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Article
Publication date: 3 September 2021

Fatemeh Narenji Thani, Ebrahim Mazari, Somaye Asadi and Maryam Mashayekhikhi

Considering innovation and its improvement as an essential strategy to enable organizations to continue their lives in the new competitive environment leads to a focus on…

Abstract

Purpose

Considering innovation and its improvement as an essential strategy to enable organizations to continue their lives in the new competitive environment leads to a focus on employees' self-development as a factor that affects human resource agility (HRA) and the tendency toward organizational innovation. Consequently, the purpose of the study was to explain the impact of self-development on the tendency toward organizational innovation with the role of the mediator, HRA in higher education institutions as one of the most important and vital organizations in any society.

Design/methodology/approach

The study was an applicable one with the quantitative approach using the descriptive–correlative method. The population consisted of 477 nonacademic employees of Kharazmi University among whom 214 ones were selected as the sample group, using a simple random sampling technique. Data were collected through the self-development, HRA and the tendency toward organizational innovation questionnaires and then analyzed using the structural equation modeling approach.

Findings

The study findings revealed a positive impact of self-development on the HRA (γ = 0/79) and HRA on the tendency toward organizational innovation (β = 0/6). Also, self-development with mediating HRA impacts the tendency toward organizational innovation (β = 0/58). Finally, self-development had no direct impact on the tendency toward organizational innovation.

Research limitations/implications

Taking the circumstances of doing this research into consideration, if there were the opportunity to do the research on the staffs of more than one university simultaneously and categorize the university staff into executives, managers and experts, more favorable results could be achieved. Also, considering group and organizational factors with the attention to the self-development approach and its factors would provide more awareness-training information on the higher education system in Iran. For future researches, both the individual and group factors are suggested to be surveyed and compared, to assess the weight and impact of these factors all together and to provide an adequate clarification of the role of the group and the organization. Finally, in future studies, it is also recommended that a qualitative approach be used to reach deeper clarifications on the aspects of these variables in the context of higher education.

Practical implications

These findings have major practical implications concerning the higher educational settings. The findings of this study must give significant and practical insights for policymakers of universities and other higher education stakeholders, as well as recommendations to the academic community for further research in this area. First, they should recognize that nonacademic staff members are professional employees who contribute to improving organizational innovation. Higher education must focus on designing and implementing successful mechanisms and a well-planned self-development program that can help and promote the self-development approach among all staff. If the above-mentioned programs are designed based on the employees' needs analysis, they will get trained in a way to enhance mental and behavioral flexibility. The programs with such an approach can result in the proactive, adaptive, resilient behavior and agility of HR.

Originality/value

The model for this study has integrated and prioritized the key innovation drivers that would help universities design, adopt and implement policies and practices that facilitate and encourage improvements and adaptation to a fast-paced environment. Furthermore, the convincing reason for the significance of the current research is that although several types of research have been carried out on each of these three variables in different contexts separately, very few studies, like this, have directly examined the correlation between these three variables among the non-academic staff in higher education institutes. So, given the importance of the issue and rare availability of evidence in this regard, the authors were intrigued to discover whether the self-development through the mediation of HRA could reinforce and strengthen the tendency toward organizational innovation and whether HRA could be an appropriate mediator of the relationship between self-development and the tendency toward organizational innovation among the nonacademic staff of Kharazmi University as one of the most prestigious and celebrated universities in Iran.

Details

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-7003

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Article
Publication date: 13 August 2018

Fatemeh Narenji Thani and Seyed Mohammad Mirkamali

Knowledge is recognized as a valuable asset and universities are in search of a new strategy that allows them to build their knowledge and experience. To achieve this…

Abstract

Purpose

Knowledge is recognized as a valuable asset and universities are in search of a new strategy that allows them to build their knowledge and experience. To achieve this goal, it seems essential to find the factors associated with knowledge creation (KC) in universities. There is currently no comprehensive model that delineates the relationships between personal, institutional and support-related factors of KC. The purpose of this paper is to gain a better understanding of the factors that affect KC in higher education institutions.

