Academy of Strategic Management Journal (Print ISSN: 1544-1458; Online ISSN: 1939-6104)

Research Article: 2021 Vol: 20 Issue: 5

A Proposal for Re-Engineering Administrative Processes in Saudi Universities to Cope With Crises: An Experience of Prince Sattam Bin Abdulaziz University with Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Mansour Z. Al-Khathlan, Prince Sattam bin Abdulaziz University

Abstract

Humanity is susceptible to natural and non-natural catastrophes and calamities. They influence human survival at financial, societal, and educational levels. Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic is one of the most severe natural crises. It affects humans according to their immunity and may end in death. As it spreads from gathering, it has severely affected many aspects of life including the educational sector. With this backdrop, this study aimed at investigating the preparedness level of Saudi universities in responding to this difficult situation. It focused on Prince Sattam bin Abdulaziz University (PSAU) from an administrative perspective to deal with the crisis. To achieve this aim, this research study was initiated by revealing the reality of crisis management at the university and considering the re-engineering of administrative processes. A descriptive-analytical approach was used. A questionnaire was used as a tool for data collection. The sample of the study consisted of administrative leadership at the university. It was found that there was a high-degree possibility of the reality of crisis management at PUAS to address emergency crises (Covid-19 as a model). However, the university suffered from some obstacles that might weaken its ability to respond to the crisis, necessitating establishing a particular unit for crisis management. It emphasized the prediction of future crises considering the available data and information to facilitate administrative work during the time of crisis.

Keywords

Administrative Process, Covid-19, Crisis Management, Re-Engineering, Saudi Universities.

Intrduction

The states and institutions are always exposed to several forms of crises and disasters that may impede their performance. Some disasters are natural, such as earthquakes, volcanoes, torrents, tornados, infectious diseases, and epidemics, while others are human-made, such as toxic gas emissions, laboratory experiments beyond control, wars, and ethnic and religious conflicts. They directly affect all the segments of life. The outbreak of wars between countries, for instance, stops life in those countries at economic, social, and scientific levels. Presently, the world is under the influence of one of the most severe crises, namely, the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. It is a natural crisis which affects humans directly as Coronavirus is the deadliest virus known to human which is potentially life-threatening. The spread of this virus worldwide has affected human life massively disrupting everyday life leading to economic, scientific, and many other crises. As it spreads from gathering and crowding, the presence of students in one place may cause the spread of this deadly epidemic.

The institutions at various levels of education have directly been affected by this global crisis. In response, they must plan to manage crises. They must take advantage of previous crises to learn ways to deal with future crises. Efforts are made to know the extent of crisis management in the United States of America. Crisis management plans have been analyzed in schools that were exposed to previous crises. It is observed that the schools that have suffered from crises in the past are developing actionable plans. The experiences of such schools can be used to develop plans for managing crises (Adams & Kristions, 2006). Further, the impact of strategic planning on crisis management at the Science and Technology University in Sana'a was also studied. The results show a positive impact of the strategic planning practice, environmental analysis, vision and mission of the university, and the strategic objectives on crisis management (Mohammad, 2016). However, despite the planning and the abilities to benefit from the various Arab and international experiences of some institutions and agencies, many efforts have been nullified in this novel situation created by the Coronavirus (Covid-19). This new situation has messed up many of the precautions taken by the institutions.

The emergence of the Coronavirus crisis has brought the administrative operations in Saudi universities and educational institutions to a complete halt. So, the ‘administrative process re-engineering’ is highlighted here. The effects of Covid-19 on Saudi universities are divided into two domains: educational and administrative. Education has been shifted to online education systems and the application of learning management systems, which has led to a significant reduction in the Coronavirus effects on the educational side of universities. However, proper planning is required to benefit from previous experiences in the crisis management field. It is indicated that re-engineering operations are imperative for institutions to maintain survival and continuity. It contributes to addressing crises, which requires professional and practical experiences (Wahhabi, 2018). The essential skills are identified which are needed for effective crisis management. These include crisis response skills, skills to benefit from crises after their occurrence, crisis-sensing skills, recovery skills, and crisis prevention skills (Saqr, 2009).

