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Article
Publication date: 9 January 2017

Rami M. Ayoubi, Kahla Alzarif and Bayan Khalifa

The purpose of this paper is to compare the desired employability skills of business graduates in Syria from the perspective of both higher education policymakers and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to compare the desired employability skills of business graduates in Syria from the perspective of both higher education policymakers and employers in the private sector.

Design/methodology/approach

Interviews were conducted with 12 higher education policymakers and managers from the business sector. Content analysis was utilized to analyse the content of the interviews and the strategic priorities of the higher education sector in Syria.

Findings

Results revealed that although higher education policymakers focus more on societal, public and thinking skills for business graduates, the business sector focusses more on individual, private and practical skills. Accordingly, a comparative tool that aligns the two perspectives was developed in the study. The tool, based on the contradicting employability skills, identified four types of business graduates: leader, collective, technical and trainee.

Research limitations/implications

The study is limited by data collected before the current political instability in Syria in 2012. The data were collected only from official documents and interviews with policymakers and employers. Students were not part of the study.

Practical implications

The managerial tool developed at the end of the study will help both policymakers and the private sector to statistically allocate business graduates for better planning. The study provides recommendations to the different stakeholders in the higher education sector in Syria.

Originality/value

Although the majority of the previous literature raises the voices of the business sector, this study is one of the first studies that aligns the discrepant perspectives of the higher education and business sectors. The managerial tool developed in the study is original and usable by policymakers and the business sector, and it is subject to further development.

Details

Education + Training, vol. 59 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

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Article
Publication date: 14 May 2018

Bayan Khalifa, Osama Dukhan and Sulaiman Mouselli

The purpose of this paper is to explore why students decide to enrol in a business postgraduate programme at Damascus University in the current Syrian crisis.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore why students decide to enrol in a business postgraduate programme at Damascus University in the current Syrian crisis.

Design/methodology/approach

Exploration of students’ motives was generated in this study using semi-structured interviews. On the basis of saturation sampling, 11 interviews took place in the leading Syrian university providing postgraduate programmes, Damascus University.

Findings

The results from the interviews indicate the existence of six different motives for students to enrol in a postgraduate study: self-motives, professional motives, social motives, academic motives, lack of vision, and delaying military service, which is directly caused by the current war conditions in Syria.

Practical implications

Understanding postgraduates’ motives is essential at the national level, the institutional level, and also at the individual level to make better future plans related to opening new programmes or altering admission criteria. Recommendations to higher education policy makers are highlighted in the study.

Originality/value

The majority of previous studies concentrate on students’ motives to pursue postgraduate studies during financial crisis. However, very little is known on why students decide to enrol in a business postgraduate programme in a war context.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 32 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

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Article
Publication date: 11 May 2015

Bayan Khalifa and Rami M. Ayoubi

The purpose of this paper is to explore the two major types of leadership, i.e transactional and transformational, and organizational learning at public and private…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the two major types of leadership, i.e transactional and transformational, and organizational learning at public and private universities in Syria. It further aims at exploring the role of transactional and transformational leadership in enhancing organizational learning at Syrian universities.

Design/methodology/approach

A quantitative research paradigm was employed. Using a questionnaire survey method, the data were collected from employees at two major public and private Syrian universities. In total, 216 questionnaires were analyzed using SPSS.

Findings

The findings revealed that there is a significant impact of contingent reward, as a transactional leadership dimension on organizational learning, and a significant impact of inspirational motivation as a transformational leadership dimension on organizational learning. The study also found no significant differences in leadership styles and organizational learning between both universities.

Practical implications

This study will help university leaders in Syria in adopting leadership styles that are suitable to reinforce organizational learning in their institutions.

Originality/value

The study advances western research that is linking leadership styles and organizational learning by focussing on the Arab world context, particularly the Syrian context.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 29 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

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Article
Publication date: 13 April 2015

Ali Bassam Mahmoud and Bayan Khalifa

The purpose of this paper is to confirm the factorial structure of SERVPERF based on an exploration of its dimensionality among Syrian universities’ students. It also…

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1113

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to confirm the factorial structure of SERVPERF based on an exploration of its dimensionality among Syrian universities’ students. It also aimed at assessing the perceived service quality offered at these universities.

