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DescriptionResearch proposal
To integrate innovation and strategy in the business practices for corporate foresight of
Table of Contents
Background …………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 3
Problem Statement ……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 3
Aim of the Study………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 4
Research Questions………………………………………………………………………………………………. 4
Research Objectives …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 4
Brief Literature Review ………………………………………………………………………………………… 4
Brief Methodology ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 5
Expected Outcomes ……………………………………………………………………………………………… 6
Work Plan …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 6
References …………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 7
Title: To integrate innovation and strategy in the business practices for corporate
foresight of UAE
Research proposal
Innovation and creativity just not happened rather the managers of the corporate firms, to
maintain the growth curve, must nurture them. The sustainability of innovation depends upon
its integration into the primary strategy of the business (Afuah, 2020). According to Battistella,
De Toni and Pessot (2018), the best and easiest way of developing an innovative strategy is
interaction with entrepreneurial organisations and business start-ups. Along with the
interaction with the start-ups, the best strategy is to modify the prevailing culture of the
organisation towards more innovative teams and the organisation as a whole for the
maximisation of the profit of the organisation. Moreover, the successful innovative strategies
determined by the collaborations and ability to maintain teamwork rather than pursuing the
innovative technologies in isolation (Davis, 2016). A strategy is a commitment towards
mutually defined policies or behaviours for the achievement of specified goals. The strategies
promote coherence among different groups in the organisations and identify the priorities and
objectives for the achievement of maximum profitability (Pisano, 2015). Besides, the process
of developing an innovative strategy must initiate with the understanding and vocalisation of
specified objectives in terms of sustainable competitive advantage for the organisation. While
Coccia (2017) has termed technological innovations as drivers of competitive advantage and
development of economic efficiency.
Problem Statement
UAE has attained a significant level of development in terms of industrialisation,
modernisation and economic growth, which is considered as the transition phase between
developing and developed economy (Umar et al., 2020). Therefore, it is struggling to attain the
status of the developed market economy with the advancements in market exchange, regulatory
bodies, foreign direct investment, strategic plans and development of the innovative and
knowledge-based economy. Moreover, the UAE has initiated a strategy for the development of
strategic plans and the provision of financial and logistic support to the organisations for the
innovation-based strategic corporate environment (Schilirò, 2015). The diversified business
market of UAE and invitation of foreign firms to the direct investment has created the complex
and heterogeneous business sector that provocateur the corporate operations and alter the
business landscape, compelling for the innovative strategies in terms of management and
operations of the corporate sector (Miniaoui and Schilirò, 2016). To survive and compete in
this challenging business environment the organisations must strategise to develop innovative
strategies for the provision of products and services. However, there are numerous challenges
especially at the organisational levels that hinder the adoption of innovative strategies for the
long-term development of the business sector of UAE (AlShamsi and Ajmal, 2018). Therefore,
the present study will analyse the integration of innovation and strategies for the long-term
sustainable development of the corporate sector in the UAE.
Aim of the Study
The present study is aimed at the analysis of the integration of innovation and strategy in the
business practices for the business foresight strategy of UAE.
Research Questions
The following research questions will be answered upon the conclusion of this study.

What are the innovative strategies for the long term planning of business practices in
the UAE?

What is the role of innovation in the development of long term strategic planning of the
corporate environment in the UAE?
Research Objectives
Following are the basic research objectives for the present research study.

To investigate the role of innovation in the development of long term strategies for the
corporate sector of the UAE.

To explore the innovative strategies for the long term development of the business
sector of the UAE.
Brief Literature Review
The innovative strategies are the work plan for the development of technological
advancements, in terms of products or services, mostly by investing in the research activities.
If the organisations yearn to gain a competitive advantage, the development of innovative
strategies is a prerequisite. In the corporate sector, innovative strategies lead the decisions about
the business goals and maintenance of resources (Cusumano, Kahl and Suarez, 2015).
Moreover, long term strategic planning defines the process to achieve the strategic plan. Long
term strategic planning is the process of aligning organisational operations with the strategic
goals of the firm. In terms of the corporate sector, the innovations can be categorised into four
types, for instance; architectural, disruptive, incremental and radical (Cassidy, 2016).
Organisations can adopt any of these types of innovations depending upon their goals and
The innovation has developed numerous business opportunism for the corporate firms as
described by Teece (2016), not only to improve the present level of operations but also to
engage in innovative business dynamics to achieve better organisational performance.
Presently, organisations are investing heavily in innovative strategies to retain in the
competitive business environment, enhance the quality of product and services and finally,
meet the changing demands of customers (Wikhamn, 2019). Overall, innovation is the essential
component for the organisation that encompass the firm, its behaviour and its conditions.
Therefore, innovation is the ability of the organisation to attain better ways for the
identification, acquisition and implementation of new ideas and operations into the
organisation (Gupta and Barua, 2016). To implement innovative strategies in the organisation
the firm must maintain the external and internal determinants and factors along with the
environmental driving forces to comprehend its innovation potential. The previous studies have
identified the three driving forces for the development of innovative strategies in the
organisation for instance market push, technological pull and cluster system of innovation
(Afuah, 2020).
Brief Methodology
The researcher will utilise the philosophy of interpretivism to conduct the current study. Using
interpretivism will allow the researcher to employ different methods to flexibly collect and
analyse the data from primary soruce (Alharahsheh, 2020). An inductive approach will be
followed to assess the role of strategic planning in the future foresight of technology businesses
in the UAE. According to Azungah (2018), the inductive approach assists researchers to
identify different pattern and trends from collected data and the research questions of the
current study can be answered through identifying trends and patterns in the relationship of the
variables. The researcher will conduct semi-structured interviews with 8-10 strategic managers
of the technology sector of the UAE. Later, the researcher will utilise the content analysis for
the evaluation of the collected data. Wilson (2016) stated that content analysis is effective to
achieve research objectives by determining certain words and concepts in the collected data.
Expected Outcomes
The present study will contribute significantly to the analysis of the integration of innovation
and strategy for the long-term development of the corporate sector of the UAE. Moreover, the
study will play an effective role in the characterisation of innovative strategies in the long-term
development of business industries in the UAE. Furthermore, the present study will be effective
for the corporate firm of the UAE and the development of long-term strategic goals and
futuristic planning in terms of innovation and strategy, in the UAE.
Work Plan
Submission and approval of the
Introduction to the study
Literature Review
Analysis of Data and Discussion
Finalising the Draft
10 References
Afuah, A., 2020. Innovation management-strategies, implementation, and profits.
AlShamsi, O. and Ajmal, M.,. 2018. “Critical factors for knowledge sharing in technologyintensive organisations: evidence from UAE service sector.” Journal of Knowledge
Battistella, C., De Toni, A.F. and Pessot, E. 2018. “Framing Open Innovation in Start-Ups’
Incubators: A Complexity Theory Perspective. .” Journal of Open Innovation: Technology,
Market, and Complexity 4(3): 33.
Cassidy, A., 2016. A practical guide to information systems strategic planning. CRC press.
Coccia, M., 2017. “Sources of technological innovation: Radical and incremental innovation
problem-driven to support competitive advantage of firms.” Technology Analysis & Strategic
Management 29(9): 1048-1061.
Cusumano, M.A., Kahl, S.J. and Suarez, F.F.,. 2015. “Services, industry evolution, and the
competitive strategies of product firms. .” Strategic management journal 36(4): 559-575.
Davis, J.P., 2016. “The group dynamics of inter-organisational relationships: Collaborating
with multiple partners in innovation ecosystems.” Administrative Science Quarterly 61(4):
Gupta, H. and Barua, M.K.,. 2016. “Identifying enablers of technological innovation for Indian
MSMEs using best–worst multi-criteria decision-making method.” Technological Forecasting
and Social Change 107: 69-79.