Moreover, it is recommended to prepare surveys of anticipated crises, to develop appropriate plans and programs, to pay attention to the continuous evaluation of crises after their occurrence to take lessons from these to confront the coming crises, and to acquire Arab and foreign experiences in managing educational crises (Al-Hawri, 2019). It is noticed that many previous studies have focused on the educational side. However, the administrative side requires more consideration. An integrated and compatible administration is crucial for universities to make new decisions and implement them.

The world has been exposed to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has led universities to resort to sudden administrative and academic procedures to deal with the crisis. The research clarifies integrating engineering principles and methods in universities to achieve the desired aims of its application. It may be useful as a preliminary step for developing the necessary administrative procedures to deal with major crises and disasters such as the Covid-19. It recognizes the importance of redesigning operations, achieving the desired performance levels, reducing error levels, and limiting the impact of emergency crises. It also deals with modern variables such as re-engineering administrative processes, crisis management, and Covid-19. This study investigates the crisis management reality at PSAU to confront emergency crises (Covid-19 as a model). It further presents a vision for establishing the crisis management unit at PSAU to re-engineer administrative processes to address emergency crises (Covid-19 as a model). This study is conducted during the first semester of the academic year 1442 AH. It is limited to the administrative leadership of the university, starting from the heads of the departments to the deans of the colleges. To achieve the research aim, the descriptive-analytical method has been adopted. The research is based on a field study that includes the distribution of questionnaires among the sample. The statistical analysis program SPSS is used. At the same time, the theoretical part is covered through previous studies.

Literature Review

During the Coronavirus crisis, the adoption of the re-engineering concept is vital to manage and make the required changes in institutions radically. Re-engineering is identified as the radical redesign of the administrative processes in the institution creatively. It aims to achieve superior results to satisfy the beneficiaries. It provides services that are of the required quality, speed, and cost. It is also defined as a fundamental rethinking and radical redesign of administrative processes, which is aimed at achieving substantial improvements in critical performance measures that include cost, quality, service, and speed (Harush, 2016). It is also known as a new model that includes some mechanisms to improve methods of operating organizations. It helps to improve the trainers' capabilities of competition. It builds new visions for the organization that help propose and implement a new series of strategies (Ben, 2016). The current research is defined as redesigning the administrative processes of the university to achieve a radical change in performance. It includes quality, service, and speed. It is aimed at increasing the ability of the universities to respond to emergency crises. The re-engineering process starts according to two approaches. The first approach starts after the occurrence of the disaster, whereas the second approach starts before the crisis occurs. This is what PSAU and other Saudi universities have tried to establish.

All the universities around the world, including Saudi universities, are facing a severe crisis. It can be divided into two parts. The first part is administrative, and the second, academic. The difference between universities exists in how they confront the crisis and find administrative and academic ways to overcome it. The scientific methods of crisis management include planning, organizing, directing, follow-up, team formation, leadership, communication, information system, decision-making, and evaluation (Al-Yahya, 2006). Different studies were carried out to identify the crisis management level among those in charge of the educational process, such as department heads and officials. The results have shown the availability of crisis management elements with a medium degree. However, the studies have considered the simple crises that may be during the academic year, such as torrential rains, very high temperatures, or wars that may hinder the educational process and lead to the closure of schools and universities for some time (Ali, 2016; Zoubi, 2014). As for the Covid-19 crisis, the scale of its impact on human lives is altogether different. In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Naif Arab University for Security Sciences has established a Crisis Management Unit. It has utilized previous knowledge to specialize in multiple tasks. It collects data and information, links the unit with all modern means of communication, counts potential crises, develops safety measures to be applied, trains human cadres, prepares the necessary scenarios, and intensifies the role of devices information technology to raise awareness of the various risks and crises for their prevention (Al-Zavi, 2011; Rifai, 1998).

