Employer Expectations of Bachelor-level Business Graduates in United Arab Emirates: A Delphi Study

Employer Expectations of Bachelor-level Business Graduates in United Arab Emirates: A Delphi Study

Author: 
Jean-Mari Hillebrand
Program of study: 
D.B.A.
Abstract: 
This Delphi Study was designed to explore job-knowledge and practitioner expertise needed by bachelor-level graduates in meeting employer expectations in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) health care industry. An initial supposition was that bachelor-level graduates were not meeting employer expectations because of insufficient jobknowledge, creating a need to align preparation of undergraduate business school graduates with workplace demands in management and finance. Process steps, based on Total Quality Management (TQM) Quality Function Deployment (QFD) House of Quality Principles, involved translating employer job-knowledge requirements into academic knowledge components useful to business school curriculum decision-makers. Combined levels of triangulation were employed to study expectations of UAE employers. Purposive sampling was applied to identify the participants. Data collection methods included 10 semi-structured in-depth interviews and two Responsive e-Delphi rounds. Data analysis involved translating employer job-knowledge requirements into academic knowledge components that contribute to curriculum development to improve learning process quality within UAE undergraduate schools of business. Findings indicated a need to provide students the opportunity to gain understanding and experience in applying theory to solve business problems within a work environment. Specific, accurate academic knowledge specifications embedded in the curriculum during curriculum design are recommended. Findings of this research may be useful to curriculum developers, curriculum revisers, and classroom instructors within UAE schools of business.
Dedication: 
This dissertation is dedicated to my husband Louis who stood by me throughout this doctoral journey. Your encouragement, patience, support, and constant reminders to remain committed and focused made it possible for me to complete this dissertation.
Acknowledgements: 
In appreciation, I would like to thank:  My Committee Chair Dr. Randall Thompson for his leadership, support, motivation, guidance, patience, and time invested throughout this journey.  My Committee members Dr. Bruce McEwan and Dr. Dennis Carlson for their continued support.  University of Phoenix DBA faculty members for adding value to my learning.  The UAE healthcare organization’s staff for their support.  Teachers and educators that have contributed to my learning during my studies.  My husband for his encouragement, emotional support, and understanding.  My mother and daughters for their understanding and support during this time.