Miniaoui, H. and Schilirò, D.,. 2016. “Innovation and Entrepreneurship for the growth and
diversification of the GCC Economies.”
Pisano, G.P., 2015. “You need an innovation strategy.” Harvard business review 93(6): 44-54.
Schilirò, D., 2015. “Innovation in small and medium enterprises in the United Arab Emirates.”
Int’l J. Soc. Sci. Stud 3: 148.
Teece, D.J., 2016. “Dynamic capabilities and entrepreneurial management in large
organisations: Toward a theory of the (entrepreneurial) firm.” European Economic Review 86
Umar, T., Egbu, C., Ofori, G., Honnurvali, M.S., Saidani, M., Shibani, A., Opoku, A., Gupta,
N. and Goh, K., 2020. “UAE’s commitment towards UN Sustainable Development Goals. In
Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers-Engineering Sustainability.” Thomas Telford
Ltd. 173: 325-343.
Wikhamn, W., 2019. “Innovation, sustainable HRM and customer satisfaction.” International
Journal of Hospitality Management 76: 102-110.
Assessment Strategy
There will be one piece of assessed coursework.
You are required to produce a literature review in your chosen topic area. This
assessment addresses all of the learning outcomes.
Assessment Criteria
Produce a literature review that critically evaluates key issues,
contrasting perspectives, and contemporary paradigms
(Approach/Method of Review)
Indicate how the literature review could be used to provide the
theoretical underpinning for research into a particular area of
business and management (Outcomes of Review & Research
Differentiate between competing and complimentary
approaches and perspectives including varied research
methodologies (Criticality)
Structure the literature review in an appropriate format to
highlight key themes and debates and its potential combination
to areas of further research. Accurate referencing/citations.
(Quality of Review: Coherence, Structure & References)
Essay length: 4000 words +/- 10% (excluding references/bibliography)
Please do not exceed the indicated length as the purpose of a word count/range is
part of the assessment itself – to ensure you can produce a piece of academic writing
that conforms to the specifications of the assessment task.
Please note that failure to stay within the word count will lead to grade reductions in
each section of criteria.
Format: Literature review (report structure with headings)
Submission Date: 12th March 2023 by 17:00 British time (GMT)
Date for feedback (indicative): 01st April 2023
Assessment should be submitted via Turnitin on the Module Blackboard space
(Assignment folder) and feedback and grades will be published on Turnitin (see the
Assignment brief document on Blackboard)
MD4417: Review of Management Literature
The impact of adopting the EFQM
excellence model on the performance of
the healthcare sector in the UAE
Literature review
Table of Contents
Introduction ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 2
Search strategy:…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 3
Business Excellence Models BEM ………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 4
MBNQA excellence model ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 5
EFQM Excellence model ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 7
Comparison of EFQM and MBNQA ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 11
Business excellence in UAE: ………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 12
Business excellence in UAE government:………………………………………………………………………………………. 13
Excellence in healthcare sector: ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………14
Organizational performance: ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 15
Elements of organizational performance: ………………………………………………………………………………….. 16
Dimensions of institutional performance …………………………………………………………………………………… 16
Types of institutional performance …………………………………………………………………………………………… 16
Factors affecting institutional performance: ………………………………………………………………………………. 17
Conclusion ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 19
References………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 21
The impact of adopting the European Foundation for Quality Management
(EFQM excellence model) on the performance of the healthcare sector in the
UAE government.
Business and economic realities have changed dramatically in recent decades. Economic
freedom and increased international competition make quality an important factor in securing a
competitive edge (Ionică et al., 2010). With the introduction of diversity management concepts,
companies have identified approaches for improving business performance. Implementing a
quality management system and integrating related approaches are designed to improve
performance in response to internal incentives for change or pressure from external stakeholders
(Kassem et al., 2018). Organisations that score almost 600 points out of 1000 on the model are
undertaken to have accomplished “excellent” or “best-in-class performance” (Lacity and
Willcocks, 2014).
Ongoing research has driven the occurrence of methods that appear influential in
improving management skills and assuring high performance. A few common methods are “Total
Quality Management (TQM), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Business Process
Reengineering (BPR), Organizational Change Management (OCM) and Business Excellence
Model (BEM)” (Ali, 2019). “Business excellence models” (BEM) and Total Quality Management”
(TQM) are the most common ways organisations continuously seek excellence in performance by
adopting them (Zapletalová, 2022). BEM provides organisations with a framework based on
business notions that can facilitate them towards sustainable performance. On the other hand, most
organizations have used models for evaluation, which means they are not standardized (Politis and
Grigoroudis, 2022).
The existing literature has a large amount of research focusing on business excellence and
integrating different strategies. The European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) has
become one of the most effectively utilized models. EFQM has undertaken a practical reference
framework that companies utilize to measure their pathway to excellence, understand gaps and
encourage the use of effective solutions. An extensive review of this framework is needed to
determine its relevance in the organisation. This review evaluates the impact of adopting EFQM
excellence model on the performance of healthcare sector in the UAE. EFQM is one of the very
well-known models especially in the UAE where the study will be focused. The main two
excellence models that are usually used in UAE are using EFQM criteria and methodology.
Search strategy:
This study has used secondary data sources, including “books, academic journal articles”
associated with TQM in the field, and business models of excellence. This study has analyzed and
compared content and gathered articles via a comprehensive literature review. This study has
utilized research databases including “Emerald, EBSCO, and Pro-Quest”. On the other hand, some
have utilized a mixed-methods strategy, which includes systematic literature reviews and handson experience of subject matter experts and consultants in numerous organizations who are widely
exposed on best and bad practice in this field. These studies have been carried out to help other
researchers construct and integrate better organizational models and frameworks, allowing firms
to demonstrate effective practices in their realm and measure organizational performance.
This approach of gathering articles from different secondary sources and gaining expertise
worldwide is more efficient and reliable. Decades of economic, social, and environmental stability,
statistical data collected business process development results. This helps experts and countries
gather information and create better business models, helping them improve and design their own
national systems.
Papers and articles have been selected based on criteria such as the date of the study to
ensure the best and most confident information, the most recent papers in the relevant subject have
been selected and older studies were excluded as well as the articles with conflict of interest. Also,
reference selection was based on most relevant articles and papers, and the less relevant have been
excluded. Additionally, this review has been done using original sources where possible.
Different terms have been used in searching this review, “Organizational performance” as
the impacted part was one of those terms, beside “Business excellence models BEM” as well as
“Organizational excellence” and “Total quality management TQM”. “United Arab Emirates UAE”
where the study will be focused has been used as well, beside “UAE government”, “Government
healthcare” and “EFQM excellence model”.
Business Excellence Models BEM
Business Excellence has received extensive attention, although researchers have not
arrived at a single definition of the concept. However, it can loosely be considered as a set of
practices, strategies, and stakeholder-related performance measures validated by assessments and
models to support the journey towards excellence (Ionică et al., 2010). Excellence, on its part,
entails the state or quality pertinent to the value provided or goals pursued (Carrión García,
Grisales del Río, and Papic, 2017)
Business Excellence is similar to TQM, although it engrosses a clearly defined approach.
Indeed Business Excellence has replaced organizations’ earlier emphasis on quality (DahlgaardPark et al., 2018). This explains the reason behind adopting Business Excellence models as the
mechanism for improving performance and national competitiveness across countries. Business
Excellence entails several concepts including customer orientation, results orientation, leadership,
development of alliances, management by processes, organisational responsibility, continuous
innovation, development/involvement of people and organisational learning (Calvo-Mora et al.,
2015). Excellence strategies aim to contribute to business performance by increasing sales,
reducing costs, and improving efficiency. However, some studies opine that the deployment of
BEM does not guarantee business excellence in all cases (Stephens, Evans, and Matthews, 2015).
