Proposing Revised KHDA Model of School Improvement: Identification of Factors for Sustainable Performance of Dubai Private Schools

  • Muhammad Azeem
  • Leonardo Jose Mataruna-Dos-SantosEmail author
  • Rabeb Ben Abdallah
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Science, Technology & Innovation book series (ASTI)


This paper investigatesthe school’s organizational environment and identify the missing links in the current Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) framework. It is an identification of the new factors which can contribute toward better employees’ performance and students’ achievement. A high score on these factors justifies the high standards of educational service and the low score indicates the presence of conditions disabling the school improvement efforts of schools. Initial investigation on the KHDA school’s data has indicated the inconsistent performance pattern among Dubai private schools. The presence of at least five distinct performance patterns has encouraged in conducting a study to identify the reasons which promote such inconsistent performance behavior. Three cultural factors—the sub-culture of collective leadership, sub-culture of creativity and innovation, and the sub-culture of the learning organization—were identified from the past literature, and the proposed model was examined by applying structural equation modeling techniques. Therefore, two research hypotheses that the performance of employees in good schools is better than the employees working in the struggling schools, and that the difference of the performance is due to the difference in the success factors of organizational culture in schools, were established. Findings have confirmed that school culture plays a vital role in the success of KHDA efforts of school improvement. Good Quality Schools (GQS) are successful because they can provide an environment to its employees which enables them to perform effectively, whereas the employees in Poor Quality Schools (PQS) are struggling due to the unfavorable organizational culture and work environment. The study provides valuable information to struggling schools on how to come out of the vicious circle of poor performance quality. It also highlights the importance of the preexamination of the cultural conditions in the schools before applying any systemic school improvement framework. It is recommended that extending advise and support to underperforming schools for promoting conducive cultural conditions in the school environment will help them to obtain better performance results on the KHDA inspection framework.


KHDA DSIB Employees’ performance Sustainable school improvement Organizational culture Collective leadership Creativity and innovation Learning organization 