In 1919, the closure of schools and universities in 43 American cities for four weeks reduced the number of disease-ridden and deaths caused by the Spanish flu epidemic in the United States of America (Markel et al., 2007). In 2009, another type of influenza, the H1N1 flu, spread in many countries. The early closure of schools and universities reduced the number of infected students (Davis et al., 2015). However, the closure of schools and universities leads to the cessation of all administrative processes. The same happened during the Coronavirus pandemic as schools and universities remained closed during March 2020 in 73 countries. According to a UNESCO report issued on March 10, 2020, 56 countries announced general closure throughout the country, and 17 countries announced partial closure. It has deprived 421 million learners worldwide, whereas the partial closure has placed 577 million learners at risk of contracting the virus. So, it is required that school leaders have special skills to deal with crises both administratively and educationally. To reduce the adverse effects of the crisis, homeschooling was adopted with available technical means. It was not accepted at first, however, later, it provided educational and cognitive innovation (Al-Mikhlifi, 2020; Okell & Khaldi, 2016; Al-Sakarneh, 2013).

It is evident through the presentation of the theoretical side and related studies that Saudi Arabia has not been interested in pre-planning to confront emergency crises. Therefore, it is necessary to establish a unit for crisis management to deal with crises and prepare in advance for what may happen, considering constant communication with civil society institutions.

Analytical Procedure

The study used the descriptive-analytical method to analyze data. It relies on descriptive statistics (frequencies, ratios, means, and standard deviations). The Alpha Cronbach coefficient was used to measure the statistical stability of the questionnaire and chi-square test for suitable alignment. The research population consists of (335) individuals including all administrative officials (directors of administrative units), and academic leaders (deans, college agents, and heads of departments). The research sample consists of (72) individuals from the whole community of the study. Table 1 shows the sample of the study in detail.

Table 1 Frequencies and Percentages of Demographic Variables
Variable Respondent Frequencies Percentage
Administrative career Dean 8 11.1
College Agent 16 22.2
Head of the Department 32 44.4
Director of the Department 16 22.2
Administrative Less than 5 years 24 33.3
  From 5 to less than 10 32 44.4
experience From 10 to less than 15 8 11.1
  From 15 and more 8 11.1
Total 72 100%

A questionnaire, consisting of two main parts, was used for data collection. The first part was comprised of demographic data and the second was divided into four domains: the crisis management reality (Covid-19 as a model), crisis management during its occurrence (information, communication, and decision-making), after crises, and the obstacles that PSAU confronted to manage administrative operations during Coronavirus (Covid-19). Table 2 demonstrates the statistical stability of the questionnaire.

Table 2 The Statistical Stability Coefficients, According to the Alpha Cronbach Method
Domains No. of items Alpha Cronbach
First domain 20 0.98
Second domain 21 0.98
Third domain 13 0.96
Fourth domain 36 0.96
Whole questionnaire (general reliability)   0.97

It is evident from Table 2 that all the reliability coefficients for all domains and the whole questionnaire range between 0.96 to 0.98. It indicates the remarkable stability of the questionnaire to best achieve the research objectives. Statistical methods have been used to analyze the collected data through the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS Version 25). The lower and upper limits of the cell length are shown in Table 3.

Table 3 Cell Length to Express the Mean of the Items
Agreement level Cell length Decoding
Very high 1.00-1.79 1
High 1.80-2.59 2
Medium 2.60-3.39 3
Weak 3.40-4.19 4
Very weak 4.20-5.00 5

Results and Discussion

This section contains the description of the main findings. It also interprets the findings of the study. The first domain was the reality of crisis management at PSAU to face emergency crises (Covid-19 as a model). Table 4 shows the results for the first domain.