The inconsistent findings regarding the effects of BEM on organisational excellence reflect the
intricate relationships among a multiplicity of factors including the organisation’s size, employee
motivation and commitment, and the degree to which the organisations involve its employees
(Dahlgaard et al., 2013). Nevertheless, this does not negate the importance of the models in driving
business excellence.
Approximately 94 models of excellence and National Quality Award NQA are used in 77
countries worldwide (Jankalová and Jankal, 2020). However, most researchers focus on and
compare three dominant models, including “Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA)
USA, EFQM European Excellence Awards, the Deming Prize in Japan, UAE Government
Excellence Model (GEM 2.0) in the United Arab Emirates”. These three frameworks are utilized
globally as reference frameworks and as cornerstones for nations to develop and create their
models of excellence (Talwar, 2011). The following sections are presented for discussing the
aforementioned frameworks:
MBNQA excellence model
The United States began its Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in 1988. MBNQA
is one of the most important and well-known excellence models in the world. The award was
presented yearly to recognize outstanding product quality achievements and is publicly announced.
Ronald Reagan established the MBNQA excellence paradigm to improve the quality management
and competitiveness of American enterprises. This award was established to promote quality,
recognize quality excellence, and disseminate effective quality practices and their benefits. (Miller
and Parast, 2018).
Figure 1 below illustrates the criteria for MBNQA.
Figure 1: Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award
The MBNQA excellence model comprises seven criteria to ensure the advancement of
strategic management:
1. Leadership: Examine and guide how top management manage the organization and the
impact of the organization on community
2. Strategy: Examine and guide how the organization design and implement its strategy and
strategic directions.
3. Customers: Examine and guide how the organization manage the relationship with its
customers on the short and long term.
4. Measurement, analysis, and knowledge management: Utilizing the data in the organization
to support and mange performance and improvement.
5. Workforce: managing people with engagement, involvement, and empowerment.
6. Operations: managing operation and key processes effectively and efficiently.
7. Results: The performance outcomes of the processes, operations, and resources that have
been utilized by the organization in terms of customers, finance, people, stakeholders, and
community (Miller and Parast, 2018).
Applying this model has a huge impact on the performance of companies in the market. Because
it helps outperform other companies’ S&P processes. It also helps to get higher profitability and
increase its share in the stock market (Miller and Parast, 2018).
EFQM Excellence model
It was initiated in 1988 by the European Commission and 14 other European multinational
organisations as a self-assessment and quality review tool for healthcare organisations at all levels.
It has been observed that significant modifications were made to the excellence model over the
years (Ubaid and Dweiri, 2021). The EFQM approach in 1999 focused additionally on outcomes
and performance but further on consumers and shareholders (Fonseca, 2022).
In the efforts to realize success, organisations are forced to establish effective management
efforts aligned with the increasing competition in the global marketplace. EFQM offers concrete
and non-prescriptive system that permits the preparation of structures for design, deployment, and
improvement, evaluation of the path towards excellence, identification of strengths and
weaknesses, preparation of frameworks for effective communication, and integration of strategic
planning in their management (Suárez et al., 2014). Empirical research suggests that EFQM
constitutes effective elements of stimulus for the implementation functions such as knowledge
management (Martín-Castilla and Rodríguez-Ruiz, 2018). Figure 2 bellow illustrate EFQM model:
Figure 2: EFQM excellence model 2013
EFQM is based on eight fundamental concepts of excellence outlined earlier. The
principles are translated into nine criteria or dimensions. The input criteria encompass of:
1. Leadership, 2. Strategy, 3. Employees, 4. Partnership and resources, 5. Processes, products,
and services, 6. Customer outcomes, 7. Society outcomes, 8. Key business results (Uygur and
Sumerli, 2013).
Feedback from the results reflects the effect of the inputs on the outputs. The literature defines
the inputs as enablers of excellence and the outputs as a reflection of the improvement efforts
(Calvo-Mora et al., 2015).
EFQM assumes that the eight fundamental concepts have a causal relationship and reflect
the relationship between the enablers and results (Eskildsen et al., 2017). Indeed, the assumption
forms the rationale for using the model as a self-assessment tool. However, the definitions offered
by the model are shallow and may not facilitate effective self-assessment. Moreover, the proposed
structure of the EFQM is founded largely on beliefs and attitudes, which creates the need for
additional research regarding causal relationships (Kassem et al., 2018).
Regardless, several theoretical studies have tried to establish causal relationships by
creating models to depict the link between the enablers and results. Based on Hertzberg’s theory
of motivation, (Dale et al., 2007) found that organisations could achieve results by focusing on
task significance, autonomy, task identity, skill variety, and feedback from the job. Based on the
Work Design Model (Toma and Marinescu, 2018), some studies have shown a causal relationship
between the five enablers and “People Results” (Eskildsen and Dahlgaard, 2010). Work design is
defined as the content of work tasks, relationships and responsibilities, and activities of an
organization. However, the model does not show the positive effects of other enablers on “People
Results”. Therefore, the usability of EFQM based on the understanding derived from the Work
Design Model cannot help organisations in self-assessment.
The “Key Performance Results” criterion defines the outcomes derived from the other
criteria. However, the path from the enablers to the achievement of “Key Performance results” has
not received extensive attention in research. In their study, (Kristensen and Martensen, 2016)
attempted to reveal the causal relationship between the enablers and results. Based on the customer
satisfaction model, the study revealed that “profit” emanates from costs and customer loyalty.
However, the model does not include the factors that influence costs, making it incomplete in
predicting the relationship between the input and output criteria in EFQM. The combination of this
model and the Work Design Model has provided better insights into the issue. According to
(Lindsay and Evans, 2010), the Work Design Model incorporates “high work effectiveness” that
emanates from “high job satisfaction.” In this case, it can be assumed that satisfied employees have
higher performance than dissatisfied employees. The relationship can help in predicting the
relationship between “People Results” and “Key Performance Results.” Indeed, a recent study by
(Eskildsen and Nussler, 2010) on Danish HR managers revealed that loyalty and employee
satisfaction influenced corporate performance positively.
It is, therefore, the role of the organisation through the human resource function to
determine how the benefits can be used to achieve competitiveness. Diversity has become one of
the most invaluable strengths to enhancing productivity and goal achievement. Management of
diversity has become a critical component of people management which is the role of the human
resource department (Jankalová and Jankal, 2020). The constant changes in workforce
demographics relating to legislation, women at work and changes in organisational structures have
necessitated the need for organisations to review management approaches. There is need to
formulate new strategies to manage the workforce and influence positive transitions that will
enhance productivity (Kassem et al., 2018).
Profit is considered a part of “Key Performance Results”, while “Customer Loyalty” is part
of the ‘Customer Results.” As such, (Eskildsen et al., 2017) argued for the existence of a causal
link between Customer Results driving Key Performance Results. Several studies, for instance,
(Eskildsen et al., 2017), have applied the European Customer Satisfaction Index in predicting the
determiners of Customer Results. The study found that exogenous factors, including perceived
quality of human ware and hardware, expectations, and image, influence Customer results.
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Similarly, the impact of organisational image affects customer satisfaction, which can have a
positive effect on Society Results and Customer Results. For instance, some studies have suggested
that aspects such as environmental management reflect Society Results (Welford and Gouldson,
2013). In turn, this can have a positive effect on Customer Results based on the image that the
organisation creates for itself in the society. Nevertheless, the causal models existing regarding the
relationship between enablers and results remain complex and require extensive simplification for
better understanding.
