• Adil Mohamed

Student thesis: Phd


The European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) excellence model is used increasingly in the public sector in the Middle East. This thesis addresses a shortage of empirical research in this field and extends the, so called, dynamic capabilities perspective by investigating how the EFQM model can contribute to developing organisational capabilities. A research model was developed based on the theory of structuration and the dynamic capabilities perspective. A multiple case study design was used in three public sector organisations in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The unit of analysis was the activity configuration involved in the deployment of the EFQM model. This research investigates how activity configurations changed over time, their effect on the organisational social structure and their outcomes in developing new capabilities. In-depth data were collected using interviews and archival sources. The thesis suggests that motives for using the EFQM model represent an important factor in defining the type of activities in its deployment and for its success. It was found that external and internal motives can both have positive impact. The findings showed that organisations experienced with the EFQM model tend to follow similar paths of deployment and achieve comparable results. An indicative model is proposed describing the three stages the organisation can go through in the deployment of the EFQM model. Firstly, the organisation develops the capability to understand the benefits of the model and to plan for its successful deployment. Secondly, the organisation focuses on developing operational capabilities, using the EFQM model. Thirdly, the organisation improves existing capabilities and develops new ones in a recurring cycle, referred to as the cycle of dynamic capabilities. This research contributes to the perspective of dynamic capabilities by investigating the sources of capabilities and how they are shaped through the deployment of the EFQM excellence model. The theoretical background and the research methodology used in this research extend the research application of the structuration theory by linking it with the dynamic capabilities perspective. Suggestions for further research include investigation of the learning cycle of dynamic capabilities through the lens of organisational learning. The research methodology can also be extended to consider strategy formation. An investigation of the EFQM model, which is the basis for assessment in the government award scheme, carries inevitable sources of limitations and bias. A significant proportion of the data collected and analysed was confidential in nature and presented challenges in relation to dissemination of the results.
Date of Award31 Dec 2013
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorTherese Lawlor-Wright (Supervisor) & Andrew Gale (Supervisor)


  • Quality Management
  • Abu Dhabi
  • Public sector
  • TQM
  • UAE
  • Strategy-as-practice
  • Dynamic Capabilities
  • Structuration
  • EFQM

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