Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)


Business Administration

First Advisor

Dr. James Thomas

Second Advisor

Dr. Maqsood Ahmed Sandhu

Third Advisor

Dr. Ibrahim Abdulla


The aim of this study is to assess the impact of strategic planning and management practices (SPM practices) on the performance of banks in the United Arab Emirates and the challenges they face in developing and implementing their strategic plans. Although banks in the UAE were able to recover smoothly after the 2008 financial crisis, they still face challenges due to globalization, low oil prices, and political instability in the region. The situation calls for efficient strategic planning and management by the authorities of the banks. This study, therefore, aims to contribute to improving the effectiveness of SPM practices within the banking sector in the UAE.

The study critically examines the UAE’s banking industry in the context of strategic planning and management practices with a focus on five key dimensions: 1) institutionalizing the planning process, 2) establishing the strategic foundation, 3) conducting strategic situational diagnosis, 4) developing a strategic plan and 5) managing the strategic plan implementation. Further, based on a critical review of the available empirical evidence, a conceptual model is developed to consider the five key dimensions, six financial ratios and one non-financial factor (customer satisfaction) and test the existing relationships between SPM practices and performance levels of banks in the country.

The research covered a population of 51 conventional and Islamic banks registered on the financial markets within the UAE. A sample of 17 banks provided information for the study and data were sourced from top, middle and lower level executives of these banks. The investigation used quantitative research methods and statistical techniques such as factor analysis, analysis of variance, among others, to process data and arrive at findings. The study findings reveal that Islamic banks performed better than conventional banks in terms of most areas of strategic planning and management practices. Detailed analyses and findings indicate that specific pattern variations and relationship structures are observable in terms of the five SPM components and their impact on the performance levels of both Islamic and conventional banks. Most importantly, the quantitative findings and qualitative inferences from the study lead to the conclusion that management in the banking industry has the responsibility of putting in place the strategies, frameworks and policies that respond proactively to the prevention, detection and mitigation of shocks on banks, particularly from their external business environment. To accomplish this, the senior management authorities in each of the banks should frequently review all areas of their SPM practices (institutionalizing the planning process, establishing the strategic foundation, conducting strategic situational diagnosis, developing a strategic plan and managing strategic plan implementation) and implement adequate revisions in each component to manage their organizations more efficiently and effectively.


Research Relevance and Potential Impact

The present research contributes to the literature by evaluating key components of SPM practices and identifying their impact on the performance of conventional and Islamic Banks in the UAE

It investigated and assessed the relevance of strategic planning and management on the performance of the UAE’s conventional and Islamic banks and examined any possible relationships between SPM and customer satisfaction. The outcomes of the present study reveal that strategic planning and management practices are prevalent in UAE banks and that these practices exert a significant impact on the financial performance of these banks. Non-financial performance in relation to customer satisfaction, however, was not impacted by SPM practices.

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