EFQM has found widespread application and acceptance by both public and private
institutions. Several studies have investigated the application of the model in education and health
sectors. The studies conclude that the model provides an effective pathway to quality improvement
(Jackson, 2011). In the healthcare sector, (Jackson, 2011) concluded that the use of EFQM concepts
helped in the determination of the areas that required improvement, as well as the implementation
of practices that meet local needs. Several other studies have supported the applicability of the
model in the health sector and concur that it promotes improvement through the identification of
gaps in quality (Nabitz and Klazinga, 1999; Nabitz and Walburg, 2012). Nevertheless, (Vallejo et
al., 2016) argued that the model contains fewer details than the scope of the healthcare sector
issues. Consequently, the researchers incorporated the Performance Assessment Tool for Quality
Improvement (PAT-QI) into EFQM to develop EFQM-healthcare framework. Similarly,
adaptations to the model have been made in the education care sector to fit in the context (Spasos,
et al, 2018). The studies conclude that the use of EFQM in self-assessment can help the
organisations in continuous improvement planning.
Comparison of EFQM and MBNQA
As stated earlier, most BEM models encompass related criteria and aspects and focus on
11 | P a g e
the improvement of performance. EFQM and MBNQA have emerged as the dominant BEMs in
use across the globe. While few comparisons between the models exist, (Al-Tabbaa, Gadd, and
Ankrah, 2013) discuss three dimensions that can aid in the comparisons: core principles of TQM,
core values and concepts, as well as the criteria that TQM does not cover.
Essentially, the comparison shows that the two models have similarities pertinent to TQM
core principles. However, the two models show differences pertinent to the emphasis placed on
individual determinants of excellence. In this case, (Vallejo et al., 2016) argue that flexibility of
EFQM gives it an edge over MBNQA in benchmarking activities. Moreover, the different
emphasis on specific components shows that EFQM focuses on the drivers of success more than
the success. The focus can be articulated to the importance of having appropriate input to achieve
quality outputs.
Business excellence in UAE:
The “Sheikh Khalifa Award for Excellence” (SKEA) is the national excellence award that
was adopted in the emirates of Abu Dhabi. The award was presented in 1999 by the “Abu Dhabi
Chamber of Commerce and Industry” based on the EFQM model. The award aims to increase
the radical innovation of business life in Abu Dhabi and the UAE. Based on the jury’s proposal,
the award is divided into three categories. Diamond, Gold, Silver categories, and they exist in
organisations that have portrayed apparent evidence of continuity in their previous performance
(Alamiri et al., 2020).
The “Dubai Quality Awards” (DQA) was based on the EFQM. Additionally, it is one of
the most popular quality and performance awards in the UAE (Hawarna et al., 2020). This is a
recognition of the company’s success in improving its products and services, along with
guidelines for UAE organisations for accomplishing high performance. The award has
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continuously expanded to cover all fields (Hawarna et al., 2020).
Research on the UAE’s award-winning organisations and how they formulate for
excellence is limited and rare. However, many articles also propose a roadmap or framework of
excellence for organisations in the UAE for enhancing and changing (Doulatabadi and Yusof,
2018). It starts with management’s dedication and encouragement for excellence, employee
participation and the search for follow-up on their initiatives, as recognition of the occurrence of
employees, it contributes to increased satisfaction and thus becomes a factor in continuous
enhancement, and powerful and useful training and education on quality methods (Lasrado, 2018).
Business excellence in UAE government:
The UAE government has established its own excellence model “UAE Government
Excellence model GEM 2.0” (Zainal and Salloum, 2021). It has been observed that there are
different types of incentives for government organisations along with the private and third-party
sectors. Since the early 1990s, the United Arab Emirates has taken several measures to strengthen
its economy and radical innovation in the global environment (Lasrado and Pereira, 2018). The
UAE government excellence model is illustrated in the figure below:
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Figure 3: UAE Government Excellence
Model GEM 2.0
To best understand the impacts of UAE Government Excellence GEM 2.0 on
organizational performance, various operational excellence strategies on various organizations
must be studied, and how these strategies have impacted business performances of the
organizations. According to (Nyangau, 2015) the major excellent strategies include; emphasizing
on the employees’ involvement and development, emphasizing on continuous skills
training/learning and teamwork, attention to customers, delivery system replacement with more
efficient ones, increased innovativeness, having effective and far-sighted leaders, engaging in
mutual beneficial business activities and creating synergetic alliances and partnership.
With all the different definitions however, UAE Government Excellence GEM 2.0 is a
disciplined-integrated system in the management field that aids in the improvement of
organizational performance through the use of best application practices and a continuous efforts
improvement. Successful implementation of UAE Government Excellence GEM 2.0, ensures
organizations’ reduction or total elimination of wastes, reduces the cost of operations, and
facilitates customer satisfaction through quality improvements. All the benefits derived from the
implementation of UAE Government Excellence GEM 2.0 in a firm translates to improved and
sustainable business profits and consistency in the growth and development of the firm’s business
operations. The recent research findings also indicate that operational excellence through total
quality management improves organizational performance by improving its reliability and
efficiency via integration of robust asset integrity, performance reliability and maximization
14 | P a g e
process (Nyangau, 2015).
Excellence in healthcare sector:
Many studies have identified the impact of adopting excellence model on healthcare sector. A
study in Spain found that application of EFQM framework on the pharmacy sector leads to
improve the efficiency and the quality in their processes (Rodríguez-González et al., 2020).
Another study in Jordan has identified that adopting EFQM in the hospital sector has resulted in
improving the performance for managers and the employees, and increased the customer
satisfaction and improved the hospital image (Al-Majali and Almhirat, 2018). Also, (Pattanaik,
2020) study in India has indicated that application of EFQM excellence model in healthcare facility
leads to improve their services and patient satisfaction.
Another study in Tabriz highlighted that EFQM has identified the areas for improvement in human
resources and employee satisfaction as well as employees’ performance in the hospital (Asadi et
al., 2018). Hence, the application of EFQM in healthcare is common in different countries and has
different impact on the healthcare facilities that have adopted the model, however in the UAE and
specially in the government healthcare organizations there is lack of studies on how the adoption
of the EFQM impacts it.
Organizational performance:
Organizations are a directed and organized social entity in a way that ensures the
achievement of a specific goal, and this entity consists of two or more people with the aim of
achieving specific results such as profit, increased wages for members, the needs of the concerned
parties, or social satisfaction. Performance is the organization’s ability to achieve those results
15 | P a g e
efficiently and effectively. Organizational performance defined as the analysis of what
organizations achieve against its strategic objectives and goals using performance indicators (AlDhaafri, et. al., 2013).
Elements of organizational performance:
1- The performance of individuals in their institutions.
2- The performance of the organization within the context of the general policies of the institution.
3- The performance of the institution within the framework of the economic, social, political,
legal and societal environment. (Al-Dhaafri, et. al., 2013)
Dimensions of institutional performance
Despite the different definitions and concepts about institutional performance, they all agree that
they focus on the success of the organization in achieving its goals, and this performance has a set
of dimensions, which are as follows: (Al-Dhaafri, et. al., 2013)
1- Financial performance: it focuses only on financial indicators such as profit and growth, which
is a narrow concept of performance.
2- Financial and operational performance: It combines financial and operational performance,
and here it adds efficiency in exploiting the available resources to achieve a greater return.
3- Organizational Effectiveness: This dimension is more comprehensive for institutional
performance as a whole and expresses the extent to which the organization achieves its goals.
Types of institutional performance
Institutional performance is classified according to the following criteria:
First criteria: according to scope: It includes two sub-types: (Al-Dhaafri, et. al., 2013)
1- Overall performance: the results of the work of all the activities, functions and operations of
the institution, and it is impossible to attribute any performance to any single element as total
16 | P a g e
performance without the contribution of the rest of the elements.
2- Partial performance: the performance that is achieved at the level of the institution’s subsystems according to either functional, financial, personnel, marketing, or production criteria.
Second criteria: criteria by time:
1- long-term (five years or more).
2- Short-term (not more than one year).
Third criteria: criteria by source:
1- Internal performance: the interaction of various types of performance in the organization, such
as financial, human and technical performance.
2- External performance: results from changes in the external and surrounding environment of
the institution, and this type of performance cannot be controlled.
