A Study on Best Quality Practices at King Faisal University (KFU), Alhassa, Saudi Arabia

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International Journal of Advanced Engineering, Management and Science (IJAEMS) [Vol-3, Issue-11, Nov- 2017]
https://dx.doi.org/10.24001/ijaems.3.11.9 ISSN: 2454-1311
www.ijaems.com Page | 1084
A Study on Best Quality Practices at King Faisal
University (KFU), Alhassa, Saudi Arabia
Dr. Atiya Parveen
Instructor, AL Yamamah University, Riyadh, KSA
Abstract This paper aims to examine the q uality best
practices in King Faisal University (KFU). The quality
best practices issue has taken a huge consideration
among different Saudi Arabian secto rs. These sectors
include education, manufacturing, government, private,
healthcare, IT, service and no n-profit organizations. This
research concentrates and discusses the quality
management in Saudi Arabian higher education
system.The study is a specific reference to one of the well-
known public university in Saudi Arabia i.e. KFU.
The importance of conducting this research is to examine
the quality best practices in KFU in terms of many
aspects. These aspects include university in general,
colleges, curriculum, employees, faculty members and
students. Although some colleges attain academic
accreditations, there is a lack of kno wledge in terms of
main quality best practices.
The substantial expectation of this research is to
eliminate the quality drawbacks in KFU. Another
emphasis is to provide a number of recommendations to
enhance the quality best practices in KFU.
KeywordsHigher Education Institutions (HEIs),King
Faisal University (KFU), Deanship of Development &
Quality Assurance (DDQA), Quality Assurance, Quality
Enhancement (QE),Total Quality Management (TQM).
This chapter introduces the study and shows the
importance of the topic and discusses the reasons for
conducting the research.
1.1 Background of the Study
Quality is playing a critical role in higher education. Both
administrators and acad emic of Higher Education
Institutions (HEIs) are constantly looking for ways to
obtain more effective and meaningful educational
instruction. Example of these investigators is King Faisal
University and its Deanship of Development & Quality
Assurance (DDQA).
DDQA administrators have started to establish quality
sector to improve the quality, standards of their higher
education, and to make their educational system more
effective. In fact, one of the main DDQA's objectives is
implementation of public policies related to t he total
quality management (TQM) in the u niversity.Recently
Saudi universities have started to shed light on quality
management by implementing the total quality
management concept.
TQM has successfully been implemented in some Higher
Education Institutions (HEIs) in Saudi Arabia. This
research aims to compare the quality work of this
university with the TQM principles.
1.2 Problem Statement
The implementation of quality practices in Saudi Arabian
higher education institutions has gained great interests.
However, most of these institutions still not mature
enough to deal with these practices. King Faisal
University as a case will study comprehensively their
quality practices performance. Therefore, this research
attempts to answer the following questions:
What is the impact of adopting best quality
practices in KFU?
How to align best practices with KFU
quality objectives?
1.3 Objectives of the study
This study encompasses mainly following objectives:
Explore thebenefits and recommendatio n of best
quality practicesas a successful implementation
in King Faisal University.
Identify best quality practices to suppor t the
implementation of TQM concepts at the KFU.
Identify the impact of adopting quality best
practices in KFU.
1.4 Research Methodology
This study co nducts by using a quantitative method (i.e.
questionnaires). The target audience of this study was
faculty members at KFU. The sample size was 21 faculty
members who were categorized based on their job title,
gender and education level.
The questionnaire was developed by using Google forms.
It was di vided into two sections; Demographics and
Quality Best Practices. The questionnaire was designed
mostly with close ended questions, with Likert scale from
1-5 with options (strongly disagree, disagree, neutral,
agree, and strongly agree). Only one question had
different options that are (Bad-Good-Satisfied-Very
Good- Excellent). Questionnaires were sent to the target
International Journal of Advanced Engineering, Management and Science (IJAEMS) [Vol-3, Issue-11, Nov- 2017]
https://dx.doi.org/10.24001/ijaems.3.11.9 ISSN: 2454-1311
www.ijaems.com Page | 1085
audience via emails, and Whatsapp in the beginning of
March 2017. Total of 40 faculty members received the
survey. However, only 21 were filled it.
The data was analyzed and interpreted thoroughly. Bo th
descriptive and measurable analysis was conducted.
1.5 Scope of the study
This stud y focu ses on the per formance o f quality best
practices implementation in Saudi Arabian higher
education system, specifically, the King Faisal University
1.6 Definition
This study includes a number of abbreviations that relates
to quality management in higher education. The main
abbreviations and its definitions describes as following:
Quality Assurance (QA): Quality assurance provides to
the standards maintained by the institutions through check
of external bodies(Biggs, 2003).
Quality Enhancement (QE): Quality enhance ment
refers to the continuous improvement in the institution
system (Biggs, 2003).
Total Quality Management (TQM):A network of
interdependent components that work together to try to
accomplish the aim of the system (Deming 1994).
Higher Education Institutions (HEIs)
King Faisal University (KFU)
2.1 Introduction to Quality
Although the literature provides many explanations of the
quality, there is no a unique definition. Below are
examples of these definitions:
“The lack of quality is the losses a product
imparts to the society from the time the product
is shipped” (Genichi Taguchi).
“Quality should b e a imed at the needs of the
customer, present and future” (Edwards
The literature discusses that q uality includes two
dimensions; products and services as s hown in Table
1(Bergman and Klefsjö 2003). However, for the scope of
the study, the quality dimension, which is taken into
consideration in higher education, is the service quality.