Design/methodology/approach

A cross-sectional survey was conducted targeting students at Syrian universities. Using a pilot sample of 40 students, the authors developed their hypotheses. Thereafter, based on a sample of 259 students, the hypotheses were tested using structural equation modeling and one-sample t-test.

Findings

The findings revealed that SERVPERF in the Syrian universities’ context was a three-factor instrument consisting of the three dimensions: faculty-individualized attention, support staff helpfulness, and support staff empathy. Moreover, the findings showed that students at Syrian universities hold negative perceptions toward all of the three service quality dimensions provided by their universities.

Practical implications

Given the imperative need for universities to monitor and improve the quality of their services, this study can help Syrian universities’ administrations understand the perceptions of their students toward services offered, which can help them formulate effective marketing strategies.

Originality/value

This paper came to be one of the first studies that attempted to assess the perceived quality of services offered through the Syrian higher education system. Additionally, this study pioneered through drawing a factorial picture for SERVPERF at the Syrian Arab context.

Details

Education + Training, vol. 57 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

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Article
Publication date: 6 May 2021

Miral Sabry AlAshry

The purpose of this study is to investigate Libyan journalists’ perspectives regarding the media laws Articles 37,132, 38 and 46, which address media freedom in the new…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to investigate Libyan journalists’ perspectives regarding the media laws Articles 37,132, 38 and 46, which address media freedom in the new Libyan Constitution of 2017.

Design/methodology/approach

Focus group discussions were done with 35 Libyan journalists, 12 of them from the Constitution Committee, while 23 of them reported the update of the constitution in the Libyan Parliament.

Findings

The results of the study indicated that there were media laws articles that did not conform to the international laws and United Nations treaties, which the Libyan Parliament committee approved. Another finding from the journalists was the Constitution should provide and guarantee press freedom, while media laws articles approved to put a paragraph about “censorship” in the press and media as a tool to silence government opposition. In addition, journalists indicated future constitution should redraft Article 38 to conform with Article 19 of the “International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,” to support the “principles of freedom of expression and information” without control. Moreover, Article 46 needs to be changed and linked to the “provisions of international law on the right of information access” to improve the access and dissemination of information in the media.

Practical implications

Redrafting the constitution articles in the future can be summarised as follows: First, the Libyan Constitution should provide and guarantee press freedom without any censorship and include clear articles to protect journalists in conflict zones. Second, Articles 37,132 and 38, about “freedom of information and publication,” need to be redrafted to link with Article 19 of the “International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,” to support the principles of freedom of expression and information, and the use of this right must not be subject to prior control. Third, Article 46 needs to be changed and linked to the provisions of “International law on the Right of Access to Information” to improve access and dissemination of information in the media to protect confidentiality sources. The most important articles should be implemented (freedom of information and personal information act) because after the Arab Spring revolutions, there was a transitional period in societies and a change in the constitutions of Tunisia and Egypt. They developed legal articles about media freedom so that Libya resembles other Arab countries. From that point, the journalists recommended that all information should be protected from government interference to ensure transparency, combat corruption and protect independent journalists. These articles will open the way to add more development articles to media freedom rules in the Journalists’ Syndicate. Fourth, there are also various types of threats encountered by journalists in their work. In pursuit of their right and freedom of expression, they recommended that Libya must establish an independent self-regulatory media that are free from political and economic influence. Fifth, journalists need licenses for them to work through the syndicate. The new syndicate should play an active role to safeguard the rights of journalists, activists and media entities to carry out their work and end the self-censorship. Sixth, the constitution should also add articles to end the impunity and change the articles in the penal code. Overall, the journalists covering the conflict and war are encountering threats, violence and imprisonment. As a result, Libyan journalists must seek new legislation to defend independent journalism and freedom of expression in their deeply divided country. In addition, they need to have a strong central authority to defend journalists and journalism in wartime, where journalists are regularly threatened, abducted and sometimes killed. Also, the Libyan Journalists Syndicate should stress the importance of the media’s self-regulation to guarantee their rights to freedom of expression, grant their readers’ respect and minimise government’s interference. Finally, they need to develop new laws to grant media freedom from regulations and restrictions, as well as defend and promote democracy, the citizens’ right to be informed, as well as their right to discuss and disseminate information. There is also the need to implement articles in the constitution, articles about the protection of political speech, which would be specific enough to differentiate between what is legally permitted and what may be ethically offensive.