Factors affecting institutional performance:
There are several factors that affect institutional performance, so researchers have devided them
into internal and external factors that affect performance according to the following (Antony,
1- Internal factors that affect organizational performance: the variables that result from the
interaction of the internal organization elements and affecting its performance, and the leader
can control and change them to increase their positive impact or reduce their negative impact:

Technical factors: these are the variables related to the technical aspect, and they are as
follows: The quality of the service and its suitability, the type of technology used, the
company’s services and products conform to customer expectations, warehouses,
workshops and machines.

17 | P a g e
Human factors: they are the factors that affect the performance of the human resource
in the organization, and they are as follows: the composition of the employees in terms
of age, compatibility of qualifications with the incumbents. incentives and rewards
systems, relationship and direct communication between employees and officials, the
technology used and information technology.
2- External factors affecting institutional performance Organizations operate within a range of
external environments that may hinder and affect their performance due to major factors such
as the organizational, political, economic, social, cultural, legal and technological
environment. Institutional performance measurement In light of the internal and external
changes in the business environment, the success of institutions depends on the extent to which
they achieve their objectives, exploit their available resources, and achieve their vision.
Therefore, measuring institutional performance is the last stage of the administrative process.
Because it shows the final result of the institution during a specific period, so the term
institutional performance measurement means continuous monitoring and recording of the
achievements and programs of the institution, especially the aspect of recording progress
towards achieving the set goals (Antony, 2010).
The stages of institutional performance evaluation can be divided into the following: (Alaa G,
1- The stage of collecting data and statistical information: performance appraisal requires all
necessary information, statistics, reports on performance and achievements, audit reports,
results of management meetings, and annual reports.
2- The stage of studying and analyzing statistical data and information: This stage aims to
determine the accuracy and validity of the data and its conformity with the necessary standards
and indicators; To evaluate process performance or the performance of a quality standard.
18 | P a g e
3- Carry out the evaluation process Using appropriate process standards and according to
performance indicators and specified specifications.
4- Take the appropriate decision about the evaluation process If the objectives have been achieved
or if they are among the established indicators, and the deviations that occurred have been
identified by applying the specifications, their causes and the necessary and appropriate
Implement corrective actions and address deviation Determining the parties responsible for the
correction operations, monitoring the information and data resulting from the process, and
eliminating the recurrence of cases of deviation or non-conformity (Alaa G, 2016).
The reason why organizations’ measure their performance is to be able to improve, and this
is what excellence actually do when the model is adopted by an organization, whether it was used
as a self-assessment tool or for award winning purposes. Although business excellence models are
applicable for all kind of organizations from all sectors and sizes, the government sector differs
than the private sector by some aspects such as its high-level strategic directions. Also, government
is usually aiming to achieve national and international agenda and usually targeting the whole
community and serving all industries, while the other kind of organizations are aiming to achieve
their specific objectives. Therefore, the impact of adopting excellence models on the organizations
from any sector might be different from government sector, and that is why the UAE government
excellence were invented. But, this will raise another question about the impact of adopting the
government model on the aspects like: profitability, organizational reputation, employee
Although Research on the UAE’s award-winning organizations and how they formulate for
19 | P a g e
excellence is limited and rare, DQA and SKEA awards which are using EFQM model might reveal
the same impact, but this also needs to be separately studied.
Research on quality improvement has paved the way for the development and evolution of
a multiplicity of Business Excellence Models. To date, MBNQA and EFQM remain the most
widely adopted and accepted BEMs (Talwar, 2011). Most of the BEMs are based on the same
TQM criteria, although refinements have led to the addition of some criteria or emphasis on several
components across the models. The models seek to drive Business Excellence through allowing
the adoption of strategies, practices, and performance measures that support the journey to
improvement (Sternad, Krenn and Schmid, 2019). Being the most widely adopted BEM, EFQM
stands out as an effective model in driving Business Excellence. However, the existent literature
does not show adequate empirical evidence regarding the causality among the enablers and results,
although some theoretical studies have made crucial efforts (Oluleye, Chan and Olawumi, 2022).
Similarly, while the model received extensive application, the limitations limit the extent to which
some sectors apply the model effectively. As such, this calls for extensive research on the model
to enable the accommodation of different concepts that capture sector-wide concepts and issues.
Additionally, extensive research for the simplification of the language and components may be
necessary to facilitate effective application. Nevertheless, the review provides crucial insights
about the importance and application of EFQM in driving Business Excellence (Fonseca, 2022).
Lastly, in healthcare sector there are many studies have identified the impact of adopting
excellence frameworks especially EFQM model. Different outcomes have been highlighted
describing the impact of the model on the organizational performance. Less studies are focusing
on the UAE especially the government healthcare sector.
Based on all that, and because EFQM model is the most popular model used in the UAE,
20 | P a g e
and the other excellence models in UAE are using its framework (such as SKEA and DQA) our
study will focus on the impact of adopting EFQM excellence model on the performance of the
government healthcare sector in the UAE to answer the following questions:
What is the impact of adopting EFQM on the performance of UAE government healthcare sector?
What are the aspects of the business that will be affected (if any) by adopting EFQM in UAE
government healthcare sector?
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It will be shared and used as an internal online
resource for students in this School.
Speak with the lecturer now if you have any concerns.
Introduction to Research
In Business and Management Research
Ibukunolu David Babarinde
Research Philosophy
• Concerned with the natures of reality and of knowledge, and what we are
trying to achieve in research.
• We need to know what assumptions we are making about the world
• this will help us determine the methods to be used, and
• it will allow us to explain our actions thoroughly as part of the research process.
• We must ensure that the research design decisions we make will fit with
our research philosophy
• If we are collecting financial or production figures, the methods used are likely to
differ from those we would use if we are collecting data on feelings or experiences.
• Two key philosophical elements are involved in this discussion:
• Ontology
• Epistemology
• Ontology is the study of the nature of reality, the study of what
can be said to exist.
• Key question: Is ‘reality’ internal to, or does it exist separately
from, us as human beings?
• Your ontological perspective shapes how you understand the
things that you want to research, and to some extent, your
own influence on the outcome(s) of the research you are
• Two main ontological choices: objectivism and subjectivism
• Objectivism claims there is an external viewpoint from which it is
possible to view the subject of your research. That subject comprises
consistently real processes and structures.
• What that means: a single true reality exists independent of people.
• The objectivist therefore typically embraces realism. This (as we will
see in a moment) imagines all things to exist exactly as we perceive
• People, relationships, organisations and social structures are
therefore enduring and unchanging because they exist regardless of
whether people agree or engage with them.
• Example: examining management within an organisation in an
objectivist way could be done by:
• Defining managers as people who have specific duties based on their job
• Accepting that these managers perform their jobs within the operating
parameters and procedures laid out for them by the organisation
• Showing that they are part of a hierarchy of authority in the company, with
people below reporting to them, and they in turn report to people higher up
• This view emphasises a structural view of management, and
assumes that this basic arrangement characterises all organisations.
• Aim of this research would be to discover “laws that govern
management behaviour” so you can predict management activity in
the future.
• Researcher attempts to put aside any personal feelings or
preconceptions about managers for this research: “be objective”.
• Subjectivism claims that the social reality(s) studied by business
researchers arise from the perceptions and actions of ‘social actors’
• A social actor could be a person, an organisation, or some other unit.
• What that means: any reality that exists is created and mediated by people.
There is no underlying reality independent of people and their actions.
• At one extreme we get nominalism: the idea that the things we research are
created by us through the use of language, perceptions, categorisation, and
• Since everyone perceives and experiences things differently, it often makes
more sense to talk about multiple realities than a single reality that everyone
• Pure subjectivism can be extreme, so a more common version of this
in business and management research is social constructionism.
