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Unlocking the potential: a study on the role of operational excellence in Oman’s energy sector

Yousuf Al Zaabi (Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK)
Jiju Antony (Newcastle Business School, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)
Jose Arturo Garza-Reyes (Centre for Supply Chain Improvement, The University of Derby, Derby, UK)
Guilherme da Luz Tortorella (Queen’s College, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Australia)
Michael Sony (Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK)
Raja Jayaraman (Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Khalifa University, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management

ISSN: 0265-671X

Article publication date: 25 April 2024




Operational excellence (OpEx) is a proven philosophy focusing on continuous improvement in processes and systems for superior performance and efficiency. It plays a crucial role in the energy sector, acting as a catalyst for safety, customer satisfaction, sustainability and competitiveness. This research aims to assess OpEx methodologies in Oman’s energy sector, examining methods, approaches, motivations and sustainability.


This study applies qualitative analysis methodology, involving interviews with 18 industry experts, from the energy sector in a sizeable energy country.


The analysis revealed a growing demand, particularly, in the oil and gas industry, driven by emerging business needs. Qualitative data analysis has identified 10 themes such as implemented methodologies, motivation drivers, deployment approaches, sustainability factors, benefits and challenges. Additionally, new themes emerged, including influencers to start OpEx, resource requirements, enablers for successful OpEx and systems.

Research limitations/implications

This research was limited to Oman and the findings drawn from Omani energy companies may have limited applicability to energy companies in other regions. Therefore, if these findings were to be used, the validation of the findings in relation to other countries should be conducted, to ensure the validity of the context and outcome.

Practical implications

These findings contribute to understanding OpEx dynamics in the Omani energy sector, offering valuable insights for effective utilisation and organisational goal achievement. Furthermore, the study offers valuable insights on how to effectively employ OpEx initiatives in the energy sector to achieve their goals and create value. It addresses the lack of knowledge, offers a framework for successful OpEx implementation, bridges the theory-practice gap and provides insights for optimal utilisation.


To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first empirical study on assessing OpEx methodologies in the energy sector, and therefore it serves as a foundation for many future studies. The study provides a theoretical foundation for the OpEx methodologies in terms of organisational readiness for successful OpEx implementation.



Al Zaabi, Y., Antony, J., Garza-Reyes, J.A., Tortorella, G.d.L., Sony, M. and Jayaraman, R. (2024), "Unlocking the potential: a study on the role of operational excellence in Oman’s energy sector", International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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