Originality/value

This study will help the new Libyan parliament after the legislative elections on 24 December 2021 to amend the media laws articles in the constitution.

Details

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 19 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

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Article
Publication date: 9 March 2012

Mamoun Benmamoun, Morris Kalliny and Robert A. Cropf

Although multinational enterprises (MNEs), according to John Dunning's work, are driven by motives of ownership, location, internalization and, ultimately, higher returns…

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1062

Abstract

Purpose

Although multinational enterprises (MNEs), according to John Dunning's work, are driven by motives of ownership, location, internalization and, ultimately, higher returns, these business entities, by virtue of their transnational products and services, and extensive reach and resources, provide direct and indirect mechanisms that can shape political and social outcomes. This paper seeks to explore those mechanisms in the context of the so‐called “Arab Spring”, the popular uprising that has ensued in a number of Arab countries. The paper also aims to explore virtual public spheres, the platform from which the Arab Spring was launched, and which owes much to the presence of MNEs.

Design/methodology/approach

The analysis is grounded on the theoretical construct of the virtual public sphere. The approaches taken are that of a general review and secondary research.

Findings

The main findings of this paper are three‐fold. First, in the examination of the role of MNEs and the virtual public sphere in the Arab Awakening, it is found that the new information and networking technologies have already made a sizable impact in terms of paving the way toward political and social changes. Second, it is found that foreign investments in Arab media, mobile, and internet markets are dominantly regional. Third, behind the social media phenomenon in the Arab world are “born‐global” American firms (MNEs), notably Facebook, Inc., Twitter, Inc., and Google, Inc.

Originality/value

Most research on the Arab Spring has not incorporated the likely distinctive influence of MNEs. In addition, the paper highlights the association between regional and transnational orientations of business activities of multinational firms and political outcomes.

Details

Multinational Business Review, vol. 20 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1525-383X

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Article
Publication date: 11 May 2010

Rania Kamla and Clare Roberts

This paper aims to examine GCC companies' use of visual images to interplay modernity and globalism with tradition, Islam and local culture. The analysis aims to bring…

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2551

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine GCC companies' use of visual images to interplay modernity and globalism with tradition, Islam and local culture. The analysis aims to bring attention to the way that businesses in the GCC use visual images to engage with or influence debates in their societies concerning the tension between modernity, globalisation and traditional values in the Arab‐Islamic world.

Design/methodology/approach

The analysis is critical and discursive and based on a close reading of the visual images reported in the 2005 annual reports of companies listed on GCC stock markets.

Findings

The analysis suggests that GCC companies on many occasions used visual images to depict and represent the possibility of a successful profitable, modern and global business that is also sympathetic to tradition and operates within the framework of Islamic principles.

Originality/value

While visual images are increasingly used in companies' annual reports they have been largely ignored in accounting research. Furthermore, when this research manifests, it has been concerned with investigating Anglo‐American and Western contexts. This paper instead emphasises the significance of researching the use of visual images in a variety of contexts and locations. It critically and contextually explores the use of visual images in a largely unexplored, non‐Western and a significantly Islamic context.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 23 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 12 April 2013

Amjad A. Abu‐El Samen, Mamoun N. Akroush and Bayan N. Abu‐Lail

The purpose of this paper is to reveal and compare the SERVQUAL dimensions from the customers' and the managers' perspectives, and to examine their effect on customer…

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5794

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to reveal and compare the SERVQUAL dimensions from the customers' and the managers' perspectives, and to examine their effect on customer satisfaction and business performance, respectively, in Jordan's mobile service industry.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors delivered 1,000 questionnaires to customers, from which 756 were valid and useable for data analysis. For the managers' sample, 350 questionnaires were delivered to managers, from which 256 were valid for data analysis. Utilizing structural equation modeling, and after a series of exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses, the authors tested the theoretical five dimensional SERVQUAL model and tested their effect on customers' satisfaction and business performance, respectively.

Findings

It was found that SERVQUAL is a three‐dimensional construct as opposed to five, as proposed by the original hypothesised model. From customers' point of view, SERVQUAL consists of three dimensions that are reliability, tangibility and interaction quality (empathy, assurance, and responsiveness). From managers' points of view, SERVQUAL consists of three dimensions that are empathy, tangibility‐reliability, and responsiveness‐assurance.