• Social constructionism aims to understand the rules people use to
make sense of their world(s)
• Reality is constructed and recreated through shared experiences and partially
shared meanings. The “truth” is not something that exists independently from
human experience.
• Interested in how people’s views of the world result from interactions with others
and from the contexts in which those interactions take place
• This is important because the researcher cannot know ahead of time what contextual
elements might have been important in shaping the perspectives of the people who
created the shared meaning(s)
• The subjectivist social constructionist researcher understands and
acknowledges that his/her own beliefs and values cannot be detached
from the research process
• Thus a process of reflecting upon and incorporating them takes place in the
research in an active way
• See also axiology (study of values and ethics in research)
• Example: doing research on the way entrepreneurs are portrayed in
the media could be done by
• Recognising that media producers have their own way of seeing the world and
the other social actors (like entrepreneurs) within it
• Understanding that these separate perceptions and interpretations could, and
likely will, influence the decisions made about the coverage presented about
the entrepreneurs
• So you are studying an artefact of a series of social interactions,
perceptions and experiences that the producers had and tried to
• There is no definitive thing called an “entrepreneur”; how they are represented
is different because of the varying experiences of the media producers who
experienced them.
• In this case, you as the researcher try to understand the different
realities of the media producers so you can interpret their portrayals
of entrepreneurs in a meaningful way.
• Note: very different from the objectivist position described before.
The “research onion” by
Saunders, Lewis and
Thornhill (2018). See p174.
The outermost layer of the ‘onion’
describes the investigator’s research
philosophy, his or her assumptions
about the nature of knowledge. This
diagramme includes five research
philosophies common to business and
management research, but there are
others (e.g. Feminism) that are
common to other branches of
• Epistemology is the study of knowledge.
• This is concerned with what is considered to be acceptable
knowledge within a specific discipline.
• These vary among the sciences, social sciences, and humanities fields.
• Five main positions:
• Positivism
• Critical Realism
• Interpretivism
• Postmodernism
• Pragmatism
• Positivist researchers are only concerned with facts or data:
• Measuring what can be counted or measured, such as the number of defective
items produced by a machine in a factory (implies: machinery is flawed)
• Positivists prefer working with a single observable reality which can
result in ‘law-like generalisations’
• They believe that only observable phenomena provide credible data
• Likely to use existing theory to develop a hypothesis which can inform
the development of new theory or modify existing theory.
• Hypothetico-deductive methodology (“the scientific method”)
• Research should be undertaken as far possible in a ‘value-free’ way,
without any influence by the researcher who remains independent from
and has no effect upon the research (an “objectivist” position).
• Likely to use a highly structured methodology based on quantifiable
observations that lend themselves to statistical analysis.
Business Example using Positivism
• Agency theory holds that there is a tension between the
owner(s) of a company and its salaried manager(s)
• Owners: are paid dividends arising from revenues generated; gain in
wealth as company grows
• Managers: are paid salaries, perhaps with incentives for senior
management; may or may not gain in wealth as company grows
• Researcher expects to see certain management behaviours
designed to maximise manager rewards at the expense of
• Earnings management techniques, market signalling techniques, or
other methods that will result in higher reward for the manager(s)
• Conducts research in organisation (i.e. a financial audit) to see
if this is happening
Critical Realism
• This approach attempts to explain what we experience using a two-stage process
of sensory experience and subsequent mental processing to understand that
• A ‘direct realist’ would be happy with perception of the experience alone.
• There is a desire to understand the underlying forces of reality that explain
something; context could be key to understanding correctly
• Similar to positivists in believing that the reality they witness is the ‘truth’ of the
• Critical realists must both observe and reflect on the circumstances and
forces that they believe are shaping the phenomena they have actually
• What this means: a critical realist understands that the one true reality that is out
there must be both perceived and interpreted by the researcher, leading to the
possibility of error
• We cannot perceive the entire reality of anything at any given time, as all experiences are
a kind of manifestation of the reality itself
Critical Realism
• These “missed” elements are not directly observable; they
could be motivations of people involved, could be relationships
or beliefs or patterns or anything that exists apart from the
specific experience but has come to influence it in some way.
• Critical realists embrace epistemological relativism, the
idea that all knowledge is contextually situated, and that
social “facts” are constructions created by people involved
• As a critical realist researcher, you must be aware of your
own social conditioning (how you have learned to view the
world) and attempt to put that aside to be as objective in
your views towards your research subject(s) as possible.
Business Example using Critical Realism
• General Motors produced a new affordable family car and began
to market it in the US and abroad
• While the product was the same, sales in Latin America were very
• Researchers were called in to find out why and talk to dealers and
customers seeking an explanation
• GM did not consider that calling a car the “Nova” would not work in
• In Spanish, “no va” means “it doesn’t go”
• In English, a “nova” is a type of star that increases in brightness for a while
• A simple example, but not necessarily an outcome one could
understand fully through mere observation of the event.
• Interpretivist researchers believe that humans are different
from physical phenomena because we create meanings.
• Such researchers are concerned with the meanings that we
attach to specific experiences or interactions:
• Measuring something that is non-standard
• Generating law-like generalisations reduces the complexity and
richness of different human experiences = a rejection of positivism
• Often strongly based in the context (language, culture, history, etc.)
in which it was created
• The researcher aims to enter the world of the subjects being
studied in the research and understand things from the
subjects’ point(s) of view.
• Interpretivism is explicitly subjectivist in orientation.
• Three strands:
• Hermeneutics: studies artefacts such as texts, stories, symbols and
images to derive meaning and understanding
• Phenomenologists: studies the lived experiences of those being studied,
their memories and interpretations of those experiences
• Symbolic interactionism: sees meaning as arising out of interactions
between people, and thus studies the conversations, meetings and
teamwork through observation to gain insights
• How do people see themselves within society or within their
organisations? How do they ‘create’ their own social reality?
• How do we view others? It is possible that the research could be
affected by the researcher’s own feelings, experiences, or
• The concept here is to build, by combining input from multiple
sources, a shared view of how things are
• Researchers are always ‘involved’ in their research and affect the
observations (even unintentionally); thus from an interpretivist perspective a
truly “objective” researcher is considered to be impossible
• Thus researchers need to account for their possible influence on the
research through reflection on what they are bringing to the research
• This is important because by denying the existence of a single truth to
discover, the researcher risks helping to create the thing she is studying!
• Interpretivism sees knowledge as a way of making sense of
the world rather than as an objective “truth” to be discovered
• The purpose of research is to gain enough understanding to
be able to predict likely future events and behaviours
Interpretivism – Business Example
• Consider a project investigating the experiences of employees working
for a specific company
• Lots of factors might influence how people feel about this topic, but how can the
researcher know which ones are the most important to each respondent?
• Will people at different levels in the organisation feel the same way or differently?
• Board members and senior executives probably experience the company very differently from local
sales managers, cafeteria workers, or production staff.
• But the researcher still wants to understand how those people understand their experience at the
company: do these groups experience different workplace realities?
• Experiences may differ in a lot of ways: locations, gender, age, ethnicity, etc.
• Interpretations of what might on the surface appear to be the same thing might
affect people very differently based on how they view the event.
• How will the researcher’s preconceptions influence the kind of questions used in this
• Postmodernists reject the objectivist view of knowledge and argue that all
knowledge is influenced by things like language and power relationships
• All such arrangements are temporary and arbitrary based on who exerts the most
power in shaping the way we understand things
• Example: wealthy capitalists shape how the population views the economic system of production
• A major effort here is to give a voice (through the research) to those who have been
marginalised by other forces in the society or organisation
• Who decides what is ‘right’ or ‘normal’ or acceptable? Why should they have the
ability to determine that for everyone? What do the people without that power think?
• Tries to question established thinking and seeks to legitimise other viewpoints
• Revolves around power issues within human groups; language is often the
medium by which this power is used
• Who has the real power and who doesn’t? How is that power used? What has been
missed because some groups have been marginalised?