  1. Adams, K.: The Sources of Innovation and Creativity. NCEE, Washington (2005)Google Scholar
  2. Amabile, T.: How to Kill Creativity. Harvard Business Review (1998)Google Scholar
  3. Amabile, T.M., Regina, C., Heather, C., Jeffrey, L., Michael, H.: Assessing the work environment for creativity. Acad. Manag. J. 39(5), 1154–1184 (1996)Google Scholar
  4. Bernhardt, V.L.: Data Analysis: for Continuous School Improvement, p. 15. Eye on Education, NY (2004)Google Scholar
  5. Brown, T.A.: Confirmatory Factor Analysis for Applied Research. The Guildford Press, New York (2006)Google Scholar
  6. Calman, R.C.: School Effectiveness and Improvement. Education Quality and Accountability Office, Toronto (2007)Google Scholar
  7. Calman, R.C.: Exploring the underlying traits of high-performing schools. Evidence from research reviews. In: Education Quality and Research Office. Queens Printers, Ontario Government (2010)Google Scholar
  8. Campbell, J.P.: Modeling the performance prediction problem in industrial and organizational psychology. In: Dunnette, M.D., Hough, L.M. (eds.) Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Consulting Psychologists Press, Palo Alto (1990)Google Scholar
  9. Campbell, J., Kyriakides, L., Muijs, D., Robinson, W.: Assessing Teacher Effectiveness: Developing a Differentiated Model. Routledge, London (2004)Google Scholar
  10. Carless, S.A., Paola, C.D.: The measurement of cohesion in work teams. Small Group Res. 31(1), 71–88 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Carson, J.B., Tesluk, P.E., Marrone, J.A.: Shared leadership in teams: an investigation of antecedent conditions and performance. Acad. Manag. J. 50(5), 1217–1234 (2007). Retrieved from Scholar
  12. Cerasoli, C.P., Jessica, M.N., Michael, T.F.: Intrinsic motivation and extrinsic incentives jointly predict performance: a 40-year meta-analysis. Psychol. Bull. 40(4), 980–1008, American Psychological Association (2014)Google Scholar
  13. Cohen, J., Cohen, P., West, S.G., Aiken, L.S.: Applied multiple regression/correlation analysis for the behavioral sciences, 93rd edn. Erlbaum, Mahwah, NJ (2003)Google Scholar
  14. Covey, S.R., Covey, S., Summers, M., Hatch, D.K.: The Leader in Me. Franklin Covey Co, NY (2014)Google Scholar
  15. Currall, S.C., Towler, A.J., Judge, T.A., Kohn, L.: Pay satisfaction and organizational outcomes. Personnel Psychol. 58, 613–640 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. David, J.K., Terry, L.J.: Effective Schools: Assessment Report. Pearson Inc (2004)Google Scholar
  17. Debowski, S.: Knowledge Management. Willey, Australia (2006)Google Scholar
  18. Drucker, P.: The discipline of innovation. In: Harvard Business Review on Breakthrough Thinking. Harvard Business School Press (1999)Google Scholar
  19. Dubrin, A.J.: Leadership: Research Findings, Practice, and Skills, 5th edn. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, NY (2007). ISBN: 13:978-0-618-73137-4Google Scholar
  20. Fausing, M.S., Joensson, T.S., Lewandowski, J., Bligh, M.: Antecedents of shared leadership: empowering leadership and interdependence. Leadersh. Organ. Dev. J. 36(3), 271–291 (2015). Scholar
  21. Field, A.: Discovering Statistics using IBM SPSS Statistics, 4th ed. SAGE Publication Ltd (2013)Google Scholar
  22. Fornell, C., David, F.L.: Evaluating structural equation models with unobservable variables and measurement error. J. Market. Res. 39–50 (1981)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Garavelli, A.C., Gorgoglione, M.: Supporting creative teams in organizations. Int. Stud. Manag. Organ. 36(1), 8–23 (2006)Google Scholar
  24. Gardner, H.: Creating Minds: An Autonomy of Creativity Seen Through the Lives of Freud, Einstein, Picasso, Stravinsky, Eliot, Graham, and Gandhi. Basic Books, Reprinted Edition (1994)Google Scholar
  25. Garvin, D.A., Edmondson, A.C., Gino, F.: Is yours a learning organization? Harv. Bus. Rev. (Harvard Business School Publishing) (2008)Google Scholar
  26. Goh, S.C.: Improving organizational learning capability: lessons from two case studies. Learn. Organ. 10(4), 216–227 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Goh, S., Richards, G.: Benchmarking the learning capability of organizations. Eur. Manag. J. 15(5), 575–583 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Hair, J.F., Anderson, R.E., Tatham, R.L., Black, W.C.: Multivariate Data Analysis, Sixth edition. Prentice-Hall International, Inc (2006)Google Scholar
  29. Hair, J., Black, W., Babin, B., Anderson, R.: Multivariate Data Analysis, 7th edn. Prentice-Hall, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ, USA (2010)Google Scholar
  30. Hanzager, M.L., Alexander, A.B.: Educational Administration. Prentice-Hall Inc, NY (1991)Google Scholar
  31. Harrington, D.: Confirmatory Factor Analysis. Oxford University Press (2009)Google Scholar
  32. Hoch, J.E.: Shared leadership, diversity, and information sharing in teams. J. Manag. Psychol. 29(5), 541–564 (2014).
  33. Hopkins, D., Ainscow, M., West, M.: School Improvement in an Era of Change. Teachers College Press, New York (1994)Google Scholar
  34. Hord, S.M.: Professional Learning Communities: Communities of Continuous Inquiry and Improvement. Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, Austin, TX (1997)Google Scholar
  35. Houtte, M.V.: Climate or culture? A plea for conceptual clarity in school effectiveness research. School Eff. School Improv. 16(1), 71–89 (ICSEI) (2005)Google Scholar
