Strategic Budget Planning for Higher Education Institutions in the United Arab Emirates

  • Ahmed Abdullah Al-Zarouni

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    This thesis represents the first empirical investigation of the impact of strategic planning on budgetary and resources allocation processes within higher educational institutions (HEI) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

    It has been shown in the accounting literature that, there is a need for studies to assess the links between university strategies and the budgeting and budgetary control processes of those institutions. Such studies of the strategy-budget connection have been called for by a number of accounting scholars in order to learn more about how HEI can better manage and meet their learning and teaching objectives. In addition achieving these plans and programmes has become more complex in what worldwide is an increasingly resource constrained environment. This thesis develops these issues by adding to the literature in a country not previously studied in this context.

    The study has constructed a theoretical model, which develops certain significant connections between personal and organisational characteristics, university strategies, the budgeting and control processes, and finally the centralisation of financial and administrative decisions within HEI in the UAE. The research model has several further connections particularly between the strategic planning and budgetary processes. In examining the model the researcher has developed new measures derived from the relevant literature for factors in the strategic planning process, the budgeting and budgetary control process and the centralised nature of management decision making in the institutions being investigated.

    The reliability and validity of these measures were examined by using several statistical techniques through both pilot and comprehensive field studies. In addition, the study approached five universities and two technical colleges within UAE. The sample included a hundred and fifteen subjects represent senior academic, managerial, and financial staff within UAE institutions. Finally, senior members of Ministries of Finance and the HEI themselves were interviewed in order to objectively assess the impact of these issues on the challenges facing these universities and colleges in meeting their objectives.

    The present study has found significant linkages between strategic planning and the budgetary and control processes that support the model of this thesis and highlight the actual problems created by any missing link in the strategy-budget connection. This is in addition to discovering other problems associated with the whole planning and budgetary processes within UAE HEI. The thesis found more limited support to the interrelationships between personal and organisational characteristics and, the budgeting and control processes. This is due to the structural and institutional nature of the phenomenon under investigation.

    Finally this thesis has drawn certain conclusions and recommendations thought necessary to improve the situation discovered.
    Date of AwardMay 2003
    Original languageEnglish


    • Strategic planning
    • United Arab Emirates
    • Finance

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