• Philosophers Jacques Derrida (1930-2004) and Michel Foucault (1926-84)
associated with this perspective, among others
Postmodernism – research example
• Instead of assuming constructs like “management” or “performance”
accurately reflect what is going on, your research would question these
‘mainstream’ assumptions
• By challenging those assumptions your research could seek to demonstrate
whose voices, or what perspectives, were omitted or silenced.
• Open to using data of all types: texts, images, conversations, numbers and
• Whose interests are served by maintaining the situation as it is?
• Must be aware of the power relationships involving you as researcher as well
as those you are investigating
• A kind of “radical reflexivity” may be needed so you are open about all the moral and
ethical issues you are bringing to the research that might influence its outcomes
• A useful framework for looking at issues of gender, race, and power within
• As the name suggests, this is a flexible perspective which
holds that the most important factor in choosing a research
philosophy is whatever you are researching
• Both objective observable ‘facts’ and subjective human meanings
can be valuable research data for the pragmatist researcher
• Accepts that research is socially constructed
• Best where different viewpoints on research can be usefully applied
• Can use mono-, multi- or mixed methods with this approach
• Results are tentative and the ‘truth’ will change over time
• The purpose of theory is to inform practice
• The value of research lies in its practical relevance
• Should not be viewed as a catch-all category
What this means for your research
• Researchers must consider what combination of these elements will help
them to address their research needs
• The ‘research onion’ can help you through six choices from the outside to the
• Research Philosophy
• Approach to Theory (inductivism vs deductivism)
• Methodological Choices
• Strategies to carry out research
• Time Horizon (most will do cross-sectional research due to time constraints)
• Techniques of Data Collection (interviews, questionnaires, etc.)
• Combining certain elements will make sense but other combinations will
not work because their logics are incompatible.
• Ultimately, this is about making choices that will enable you to realise
your research goals.
Ponder for a moment.
• Should we as researchers impose ‘our perspectives’ on the
phenomenon we are investigating, in terms of what methods we
• Or should the choice be abdicated to the nature of the
‘reality/phenomenon’ under investigation?
• What are the implications of this riddle to the expertise (and
ideologies) of researchers?
• Quinlan, M., B. Babin, J. Carr, M. Griffin and W. Zikmund. 2015.
Business Research Methods. 1st ed. Andover, UK: Cengage.
• Saunders, M., P. Lewis and A. Thornhill. 2018. Research
Methods for Business Students. 8th ed. London: Pearson.
• Sekaran, U., and R. Bougie. 2013. Research Methods for
Business: A skill-building approach. 6th ed. Chichester, UK:
Literature Review
What is it and why is it necessary?
MD4417 DBA June 2022
What is a literature
• A Literature review:
• Discusses published information in a
particular subject area;
• Combines both summary and synthesis;
• Provides a new interpretation of old
• Combines new and old material;
• Traces the intellectual development in
the field of study;
• Evaluates sources.
MD4417 DBA
Putting the pieces
• A literature review is not an
annotated bibliography,
organized by title, author, or date
of publication. Rather, it is
grouped by topic and argument
to create a whole view of the
literature relevant to your
research question.
• There are some research methodologies that do not require you to
undertake a literature review at the start of the project.
• Grounded theory is a good example of such an approach. In grounded
theory study, the researcher does not undertake a literature review
prior to the study so that he or she does not approach the study with
preconceived ideas based on what other researchers have found out.
• You might carry out a literature review as a preliminary investigation
prior to undertaking primary data collection. If you are undertaking
an empirical research study, you need to establish what is already
known in the area.
MD4417 DBA
What comes
• Literature review or a broad research question
MD4417 DBA
When to stop?
• your literature review should normally commence prior to the start
of your study but it is
an ongoing process throughout your research study
This means you will also need to continue to read and evaluate relevant
sources as they are published.
MD4417 DBA
• Masters
Analytical and Summative, covering methodological issues. Research
techniques and topics. Possibly two literature-based chapters, one on
methodological issues, which demonstrates knowledge of the advantages and
disadvantages, and another on theoretical issues relevant to the topic/problem
MD4417 DBA
• “Analytical synthesis, covering all known literature on the problem….High
level of conceptual linking within and across theories. Summative and
formative evaluation of the previous work on the problem. Depth and
breadth of discussion on relevant philosophical traditions and ways in which
they relate to the problem” (Hart, 2000, p.15)
MD4417 DBA
The DBA thesis demonstrates the
ability of the candidate to:
• read the literature critically and
identify a problem that can be
• state the aims of the research ….
• analyse the information ….
• critically discuss the results ….
• consider what further work may
arise from these conclusions;…..
• express the thesis in correct
English …..
Literature Review as a key
part of the DBA thesis
MD4417 DBA
• The candidate should also have
demonstrated a thorough
appreciation of the current state
of the discipline.
Literature Review
How to do it well- focus on process
MD4417 DBA
How do you turn this
into a literature
MD4417 DBA
Most common misunderstandings about a
literature review
• You do not need to be critical
• You can simply structure the body of lit. review chronologically, by
organising your sources based on when they were published
• You can simply structure the body of lit. review work using a
methodological approach
• You do not need to use a formal and academic style
• You can simply describe the opinions of writers
• You can rely on direct quotes
MD4417 DBA
So basically I just read the articles and
summarize each one separately?
• No, a literature review is not a summary.
• Because a literature review is NOT a summary of these different
sources, it can be very difficult to keep your research organized.
MD4417 DBA
Literature Review- key attributes
• Combines: summary /synthesis (organising and reviewing the
material) and critical evaluation
MD4417 DBA
Synthesize, compare, contrasts, critically evaluate:
• underlying assumptions
• arguments
• methodologies
• accuracy of data collected
• interpretation of the data
MD4417 DBA
What is your “golden thread”?
MD4417 DBA
Literature Review – the process
• Scoping
• Mapping
• Focusing in
• Writing a draft/ re-writing a draft/ re-rewriting a draft…
MD4417 DBA
What constitutes literature
• Peer reviewed literature
• Primary literature -articles published in reputable journals
• Secondary literature- advanced textbooks and review articles
• Non-peer-reviewed literature
• Conference papers
• Past theses
• Other textbooks
• Grey literature – reports and unpublished documents
• Internet
• Be discriminating
MD4417 DBA
How to search the literature
• Read books and articles you know, or are recommended by your
• Search electronic databases
• Develop ‘strings’ of references (one thing leads to another)
• Keep notes based on your reading
• Note the keywords/databases used
• Note other literature which might be interesting later
• Generate your own keywords
• Use general access electronic databases with care
MD4417 DBA
Searching for literature
• Before you start to think about what to include in your review, it is
useful to think broadly about the types of literature that exist.
• Wallace and Wray (2006) categorise the literature you are likely to
• Theoretical literature
• Research literature
• Practice literature
• Policy literature.
MD4417 DBA
Theoretical literature
• The term theory is generally taken to mean a construct about what
the world is like. Theoretical knowledge is often developed on the
basis of our empirical observations of the world, but some theories
are not always based on evidence .
MD4417 DBA
Types of Theory
• Descriptive – an account of a phenomenon (not strictly theory)
• Explanatory – explains how/why a phenomena occurs (principal form
of scientific theory)
• Prescriptive – makes normative judgement of how a phenomena
should occur (a popular form of management theory)
• Do not treat them as the same!
MD4417 DBA
Research literature
• It is your job when undertaking a literature review to identify what is
research and what is not. When you encounter literature that you
would classify as research literature, you need to identify the type of
method undertaken to carry out the research and to make your
assessment of the quality of evidence the research literature provides
MD4417 DBA
Practice literature
Practice literature is that which is written by practitioners about their
field of expertise. Expert opinion, discussion articles and papers about
‘how to…’ are likely to abound in your area of interest.