Research limitations/implications

SERVQUAL is used to measure service quality from both customers' and managers' perspectives and it is found that SERVQUAL dimensions and items are different from the two samples' perspectives. A very fruitful area of future research is to investigate why and how SERVQUAL dimensions and items are different from customers' and managers' perspectives, as well as examining antecedents and consequences of service quality. Managers of mobile service operators have empirical evidence regarding SERVQUAL dimensions from customers' and managers' perspectives comparatively.

Originality/value

This is the first attempt to examine the SERVQUAL dimensions from customers' and managers' and employees' perspectives, comparatively, in Jordan and then examine their effects on customer satisfaction and business performance, respectively. The authors' results also provide significant managerial implications on how to manage the service quality dimensions and the vital role they play to ensure customer satisfaction and business performance alike.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 30 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

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Book part
Publication date: 13 October 2008

Kalim Bahadur

The term ‘fundamentalism’ has come of late into popular usage more than any other. It has been used for various Christian movements. During the twentieth century, the term…

Abstract

The term ‘fundamentalism’ has come of late into popular usage more than any other. It has been used for various Christian movements. During the twentieth century, the term came to be used in Christian–Protestant circles in an effort to define beliefs that are fundamental to Christian religion. The world that emerged after the Second World War saw the emergence of many former colonial and semi-colonial countries as independent nations. Their development caused ferment among the Muslim countries also. It took the form of a resurgence of fundamentalism, Islamic fundamentalism. During the last several decades, the Islamic revival that is sweeping from Morocco in the West to Mindanao in the Philippines is considered with some reason as a response to the predatory policies of Western imperialism. This was the reassertion and the response of the Muslims to the challenge of the West. This was the promise of the fundamentalist Muslims: self assertive Islamic nationalism and simplicity of argument in the hope of recapturing the pristine purity and political glory of Islam (Ahmad, 1991). The first Muslim to react against the alien accretions to Islamic society, not necessarily the result of external or foreign influence, was Shah Waliullah (1703–1762) who was almost a contemporary of Abdul Wahab (1703–1787) in Arabia. Both evolved from attempting to purge the Islamic society of foreign accretions to protesting oppression and corruption of Westernisation (Jansen, 1979). The fundamentalism today is different from that of the eighteenth century. It is not of much use to trace historical continuity in the fundamentalist ideology; although, this does not negate some linkages between Islam's past history and modern day fundamentalist movements (Ahmed, 1994).

Details

Conflict and Peace in South Asia
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-534-5

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Article
Publication date: 29 November 2018

Fawaz Al-Qahtani

This paper aims to scrutinize and analyze the continuity and change in US foreign policy toward the Gulf region, with a comparison between the George W. Bush and Barack…

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6375

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to scrutinize and analyze the continuity and change in US foreign policy toward the Gulf region, with a comparison between the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations. Also, it explores the nature of the changes in US foreign policy toward the Gulf region to explain the factors that lead to change and when this change occurs. Policymakers were one of the most important factors that led to the occurrence of change in US policy. Therefore, the study also focuses on decision-makers as an engine of change in foreign policy. In this vein, the study seeks to answer the following question: what is the extent of continuity and change in US foreign policy toward the Gulf region under both Bush and Obama administrations?

Design/methodology/approach

The study seeks to answer its research question by using the rational choice approach. This approach explains that foreign policy does not change because of change of leadership. Therefore, this approach is suitable to study the research question.

Findings

The study reached several points of results, the most important of which are as follows: there is continuity within US foreign policy toward the Gulf countries under the two Bush and Obama administrations. Despite the difference of mechanisms of implementing this foreign policy under both administrations, the objectives of the US foreign policy are still constant and continuous. For example, although the events of September led to the occurrence of tensions between the USA and the Gulf region, the repercussions of the events of September were ostensible where the effects were confined to a change in tactical objectives. Also, successive American administrations have recognized the USA’s enduring and salient interests in the Gulf region.

Research limitations/implications

The region is important as a source of US energy supplies as a strategic military base of operations and also as a site of US foreign policy influence through relationship with individual nations such as Saudi Arabia and the smaller states of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

Practical implications

This paper adds to the existing literature which charts the effects of US foreign policy on the Gulf region.

Details

Review of Economics and Political Science, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2631-3561

Keywords

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