Table 4 Means and Standard Deviations for the First Domain
No. Items Means Standard Deviations Order Explanation
1 The university administration is preparing an integrated plan for crisis management. 2.11 1.379 1 High
2 There are clear procedures and instructions for dealing with crises. 2.22 1.324 4 High
3 All university employees are aware of the goal of the crisis management plans. 2.33 1.343 9 High
4 Warning tools and equipment are available to anticipate crises. 2.22 1.141 5 High
5 There are leaders at the university who are highly skilled at predicting crises. 2.11 1.236 2 High
6 The university is keen to prepare a training plan for its employees to deal with crises. 2.22 1.256 6 High
7 The university administration defines specific roles for university employees to deal with crises. 2.33 1.256 10 High
8 There is coordination between the university and civil society to manage crises. 2.22 1.256 7 High
9 Sufficient information is available for university leaders to predict future crises. 2.11 1.256 3 High
10 The university seeks for the initiative to collect correct and accurate information related to crises. 2.22 0.949 8 High
11 A historical record of past experiences is available that includes findings from past crises. 2.33 0.881 11 High
12 The university is interested in attending conferences and seminars on crisis management. 2.78 1.141 15 Medium
13 Adequate preparation is available to prevent crises from occurring or recurring. 2.67 0.822 14 Medium
14 University seeks the help of experts and specialists from outside the university when preparing a crisis management plan. 3 0.949 18 Medium
15 Setting regulations and systems for safety and risk prevention to be circulated to university employees. 2.56 1.174 13 High
16 The availability of material and human resources to deal with crises when these arise. 2.78 1.038 16 High
17 Continuous updating and development of databases according to new crises. 2.44 1.174 12 High
18 The university is working on the participation of its employees in preparing operational plans to face crises. 3.11 1.108 19 Medium
19 Civil society institutions provide the university with indicators to predict crises and prepare for facing these. 2.78 0.633 17 Medium
20 The university formulates possible scenarios before the occurrence of crises. 3.22 1.038 20 Medium
21 Mean of the whole first domain items. 2.56 1.26   High

As shown in Table 4, the mean for all the items of the first domain is 2.56 with a standard deviation of 1.26. It indicates a high degree of approval of this domain. It is found that the university has many steps and procedures in supporting the current reality that can be relied upon in facing crises. Item No. 1 comes in the first place with a mean of 2.11 and a standard deviation of 1.37 with a high degree of approval. It shows the requirement of including a complete and clear plan for crisis management to face crises. The frequency of distribution for the first domain is shown in Table 5.

Table 5 The Frequency Distribution for the First Domain
Explanation     Approval Degree Domain
S. d Means Objected Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly Agree
Approval 1.26 2.56 8 8 16 24 16 Frequencies The reality of crisis management
11.1 11.1 22.2 33.3 22.2 Percentages

Table 5 shows that 55.5% of the research sample agrees with a very high degree. It indicates that the reality of crisis management at PSAU is possible. Furthermore, this result is verified by the Chi-square test. Table 6 shows the results.

Table 6 Chi-Square Test for the First Domain
First Domain Chi-square Value Freedom Degree P-value
The reality of crisis management at Prince Sattam bin Abdulaziz University. 12.44 4 0.014

It is evident from Table 6 that the level of significance (0.014) is more than 1%. It indicates that the research sample individuals believe that the reality of crisis management at PSAU to face emergency crises (Covid-19 as a model) is possible to a high degree.

The second domain was managing crises while they are occurring (information, communication, and decision-making). Table 7 shows the results for the second domain.