MD4417 DBA
Policy literature
Policy literature is literature that tells practitioners or professionals how
to act. Policy literature can be based on theory, research or practice
and it is your job to examine the policy to discern the basis for the
advice or diktats that are written. If policy documents are an important
part of your literature review, it is useful to consider how they were
constructed and on what basis they were established.
MD4417 DBA
Searching the literature
• Remember that terms which are too broad will retrieve far too much
literature and terms that are too narrow might limit your field
excessively. Try running different searches using different keywords in
databases that are relevant to your subject.
MD4417 DBA
I cannot find any literature that is relevant to my
research! Take off the blinkers and look further…
A lack of literature is very rarely a real problem. The real problem is
that the researcher has not thought about the kinds of literatures that
might be relevant, even if they are not written on exactly the same
MD4417 DBA
Developing a ‘hierarchy of evidence’ for your
literature review
It can be very helpful to develop your own ‘hierarchy of evidence’ to
determine the literature that is most relevant and useful in addressing
your particular question. There will be some literature that is key to
your review and other literature that is more peripheral. In many cases,
it is not only that some topics will be more important than others, but
some types of evidence will be stronger than others for the review you
are doing.
MD4417 DBA
Evaluation of the literature
• Whatever the role of the literature review in your project, it is always
necessary to be critical of the literature you use. As a general rule, it is
never enough to cite a reference without providing some form of
justifying statement as to the quality of the literature and the
contribution it makes to your review..
MD4417 DBA
Literature Review
How to do it well- focus on content
How to write a Literature Review
• First, it is important to only refer to literature that is directly relevant to
your study, and to explain how it is relevant.
• Second, you should draw your own conclusions about the main features
of your field
How to write a Literature Review
• Do what you say
• Be consistent
Engagement with the literature goes beyond
critically reviewing what has been said
• Helps to locate yourself
• Evaluate the literature
• Justify your research
• Explain and justify your approach
• Explain and justify your contribution.
What about your own opinion?
• You must “tell the story” – the student engages with the literature by
giving his/her version of this story, telling it in his/her own words in
the literature review.
Inappropriate phrases
• Value judgements
• ‘it is obvious’, ‘it’s a fact’, ‘everyone can see’
• Unnecessary and imprecise
• ‘very’, ‘fantastic’, ‘crucial’, ‘unique’
• Redundant modifiers
• ‘totally’, ‘completely’
• Avoid ‘etc.’
• Use words such as ‘normally’ with caution
Obvious but helpful
Holbrook et al.(2004) suggest that examiners tend to use the literature
review as a ‘litmus test’ for the quality of a thesis as a whole. A pass
requires coverage and a working understanding of the literature; but,
for a good thesis, a thesis candidate must critically engage with the
Obvious but helpful
• To make your literature review a good read, you need to take a
reader-centred approach to your writing. First work out what you
want to say, but then change your focus and write it (or translate it)
so it is clear, interesting and convincing for your readers.
How can you make sure your literature review
will be clear, interesting and convincing ?
• Read as a writer
• Write as a reader
Literature review is not a laundry list
Critical evaluation
• It is essential that you incorporate your critical appraisal into your
review. This means that you must interrogate each piece of literature
and assess the contribution that it makes to your review, and make
this assessment explicit in your review.
So what resources are you looking for?
• “evidence’ you can use to justify what you want to do
• concepts, theories and language that you can use to focus your
question, refine your research design, help you analyse and make
sense of your results
• results and interpretations which you can compare and contrast with
your own results
Pay extra attention to the structure of the
Be mindful of how you use citations
Unfortunately, citation tactics motivated by the need to provide
evidence of work done can raise serious questions in a marker/reader
The Weight-Bearing Wall of Academic
Research (II)
Dr Ibukunolu David Babarinde
Day 1&2: Learning Objectives in Red
Day 1&2: Attributes in Red
LR: The
Bearing Wall
of Academic
Why are load-bearing walls important in a
• For the house to be able to stand on its own
• For it to be able to withstand stress? Or Integrity testing?
• Against wind/storm
• To support other parts of the house
For Research to be able to stand on its own..
• There must be a strong connection between the ‘foundation and the
• There must be a strong connection between your Research questions,
your findings, and your contributions.
• There is a place for literature (review) in the formulation of your
research questions (RQ)
• There is a place for literature review in the discussions of your
findings (DF).
• A strong LR establishes the RQs, guides the DF, and underpins the
Contributions made by your thesis.
Stress/Integrity testing of Academic Research
• Your research must be able to:
• Stand against the wind/storm of academic critiques.
• To support other parts of the house.
• Exam board/viva requirements such:
• Identify gaps in existing knowledge. (We will look for this in your assessment)
• Proposing where your research intends to make contribution to knowledge. (We will look
for this in your assessment)
• Grounding the appropriateness of your methods.
Supporting other Chapters/sections of the Thesis
• Beware of the ripple effects
• Defects in your LR will leave holes in other part of your thesis.
What is a literature
• A Literature review:
• Discusses published information in a
particular subject area;
• Combines both summary and synthesis;
• Provides a new interpretation of old
• Combines new and old material;
• Traces the intellectual development in
the field of study;
• Evaluates sources.
MD4417 DBA
Putting the pieces
• A literature review is not an
annotated bibliography,
organized by title, author, or date
of publication. Rather, it is
grouped by topic and argument
to create a whole view of the
literature relevant to your
research question.
LR &Research Process
• Framing RQ/Hypothesis (Day 1)
• Framing Topic (Day 1)
• Doing Literature Review (Day 3 & 4)
• Methodology (Day 2)
• Findings and Discussions (Day 2)
• Conclusion. (Day 1)
Process not linear: Cyclic, Messy, and Iterative
• What comes before the other?
• Literature review, or Formulating Research Questions, or Research
• Though LR is often seen as a stand alone research process/stage, LR
significantly influences the conduct of other aspects of research.
• Hence, before we can say a topic is finalised, LR section must have
been finalised.
• Sometimes, LR is re-conducted (post-data LR) if data collected veers
off the ‘pre-data’ LR.
The cycle
LR: RQ/Hypothesis & Topic Framing (I)
Can your research pass
The doctoral tests
Can my topic pass this test
Can my hypothesis/RQ pass this test?
Can my RQ inspire me to achieve this?
Specialisation in scholarship
Making new contribution to an area of research
Demonstrating a high level of scholarship (art of LR)
Demonstrating Originality
Ability to write a coherent volume of arguments of a
significant length
Good LR is the insurance against failing the test.
LR: RQ/Hypothesis & Topic Framing (II)
• To prevent re-inventing the Wheel…
• after committing years to a doctoral, and then discover that all the claims of
your work have been published 5years before yours….
• To know whether your research ideas could be supported by existing
literature, or could engage the existing literature…
• N:B There will be no doctoral award without contribution to
LR: Engaging your Research Idea with Existing Literature
• First identify the main theories around your research ideas
• What is the ‘centre ground’ of the theory/theories?
• What are the margins of it… those new spinoffs that could be branched into.
• What are the existing claims?
• What are the existing evidence?
• What is your critique/evaluation of the existing claims and evidence?
• What is the new story that could be generated from them?
• What questions can you ask that will generate new claims?
• How can you improve on the existing evidence?
• Are there contradictory positions reported in existing Lit?
• What are the new evidence to settle these contradictions?
• What questions you can ask – whose answer will yield new evidence?
LR: RQ/Hypothesis & Topic Framing (II)
• Has engagement with existing theory led to:
• Identification of any gaps to be filled by your research
• What main questions can you frame your topic
• Are these main questions asked with some certain theoretical
assumptions in mind?
• Can you write a convincing narrative, a synthesis of clear statement of
proposition/hypothesis, developed from the considerations of all you
have read about the related theories? (This will be the main product
of your LR)
LR: RQ/Hypothesi…
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