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Managing cultural diversity for collective identity: a case study of an ELT department in Omani Higher Education

Managing cultural diversity for collective identity: a case study of an ELT department in Omani Higher Education
Managing cultural diversity for collective identity: a case study of an ELT department in Omani Higher Education
This paper employs a Social Identity Approach (SIA) to explore the management of a collective organizational culture in a culturally diverse context. Literature suggests that cultural diversity can be an asset for organizations if managed effectively. This study employs a qualitative case study design, drawn on data generated for a larger project that utilised sixteen interviews, eight team meetings observations, document analysis and field notes. It instrumentally uses a Department of English as its site due to the prevalence of cultural diversity in such context. The paper explores whether leadership is perceived as effective towards establishing a collective identity in an Omani Higher Education (HE) domain. The findings suggest that leadership impact is restricted by the central management of the system that translates largely into transactional leadership and hierarchical approaches at the level of the group and largely fails to establish such an inclusive identity. The paper argues that in a globalizing era, Omani higher education can only view cultural diversity as an asset that aids its intellectual capital establishment. Hence, it should cater for such a composition and engineer it effectively to achieve better alignment with the requirements of the current market. These findings can be of value to policy makers, researchers and professionals in HE.
Cultural diversity, social identity approach, Omanisation, leadership, Higher Education
1741-1432
Al Muqarshi, Amal
ff816bdf-a91f-4715-961b-b127cb34a914
Kaparou, Maria
8f38ac79-a77e-489c-a766-c6bc2535c538
Kelly, Anthony
1facbd39-0f75-49ee-9d58-d56b74c6debd
Al Muqarshi, Amal
ff816bdf-a91f-4715-961b-b127cb34a914
Kaparou, Maria
8f38ac79-a77e-489c-a766-c6bc2535c538
Kelly, Anthony
1facbd39-0f75-49ee-9d58-d56b74c6debd

Al Muqarshi, Amal, Kaparou, Maria and Kelly, Anthony (2020) Managing cultural diversity for collective identity: a case study of an ELT department in Omani Higher Education. Educational Management Administration & Leadership. (In Press)

Record type: Article

Abstract

This paper employs a Social Identity Approach (SIA) to explore the management of a collective organizational culture in a culturally diverse context. Literature suggests that cultural diversity can be an asset for organizations if managed effectively. This study employs a qualitative case study design, drawn on data generated for a larger project that utilised sixteen interviews, eight team meetings observations, document analysis and field notes. It instrumentally uses a Department of English as its site due to the prevalence of cultural diversity in such context. The paper explores whether leadership is perceived as effective towards establishing a collective identity in an Omani Higher Education (HE) domain. The findings suggest that leadership impact is restricted by the central management of the system that translates largely into transactional leadership and hierarchical approaches at the level of the group and largely fails to establish such an inclusive identity. The paper argues that in a globalizing era, Omani higher education can only view cultural diversity as an asset that aids its intellectual capital establishment. Hence, it should cater for such a composition and engineer it effectively to achieve better alignment with the requirements of the current market. These findings can be of value to policy makers, researchers and professionals in HE.

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Accepted/In Press date: 1 April 2020
Additional Information: Amal Al Muqarshi is an assistant professor at the College of Applied Sciences-Ibri in Oman. She is currently a Head of English Language Department. She is a joint winner of British Educational Leadership Management and Administration Society (BELMAS) Best Thesis Award 2019. Amal’s main research interests are cultural diversity and organisations, higher education, and language teaching and management. Maria Kaparou is a lecturer at Southampton Education School, University of Southampton (UK). She has led and taught education programmes in secondary, further education and higher education in England, Greece and Asia. Maria has been the winner of the prestigious British Educational Leadership Management and Administration Society (BELMAS) Best Thesis Award 2015. Her main research interests lay in educational management and leadership with a particular focus on school improvement research, instructional leadership, schools in challenging contexts, system leadership and research in MATs. Anthony Kelly is Professor of Education at the University of Southampton, where until recently he was Head of the School of Education. He researches in the area of educational effectiveness, improvement and leadership, particularly in the development of theory and methodology. His recent books are on the use of effectiveness data in schools (Routledge), adapting Sen’s Capability Theory to school choice (Palgrave Macmillan) and measuring equity, diversity and competition in schools and universities (Routledge). Kelly was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in 2012. He is a former school principal.
Keywords: Cultural diversity, social identity approach, Omanisation, leadership, Higher Education

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 439783
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/439783
ISSN: 1741-1432
PURE UUID: d86512a1-15b2-411c-9eb3-93ef53f46f74
ORCID for Anthony Kelly: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-4664-8585

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Date deposited: 04 May 2020 16:30
Last modified: 23 Jul 2022 01:50

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Contributors

Author: Amal Al Muqarshi
Author: Maria Kaparou
Author: Anthony Kelly ORCID iD

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