Table 7 Means and the Standard Deviations for the Second Domain
No. Items Means Standard Deviations Order Explanation
1 There is a specialized department to collect information about the university for use in crisis management. 2.67 1.256 20 Medium
2 Qualified personnel are available to handle the information to manage the crisis. 2.33 1.163 8 High
3 The information is updated continuously to help manage the crisis. 2.56 1.266 14 High
4 Information can be obtained easily. 2.56 1.073 15 High
5 All data and information related to the crisis are analyzed. 2.56 1.073 16 High
6 Communication exists between the information gathering team and decision-makers. 2.56 1.073 17 High
7 Crisis management team members are given confidence in their work during a crisis. 2.11 0.881 3 High
8 Crisis information is clear and transparent. 2.63 1.228 19 Medium
9 The university has rapid contact systems to help manage crises. 2.11 0.742 4 High
10 The university administration takes steps of scientific thinking when making decisions to face crises. 2.44 1.174 12 High
11 The crises faced by the university shall be controlled and prevented from spreading within an appropriate period. 2.33 1.256 9 High
12 The causes of crises are studied internally and externally so that these do not affect again if they occur. 2 1.236 2 High
13 Crisis team members are distinguished by the competency and skills to face crises as they arise. 0.781 1.266 1 Very High
14 Information and communications are confidential during crises. 2.56 0.963 18 High
15 The university employs are qualified personnel to deal with communications devices in times of crisis. 2.44 1.205 13 High
16 Communication between different university departments increases in times of crises. 2.89 1.001 21 Medium
17 Various media are used to reach the correct information to prevent the spread of rumors about the crises. 2.11 1.001 5 High
18 The university administration determines an official spokesperson during the crisis. 2.33 1.061 10 High
19 The university administration consults with all parties involved in the crisis to take the appropriate decision. 2.11 1.001 6 High
20 The university makes its decisions about the crisis after an analysis of the information. 2.33 1.061 11 High
21 The needs of university employees are taken into consideration when making decisions related to the crisis. 2.22 0.923 7 High

It is evident from Table 7 that the mean for all the items of the second domain is 2.11 with a standard deviation of 0.74, which indicates the high degree of approval of the research sample on this domain. It is concluded that the research sample individuals believe that the university provides the necessary information to face crises when they occur. It tries to overcome administrative problems on an ongoing basis through continuous communication methods. The frequency of distribution of the second domain is shown in Table 8.

Table 8 Frequency Distribution for the Second Domain
Item Approval Degree Means St. dv Explanation
Strongly agree Agree Neutral Disagree Objected
Managing crises while these are occurring. Frequencies 16 32 16 0 0 2.11 0.74 Approval
Percentage 22.2 44.4 33.3 0 0

As shown in Table 8, 66.6% of the research sample is agreed that the university provides the necessary information to face crises during their occurrence. Furthermore, Chi-square is calculated to verify the results shown in Table 9.

Table 9 Chi-Square Test Results for the Second Domain
Second domain Chi-square value Freedom degree P-value
Managing crises while they are occurring (information, communication, and decision-making). 5.33 2 0.7

It is shown in Table 9 that the level of significance of 0.07 is more significant than 5%. It indicates that the members of the research sample believe that the university overcomes administrative problems.

The third domain was after crises. Table 10 shows the results for the third domain.

Table 10 The Means and the Standard Deviations for the Third Domain
No. Items Means Standard deviations Order Explanations
1 All information about the crisis is organized and arranged for reference when needed. 2.33 1.061 2 High
2 The university fully treats the causes of crises, ensuring that they will rarely occur in the future. 2.44 1.073 5 High
3 Work continues as expected after the crisis has passed. 2.67 1.163 10 High
4 The damage caused by the crises is evaluated. 2.56 0.963 6 High
5 Appropriate mechanisms are available to work after a crisis. 2.11 0.742 1 High
6 The effects resulting from facing the crisis are removed, and the situation will be restored to what it was before the crisis. 2.38 0.864 4 High
7 Leaders undertake crisis management with a high degree of professional competence to benefit from previous crisis experiences. 2.56 1.266 7 High
8 The university evaluates previous crisis management plans and programs intending to develop and improve these. 2.56 1.073 8 High
9 Provide recommendations and suggestions for taking advantage of the negatives and positives. 2.89 1.001 12 Medium
10 The university benefits from other universities in methods of dealing with crises. 2.56 0.837 9 High
11 The university provides an opportunity for its employees to improve their performance in dealing with future crises. 2.75 0.836 11 Medium
12 Buildings, facilities, and fixtures are evaluated for safety after a crisis. 2.33 0.822 3
13 The university provides incentives for workers to come up with new ideas that help manage crises. 2.89 0.742 13 High
14 The mean of the whole items. 2.56 0.96   Medium

As illustrated in Table 10, the mean for all the statements of the third domain is 2.56 with a standard deviation of 0.96 indicating a high approval degree of the research sample on this domain. It reflects the possibility of avoiding the effects resulting from the crises and evading their recurrence again. The frequency distribution for the third domain is shown in Table 11.

