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The leadership criterion: challenges in pursuing excellence in the Jordanian public sector

Shaker A Aladwan (Department of Management, Birmingham Business School, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK)
Paul Forrester (Keele Management School, Keele University, Keele , UK)

The TQM Journal

ISSN: 1754-2731

Article publication date: 14 March 2016




The purpose of this paper is to explore the challenges that face leaders when implementing business excellence programmes in the Jordanian public sector.


The study adopted a content analysis approach to analyse the excellence assessment reports that have been produced by the King Abdullah II Centre for Excellence. The sample comprises ten public organisations which have participated in the King Abdullah Award for Excellence more than once and acknowledge in their reports that they have failed to achieve satisfactory results.


The key challenges to effect the implementation of leadership criteria in the public sector in Jordan were found to be poor strategic planning, lack of employee empowerment, weaknesses in benchmarking performance, and a lack of financial resources, poor integration and coordination, and poor measurement system.

Practical implications

This study proposes a conceptual model for the assessment of challenges that face managers when seeking to implement excellence in leadership in the Jordanian public sector.


Leadership challenges in the public sector are generally widely studied, but it is important to gain a better understanding of how these challenges can be overcome. In comparison to many existing studies, this research has provided specific and detailed insights these organisational excellence challenges in the public sector and provides a conceptual model for use by other researchers into the future.



The authors would like to thank Mrs Yasera Ghosheh (Executive Director – King Abdullah Centre for Excellence) who kindly provided access to the assessment reports used in this paper.


Aladwan, S.A. and Forrester, P. (2016), "The leadership criterion: challenges in pursuing excellence in the Jordanian public sector", The TQM Journal, Vol. 28 No. 2, pp. 295-316.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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