  36. Huber, G.P.: Organizational learning: The contributing processes and the literatures. Organ. Sci. 2(1), 88–115 (1991)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Hunt, J.G. & Ropo, A. (1997). Leadership and faculty motivation. In: Bess, J.L. (ed.) Teaching well and liking it: motivating faculty to teach effectively, pp. 219−247. Johns Hopkins University PressGoogle Scholar
  38. Johansson, F.: The Medici Effect: Breakthrough Insights at the Intersection of Ideas, Concepts, and Cultures. Harvard Business School Press (2004). ISBN 1591391865Google Scholar
  39. Judge, T.A., Thoresen, C.J., Bono, J.E., Patton, G.K.: The job satisfaction-job perfrormance relationship: a qualitative and quantitative review. Psychol. Bull. (2001)Google Scholar
  40. Kanfer, R.: Motivation theory and industrial and organizational psychology. In: Dunnette, M.D., Hough, L.M. (eds.) Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 2nd edn., vol. 1, pp. 75–170. Consulting Psychologists Press, Palo Alto, CA (1990)Google Scholar
  41. Kaplan, R., Norton, D.P.: The Balanced Scorecard: Translating Strategy into Action. Harvard Business School Press Boston, Massachusetts, USA (1996)Google Scholar
  42. Kline, R.B.: Principles and practice of structural equation modeling, 2nd edn. The Guilfprd Press, New York (2005)Google Scholar
  43. Laksila, P.: Educational sociology. Srinakharinwirot University, Bangkok (1985)Google Scholar
  44. Lawan, T.: A study of relationship between school effectiveness and school culture of secondary schools in Thailand, Doctoral Thesis, Department of Education, Sardar Patel University, Vallabh Vidangar, Gujarat, India (2012)Google Scholar
  45. Leavy, B.: A leader’s guide to creating an innovation culture. Strategy Leadersh. 33(4), 38–45 (2005). Scholar
  46. Lynch, D., Smith, R.: Reforming teacher education: from partnership to syndication. Int. J. Innov. Creat. Change 2(3), 27–40 (2016)Google Scholar
  47. Margulus, L.S., Melin, J.A.: Performance Appraisals Made Easy: Tools for Evaluating Teachers and Support Staff. Corwin Press (2004)Google Scholar
  48. McNamara, J.F., Erlandson, D.A., McNamara, M.: Measurement and Evaluation: Strategies for School Improvement. Eye on Education, Larchmont, NY (1999)Google Scholar
  49. Meyer, J.P., Paunonen, S.V., Gellaty, I.R., Goffin, R.D., Jackson, D.N.: Organizational commitment and job performance: it’s the nature of the commitment that counts. J. Appl. Psychol. (1989)Google Scholar
  50. Mortimore, P.: The nature and finding of school effectiveness research in the primary sector. In: Riddell, S., Brown, S. (eds.) School Effectiveness Research: Its Messages for School Improvement. HMSO, London (1991)Google Scholar
  51. Mortimore, P., Sammons, P., Stoll, L., Lewis, D., Ecob, R.: School Matters: The Junior Years. Wells: Open Books (1988)Google Scholar
  52. Papazisi, D., Raiden, A.B., Sheehan, M.J.: Exploring the relationship between personality and motivation within the strategic employee resourcing framework(SERF). In: Postgraduate Researchers of the Built & Natural (ProBE)—The Second Scottish Conference, Glasgow Caledonian University (2005)Google Scholar
  53. Politis, J.: Dispersed leadership predictor of the work environment for creativity and Productivity. Eur. J. Innov. Manag. 8(2), 182–204 (2005). Scholar
  54. Preuss, P.G.: School Leader’s Guide to Root Cause Analysis; Using Data to Dissolve Problems. Eye on Education, Inc. (2003)Google Scholar
  55. Reece, B.L.: Effective Human Relations; Interpersonal and Organizational Applications, 13th edn. Cengage Learning, South-Western (2016)Google Scholar
  56. Robbins, S.P., Judge, T.A.: Organizational Behavior, 13th edn. Prentice-Hall (2009)Google Scholar
  57. Roe, R.A.: Work performance: a multiple regulation perspective. In: Cooper, C.L., Robertson, I.T. (eds.) International Review of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, vol. 14, pp. 231–335. Wiley, Chichester (1999)Google Scholar
  58. Rutter, M., Maughan, B.: School effectiveness findings 1979–2002. J. Sch. Psychol. 40(6), 451–475 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Sanchez, R.: Strategic Learning and Knowledge Management. Wiley, Chichester (1996)Google Scholar
  60. Senge, P.M.: The Fifth Discipline: The Arts & Practice of the Learning Organization. DOUBLEDAY, Random House, Inc. (2006)Google Scholar
  61. Sonnentag, S., Frese, M.: Performance concepts and performance theory: psychological management of individual performance. In Sonnentag, S. (ed.). Wiley & Sons, Ltd (2001)Google Scholar
  62. Sternberg, R.J.: Wisdom, intelligence, and creativity synthesized; WICS: a model of leadership in Organization. Acad. Manag. Learn. Educ. 2(1) (2003). Scholar
  63. Thacker, S., Cuadra, E.: The road traveled: Dubai’s journey towards improving private education. World Bank Rev. (2014)Google Scholar
  64. Uygur, A., Kilic, G.: A study into organizational commitment and job involvement: an application towards the personnel in the central organization for ministry of health in Turkey, Ozean. J. Appl. Sci. 2(1) (2009)Google Scholar
  65. Willcocks, S.G., Wibberley, G.: Exploring a shared leadership perspective for NHS doctors. Leadersh. Health Serv. 28(4), 345–355 (2015). Scholar
  66. Williams, R.B., Brien, K., LeBlanc, J.: Transforming schools into learning organizations: supports and barriers to educational reform. Can. J. Educ. Adm. Policy (134) (2012)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Muhammad Azeem
    • 1
  • Leonardo Jose Mataruna-Dos-Santos
    • 1
    Email author
  • Rabeb Ben Abdallah
    • 1
  1. 1.American University in the EmiratesDubaiUnited Arab Emirates

Personalised recommendations