The case of Iringa University College – It pays to be an HPO!
By Andre de Waal and Bukaza Chachage
Purpose – In the past few decades, organizations all over the world have been searching for the elements that constitute continuous organizational success. Fuelled by bestsellers such as In Search of Excellence and Good to Great, managers have implemented many different improvement concepts, often with mixed results. The aim of this study is to identify whether the high-performance organisation (HPO) framework could help an African university to become one of the first high-performance educational organizations in Africa.
Design/methodology/approach – On the basis of a meta analysis into high performance and a subsequent worldwide survey, 35 characteristics of a HPO were identified. The resulting HPO framework was applied at Iringa University College (IUCo) in 2007, to identify the HPO status of the university and to determine the required improvement actions. In 2009, the HPO framework was again applied at the university, to evaluate progress.
Findings – In two years, IUCo not only improved its HPO status but also its financial and non-financial results. Therefore, the HPO framework can actively be used in Africa to improve the performance of African institutions.
Originality/value – The results of the study show that it is possible to identify factors that determine continuous organizational success in Africa, and that managers can be offered a framework that adds focus to improvement.
Keywords – HPO, High Performance Organization, Business performance, Universities, Organizational performance, Tanzania, Iringa, Iringa University College
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