Table 11 Frequency Distribution for the Third Domain
Item Approval Degree Explanation
Strongly agree Agree Neutral Disagree Objected Means St. dv
What is after crises Frequencies 8 32 16 16 0    
Percentage 11.1 44.4 22.2 22.2 0 2.56 1.26 Approval

As shown in Table 11, 55.5% of the research sample agrees with a high degree with the procedures that the university takes after the occurrence of crises.

The fourth domain was the obstacles that PSAU faced managing administrative operations during the Covid-19 crisis. The results are shown in Table 12.

Table 12 Means and the Standard Deviations for the Fourth Domain
No. Items Means St. dev. Order Explanation
1 The lack of a clear vision of transferring the administrative process during the crisis to electronic management. 2.78 1.141 32 Medium
2 Some university employees are not aware of the existence of a crisis. 2.33 0.671 20 High
3 Not forming crisis management teams. 2.89 1.205 34 Medium
4 The lack of clear administrative regulations based on electronic procedures instead of paper during exposure to the Coronavirus crisis. 2.89 1.205 35 Medium
5 The absence of specific crisis management agencies at the university level. 2.56 1.174 27 High
6 Centralization of decisions is needed for the management method during crises. 1.89 0.881 3 High
7 Slow management of decisions as the events of the Corona crisis progress. 2.5 1.333 26 High
8 Lack of alternative management plans during crises. 2.67 1.343 29 Medium
9 Lack of planning for administrative crises. 2.33 0.949 21 High
10 The weak conviction of some university employees in using electronic management in crises. 1.89 0.571 4 High
11 The insufficient skills of some university employees in employing technology in management during crises. 2 0.671 11 High
12 Lack of knowledge of methods of dealing with crises at the beginning of their occurrence. 1.89 0.571 5 High
13 Powers overlap during crises and the lack of exact powers. 2.56 1.266 28 High
14 The lack of specialized courses to train university employees to deal with electronic administrative systems. 2.22 1.038 17 High
15 Some university employees have complained about the problems of employing technology in management. 1.79 1.038 2 Very High
16 The limited use of university employees for electronic administrative systems in the standard work of the university. 2.33 1.256 22 Medium
17 Resistance to change from some university employees in the transition to electronic management in crises. 2.11 0.742 15 High
18 Lack of moral and material incentives for technically distinguished university employees. 1.89 0.742 6 High
19 Inadequate training and technical development for university employees. 2.22 0.923 18 High
20 The absence of a culture of dealing with electronic administrative systems among university employees. 1.89 0.571 7 High
21 Lack of solutions to the beneficiaries' problems when switching to electronic management. 1.89 0.742 8 High
22 Lack of evidence demonstrating risk management during crisis exposure. 2 0.671 12 High
23 Frequent communication and communication problems among university employees to organize administration in times of crisis. 1.67 0.475 1 Very high
24 Weak technical infrastructure in the university to ensure the stability of electronic administrative systems. 2.67 1.256 30 Medium
25 Weak technical support services are provided to university employees. 2.44 1.433 23 High
26 Lack of user manuals for the electronic management systems used in the department. 2.78 1.236 33 Medium
27 There are problems with the internet service and its stability that affect performance, especially during crises. 2 1.163 13 High
28 The lack of readiness of electronic management systems to deal with the crises. 2.44 1.433 24 High
29 Problems in transferring and exchanging information from the university to external agencies related to the crisis. 2.22 1.038 19 High
30 Insufficient qualification and necessary training for university employees in the field of crisis management. 2.11 1.205 16 High
31 The lack of sufficient powers granted to university authorities to deal effectively with crises. 1.89 0.742 9 High
32 The lack of technical capabilities for differentiation between various administrative alternatives. 1.89 0.571 10 High
33 The university is limited to some electronic administrative systems, with no alternatives during crises. 2 0.475 14 High
34 Weak privacy and security measures in electronic management systems. 3 1.343 36 Medium
35 Lack of cooperation with local community authorities regarding the procedures followed during exposure to crises. 2.67 1.256 31 Medium
36 Lack of dedicated crisis management units such as risk management or crisis management. 2.44 1.352 25 High
37 Mean of the whole fourth domain items. 2.11 0.742   Very high

