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Title: Applicability of the high performance organization framework in the Middle East The case of Palestine Polytechnic University
Authors: Suhail, Suhail
de Waal, Andre
Keywords: Universities and colleges - Palestine - Administration;Universities and colleges - Middle East - Administration;Universities and colleges - Palestine - Strategic planning;Universities and colleges - Middle East - Strategic planning;Organizational effectiveness
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: Education, Business and Society: Contemporary Middle Eastern
Abstract: Purpose – Interest in creating high performance organizations (HPOs) has been growing in the Middle East and Middle Eastern managers have been looking into practices that will help them elevate organizational performance. Unfortunately there is a shortage of HPO studies conducted in the Middle East which could help these managers. The purpose of this paper is to examine the applicability of the recently developed HPO Framework in a Middle Eastern context, namely at Palestine Polytechnic University (PPU). The goal of the study was to evaluate whether this framework could be applied in the Middle Eastern context and thus help improve performance of Middle Eastern organizations. Design/methodology/approach – A workshop was conducted with management and staff of the university at PPU’s premises in Hebron. During the workshop, management, staff and teachers filled in the HPO questionnaire, which gauges the current HPO status of an organization. The resulting HPO score of PPU, and the comparison with the scores of other Middle-Eastern organizations in the database of the researchers, were discussed during a workshop with representatives of PPU and initial improvements were established and put down in an action plan. Findings – With an average HPO score of 6.8, PPU was an average scoring organization that performed more or less the same as the other Middle-East organizations. However, two main issues for PPU emerged that had to be addressed in order to transform the university in an HPO. The first issue was that PPU’s performance management process had to be improved, as not everything that mattered to PPU’s performance was communicated to everybody adequately enough. The second issue was that the performance-driven behavior of PPU’s people had to be strengthened, as the decision-making and action-taking processes took too long and people were nor resilient and flexible enough to deal quickly with changing conditions. Practical implications – Practically, the research findings could help managers of Middle Eastern organizations to achieve sustainable high performance in their organizations. Originality/value – The research described in this paper constitutes one of the first studies into the determining factors of sustainable high performance in the Middle East and as such, it adds to the strategic management literature by showing that the HPO concept can be applied in the Middle East to evaluate the high performance status of Middle Eastern organizations.
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