Trust and Change: A case study of a University in the UAE Higher Education Sector

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
This paper examines how effective change is managed in Higher Education sector in the UAE and the effect of employee trust of management on the success of such change projects. The motivation behind this paper is the lack of previous studies, which examines change and trust in the UAE’s higher education sector. The qualitative research uses case studies of two change projects: Emiratisation and EGPRC, within a University in the UAE to collect data about trust in time of change. The research finds that when employees trust management, those individuals are 1. Less resistant to change, 2. More supportive of leadership and 3. Resource management is more efficient. However, the research draws attention to the reality that trust is also needed between people of all levels and different divisions in a University, to accomplish successful change. Further investigation reveals that level of trust is high when change projects encompass good communication, high employee involvement where motivation is high and innovation is encouraged, and where justice and career advancement opportunities exists. Based on the conducted analysis, this paper recommends keeping levels of trust high through the following actions: 1. Choosing the right project, 2. Creating strong leadership and management. 3. Improving internal processes, 4. Involving employees, 5. Promoting communication, transparency and openness, 6. Advocating creativity, autonomy and motivation, 7. Upholding justice, and 8. Providing training opportunities.  
University, higher education, United Arab Emirates (UAE), emiratisation