Table 12 demonstrates that the mean score for all items of the fourth domain is 1.38 with a standard deviation of 0.53. It indicates a very high degree of approval of the research sample on this domain. It is concluded that the research sample individuals strongly support the presence of many obstacles that prevent the university from carrying out its duties towards crises. The frequency distribution for the fourth domain is shown in Table 13.

Table 13 Frequency Distribution for the Fourth Domain
Item Approval Degree Explanation
Strongly agree Agree Neutral Disagree Objected Means St. dv
The obstacles that faced Prince Sattam bin Abdulaziz University to manage administrative operations during the (Covid-19) crisis. Frequencies 16 32 16 0 0 2.11 0.74 Approval
Percentage 22.2 44.4 33.3 0 0

As determined in Table 13, 66.6% of the research sample agrees to a high degree that administrative and technical obstacles exist that prevent confronting and handling the crises at the university. This supports the aim of the current study emphasizing the necessity of relying on an independent unit to manage crises and overcome those obstacles.

A Proposed Vision for Establishing a Crisis Management Unit

The present study proposes to establish a crisis management unit at PSAU to re-engineer administrative processes to address emergency crises like the Covid-19 situation. It relies on a constructive approach to building that perception. This approach is defined as ‘an approach followed in creating and developing a new program or knowledge structure that was not previously known in the same way’ (Aga & Alaustaz, 2004). The proposed vision is to plan and be prepared to address the crisis faced by the university. It reduces educational losses resulting from mismanagement during an emergency or anticipated crisis. It further prepares leaders and qualified personnel in crisis management. It spreads knowledge and awareness of administrative crisis management and clarifies the application of crisis management strategy. It increases the efficiency of the administrative process during unusual times of environmental crises, epidemics, or other calamities. It studies the expected crises and prepares the plans, programs, and procedures necessary to confront them. It continues the evaluation of crises after their occurrence to avoid exposure to these in the future. It will achieve outstanding performance in managing administrative crises at PSAU. It will predict future crises, reducing losses resulting from crises, and raising the professionalism of those responsible for addressing crises.

The proposed plan was presented in its initial form to a group of referees to have their suggestions and opinions. Considering their observations and suggestions, some amendments were made. The final arrangement is shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1:The Schematic Diagram Of Unit Organizational Structure.

The findings show that PSAU needs several measures to deal with crises. It includes a complete and clear plan for crisis management to address catastrophes. The findings show that the reality of crisis management at the university to tackle emergency crises (Covid-19 as a model) is possible to a high degree. It is determined that the university provides the necessary information to face crises during their occurrence and tries to overcome administrative problems on an ongoing basis through continuous communication methods. It also reflects the possibility of avoiding the effects of such crises by evading their recurrence again. However, it has been determined that individuals from the research sample strongly support the presence of many obstacles that prevent the university from carrying out its duties towards crises. It has supported the necessity of relying on an independent unit to manage crises and overcome obstacles.

Conclusions and Recommendations

This study recommends the establishment of a crisis management unit in all education sectors dealing with administrative and educational crises. It is, further, suggested to pay attention to the continuous development of professional competencies in crisis management. It is important to initiate the role of social media in raising awareness of crises. There is a dire need to update the information and data and activate the electronic communication means to facilitate administrative work in crises.

References

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