S change management models.
This is a qualitative research which made use of primary and secondary data. The primary data were collected through focus group discussions and workshops, and documents analysis while internet resources were used for secondary data. The dimensions of the research–teaching nexus were determined through review of the literature which became the basis for evaluating the HEI’s practices in the area. Lewin’s and McKinsey 7-S change management models were combined to provide the conceptual framework for describing the process of change the HEI undertook.
Lewin’s and McKinsey 7-S change management models allowed for a systemic and systematic perspective of the change required for the HEI to meet the research–teaching nexus standards and acquire institutional accreditation. The HEI documented its practices, conducted an evaluation and instituted the changes in the dimensions of the research–teaching nexus and the supporting 7-S elements. As final result, the HEI was granted institutional accreditation.
This is a case study of the experience of an HEI in the Sultanate of Oman in its effort to acquire institutional accreditation from the OAAA. However, this case study can provide insights to a larger audience of institutions in Oman and within the Gulf region (or even outside the region) that are in the process of going through a similar experience. For those who have already undergone a similar exercise, this case study can provide a valuable comparison.
The practical experience of the HEI in the Sultanate of Oman can provide valuable lessons/insights to those in the praxis of educational management and quality assurance in education.
Quality in education is a social issue. HEIs are pressured to acquire and maintain accreditation as evidence of quality. The case study provides the larger audience a perspective of how much effort HEIs place in this aspect.
This paper documented the experience of an HEI in the Sultanate of Oman. This is the first paper describing an HEI’s change process in a country which is also implementing a new academic accreditation system. In this paper, two change models – Lewin’s and McKinsey’s 7-S – were integrated to provide a more comprehensive perspective in analyzing organizational change. Review of the literature has shown that these two models have not been used together in one paper, providing novelty to otherwise “classic” models. This paper should be valuable to HEIs pursuing accreditation. It is a “universal” knowledge that acquiring accreditation is a major goal of all HEIs worldwide. The described process of organizational change should be insightful to those who are responsible for steering this process with the goal of acquiring accreditation. Educational leaders at the forefront and center of the change process should find in this paper a valuable reference material, providing a systemic and systematic view of the change they have to lead in order to acquire the much-coveted accreditation. Faculty, staff and students of HEIs can be advocates or sources of resistance. This paper should provide better understanding of the process of change and how they, as stakeholders, benefit from it. Finally, students of educational management and leadership should find this paper as a useful case study for class discussion.
Paquibut, R. and Al Naamany, A. (2019), "Managing organizational change to meet the research–teaching nexus standard: The case of an HEI in the Sultanate of Oman", International Journal of Educational Management, Vol. 34 No. 4, pp. 782-793. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJEM-07-2019-0225Download as .RIS
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