Table.1: Quality Dimensions
Quality Dimensions
Environmental Impact
Previous research has d efined quality management term
in ma ny ways. However, in relation to quality in
education, Borgue & Bingham-Hall (2003) defined
quality as "conformance to mission specification and goal
achievement--within publicly accepted standards of
accountability and integrity”. Quality basically maintains
balance between the internal and external forces. T he
quality to a college could be derived by recognition of the
institution and a training pro gram (Eagle & Brennan,
Dr. W. Edwards Deming was the first scholar to introduce
the concept of TQM. According to Hasson&Klefsjo
(2003), TQM defines a s “Management strategy t hat has
interrelated components, namely: core values, tec hniques
and tools”. Therefore, TQM refers to the administration
technique that, which will improve the quality and
profitability in associations. It is a yearly quality process,
which moves towards the flawlessness of the vision of the
2.2 Quality of Higher Education
Some researchers discuss t hat the quality will enable
organizations practices or tasks to become successful
(Bergman and Klefsjö 20 03, Feigenbaum 1994). Higher
Education Institutions (HEIs) are not excluded. In fact,
Feigenbaum (1994) believes that t he higher education
quality is a critical factor and will lead tostrong
competition among countries.
The concept of quality of higher education has defined in
several ways based on the industry (Campell and
Rozsnayi2002). Example of these definitions are illustrate
in Table 2.
Table.2: Quality of higher education definitions related to industry (Campell and Rozsnayi 2002)
Quality as excellence
To be the conventional scholastic view that holds as its objective to be the best.
Quality as fitness
This approach requires that the item or administration has congruity with client
needs, prerequisites, or goals.
Quality as enhancement or
Emphasizes the pursuit of continuous improvement and is predicated on the
notion that achieving quality is centralto the academic ethos.
International Journal of Advanced Engineering, Management and Science (IJAEMS) [Vol-3, Issue-11, Nov- 2017]
https://dx.doi.org/10.24001/ijaems.3.11.9 ISSN: 2454-1311
www.ijaems.com Page | 1086
However, some research argued that quality in education
is totally different than industry (Tribus 199 4, Kwan
1996). Kwan (1996) stated that it can be distinguished
between education and industry in four ways, objectives,
processes, input and outputs.
Moreover, the literature shows that it is vital to identif y
customers a nd s takeholders in higher education. Owlia
and Aspinwall, (1998) classified higher ed ucation
stakeholders into five groups; employers, society, faculty,
families and students. According to their results students
were given the highest rank.
Quality improvement is an ongoing process, and to
enhance quality, HEIs need to implement TQM strategy.
The main TQM role in academia is to provide guidance in
educational institutions to enable them continue
improvement through the entire educational process.
Some research (Ahire et al. 1996, Flynn et a l 1994)
provides many constructs for TQM implementation as
shows in Table 3.
Table.3: TQM constructs
TQM constructs (elements)
Supplier quality
Vision and plan statement
Process control and
Product design
Quality system
Employee participation
Recognition and reward
Education and training
HEIs have to consider the key elements of TQM in order
to improve the quality. These elements include leadership,
continuous i mprovement, employee participation and
empowerment and information management (Moha mmed
et al 2016).
For the purpose of this research , six elements (i.e. best
practices) are selected, which are Leadership, Vision and
Plan Statement, Evaluation, Quality System
Improvement, Faculty Members Participation, Education
and Training, and it added new element called Education
learning outcomes.
The conceptual definitions of the constructs and the
practices that support their implementation are presented
in the following section.
2.3 Study constructs
Leadership can be defined as "the ability of top
management to establish, practice, and lead a long-term
vision for the firm, drive n by changing customer
requirements, as opposed to an internal management
control role" (Anderson et al. 1994).Malcolm Baldrige
Quality Award (1999) identifies the crucial role of
leadership in terms o f creating the goals, values and
systems that enable performance improvement.
Top management role and in volvement is a key practice
in any organization.The main responsibilities of top
management leaders include establish quality policies,
establish and deploy q uality goals, provide resources,
provide problem-oriented training, and stimulate
improvement. Lack of top management involvement
might lead to serious negative consequences. In addition,
it is vital to engages people in quality activities.
According to DuBrin (19 95),encourage people to assess
the level of quality is an important leadership practice.
Vision and Plan Statement
Vision and plan statement encompass two aspects: Vision
statement and plan statement. The purpose of a vision
statement is to link the firm’s val ues, aspirations and
purpose to enable employees make decisions that are
align with and supportive of these objectives (Meredith
and Shafer, 1 999).The organization need to have quality
policy that shows overall intentions and direction o f an
organization with regard to quality. On the other hand, a
plan statement is a formalization of what is proposed to
happen in the future.Employees at different levels should
be engaged in drawing up plans and should be
encouraging their commitment to the realization of these
plans (Mann, 1992).
The concept of evaluation can be defined as "systematic
examination of the extent to which an entity is capable of
fulfilling specified requirements"(ISO 8402, 1994). The
organizations should continuously evaluate its various
business strategies to achieve a competitive advantage.
Another evaluation practice which relates to improvement
and corrective actions is quality audit. In addition,
Benchmarking is a influential tool to use as a continuous
process of evaluating a firm’s products, services, and
processes against its roughest competitors or industry
leaders. Quality related data also should be combined
with employees ' performance standards at the different
level within firms.
Quality System Improvement
Quality system is defined as "the organizational structure,
procedures, processes and resources needed to implement
quality management"(ISO 8402, 1994 ). Three main
practices should be identified when quality system
establishment; quality manual, procedures, and work
instructions. Finally, quality system should be
continuously improved and maintained (Randall, 1995).
Faculty Members Participation
Employee (i.e. faculty member) participation can be
defined as "the degree to which emplo yees in a firm
engage in various quality management activities" (Juran