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Evaluation of Public Policy Implementation: an Investigation into the National Training Programme at the Ministry of Manpower in the Sultanate of Oman

Al Harthy, ALISAIF (2017) Evaluation of Public Policy Implementation: an Investigation into the National Training Programme at the Ministry of Manpower in the Sultanate of Oman. Doctoral thesis, Business School.

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Abstract

This study analyses the macro and micro levels of policy implementation in Oman, and draws together the worlds of policy-makers and ‘street-level bureaucrats’. It evaluates the implementation policy of the National Training Programme, along with its associated concepts, and investigates the obstacles encountered in the implementation. In addition, the study explores the perceptions of how barriers create obstacles to the implementation process in Oman. In Oman, National Human Resource Development (NHRD) is used to re-engineer many of the private sector jobs that are currently occupied by expatriates, in the hope that greater social and economic prosperity among the indigenous population will occur. To ensure the achievement of this goal, the Sultanate of Oman’s Ministry of Manpower introduced the National Training Programme that seeks to develop the skills of Omani job-seekers, and which supports the Omanisation policy, by placing workers in the private sector. Since its introduction in 2003, the National Training Programme has attracted significant Government investment, yet the empirical understanding of the implementation process remains limited. Conceptually, the study is primarily based on public policy implementation theory, along with elements of evaluation and stakeholder theory. Empirically, the study is informed by the lived experience and views of representatives of the four stakeholder groups involved in implementing the policy, namely, the Ministry of Manpower, employers, training providers, and trainees. Conducted through insider research, the experience of 36 informants was gathered through semi-structured interviews, with the findings being analysed thematically using template analysis. This research addresses conflicting policy implementation theories, including ‘top-down’ implementation and policy network theory. Thus, in analysing the factors and barriers associated with policy implementation, the study makes a valuable contribution to public policy implementation theory. The study also showcases the culture of public policy implementation and how the inherent cultural challenges can impede national Human Resource Development. It was noted that the perceptions of the various stakeholders differ and that whilst the manpower planning, clarity and implementation structure functions are influential factors in the policy implementation, the mix of the trainees’ motives to join the private sector, and employers’ indifferent cooperation, emerged as challenging barriers to policy implementation. Key contributions to theoretical knowledge are made through extending the elements of public policy implementation theory, stakeholder theory and, to a lesser extent, elements of national Human Resource Development in an emerging economy – using Oman as case context. Furthermore, as a management tool, this study provides a map to facilitating Omanisation and promoting national skills development which is the aim of the government’s NTP agenda. The need for a more structured implementation process to operationalise the training is emphasised. In addition, it contributes to effective networking of various stakeholders of NTP to achieve a more detailed and well informed practice of skills development across the private sector. Prior to this study, the evaluation element of the NTP in Oman was broadly absent. Based on this study therefore, future government policies relating to Omanisation would take into account the process of evaluating the outcomes of skill development programmes.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Policy Implementation, National Training, National HRD
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5001 Business
Divisions: Liverpool Business School
Date Deposited: 18 Aug 2017 09:11
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2017 09:11
Supervisors: Lawless, AILEEN
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/6916

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