Design/methodology/approach

This is an explanatory mixed methods approach that consists of qualitative and quantitative stages. In the qualitative phase, 14 authorities on KC were interviewed and the data yielded were subjected to content analysis. A model and hypotheses were then formulated and a questionnaire was developed to test these. The questionnaire was submitted to faculty members of Tehran University. Questionnaire data were was analyzed using structural equation and partial least squares with the aid of SmartPLS.

Findings

The results showed three main categories of KC factors: institutional, personal and support. A total of 19 sub-factors were identified within these main categories. According to the results, social capital (path coefficient=0.84) had the strongest correlation with the institutional; basic skills for KC (path coefficient=0.92) had the strongest correlation with the personal, and information and library resources (path coefficient=0.95) had the highest correlation with the support aspect of KC.

Originality/value

The study uses a multidimensional approach to test the effect of factors on KC, and can contribute to organizations (especially universities) through developing a more comprehensive model of KC. This research may lead to guidelines for universities, using Tehran University as a case study, which give more attention to the main factors of KC and improve and develop the KC process.

Details

Data Technologies and Applications, vol. 52 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2514-9288

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Article
Publication date: 29 August 2011

Khodayar Abili, Fatemeh Narenji Thani, Faranak Mokhtarian and Mohammad Mehdi Rashidi

The purpose of this paper is to determine the quality gap of university services in the behavioral science faculties of the University of Tehran (Iran).

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to determine the quality gap of university services in the behavioral science faculties of the University of Tehran (Iran).

Design/methodology/approach

In the current research, 300 students of five behavioral science faculties – Psychology and Educational Science, Social Science, Economics, Physical Education and Sport Science, Management, Entrepreneurship – in the University of Tehran (Iran), were chosen randomly and completed the SERVQUAL questionnaire. This questionnaire consists of two parts regarding customer's perceptions and expectations about the quality of service. SERVQUAL questionnaire measures the five aspects of service which include assurance, responsiveness, empathy, reliability and tangibles. Therefore, the quality gap of the services of behavioral science faculties was determined according to differences between the students' perceptions and expectations. In order to analyze research data, descriptive statistics, t‐Student and ANOVA analysis were conducted.

Findings

The results demonstrated that in three of the five SERVQUAL dimensions (tangibles, reliability, and empathy), there was a negative quality gap (p<0.05). Thus, improvements are needed across three above‐mentioned dimensions. Also, there were no significant differences between perceptions and expectations of students based on their gender, degree and field of study.

Research limitations/implications

The current research was conducted among behavioral science faculties of the University of Tehran, so the results are limited to these faculties, not to the whole university.

Originality/value

There are limited researches that consider service quality in Iranian higher education. However, for the first time, the service quality of behavioral science faculties of the University of Tehran was measured by the SERVQUAL in this research.

Details

Asian Journal on Quality, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1598-2688

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Article
Publication date: 23 November 2012

Khodayar Abili, Fatemeh Narenji Thani and Maryam Afarinandehbin

The purpose of this paper is to determine university service quality in the International branch of Amirkabir University (Iran).

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to determine university service quality in the International branch of Amirkabir University (Iran).

Design/methodology/approach

In this study, a total of 102 students in five courses (Electronic engineering, Civil engineering, Mechanical engineering, Chemical engineering and MBA) in the international branch of Amirkabir University, were asked to complete a SERVQUAL questionnaire. This questionnaire measured students’ perceptions and expectations in five dimensions of service that consists of assurance, responsiveness, empathy, reliability and tangibles. The quality gap of university services was determined based on differences between students’ perceptions and expectations.

Findings

The results demonstrated that in all of the five SERVQUAL dimensions there was a negative quality gap (p<0.05). Also responsiveness is the most important dimension for the students but had the largest gap. So improvements are necessary and the university must pay more attention to the students’ requirements.

Research limitations/implications

The current research was conducted among international branch of Amirkabir University, so the results are limited to those faculty, not to the whole of the university. Also, there were many questions in the questionnaire, which made the students tired and impatient.

Originality/value

There are limited researches that consider service quality in Iranian higher education. However, for the first time, the service quality of the international branch of Amirkabir University was measured in this research by SERVQUAL. Measuring education service via SERVQUAL in order to determine ways to improve quality is one of the major fields of application of the model. Continuous research in the field will benefit the welfare of the public society.

Details

Asian Journal on Quality, vol. 13 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1598-2688

Keywords

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