In the early 2000s, technology innovation became a strategic choice for Saudi Arabia, supported by an increasing base of start-up technology businesses and young Saudis, who are considered a potential driving force for innovation and entrepreneurial activities. Since then, technological innovation encouraged more Saudi young people to become entrepreneurs or innovators. Thus, in mid 2000s, Saudi Arabia launched many initiatives related to innovation, science, and technology, such as the establishment of innovation centers and research parks, in an effort to support developing individuals who could potentially become future entrepreneurs. The purpose of this study was to identify the top leadership skills for running Saudi Arabian technology innovation centers and examine the key factors that affect the Saudi innovation environment. In addition, the SPELIT framework was used to identify the driving forces/factors affecting the Saudi Arabian innovation environment. This quantitative study used an online survey instrument to capture 78 responses from Saudi Arabian citizens. This study was limited by the shortage of available information and data about the Saudi Arabian technology innovation base. After collecting the data, the findings were analyzed and substantively discussed, leading the researcher to draw conclusions, highlight implications, and suggest a series of recommendations for policy, practitioners, and future research. The total male participation was more than female participation by almost 18%. The age mean was 34 and the majority of the respondents were highly educated. More than half of the respondents were either involved in the past or currently involved in innovation, with experience that ranged from less than 6 months to more than 5 years. About 60% of the respondents reported that they were either aware or completely aware of the concept of innovation centers. The study concluded that goal setting, self-confidence, and ability to motivate are the most needed leadership skills to lead an innovation center in Saudi Arabia. Additionally, it was found that young people; cooperation among the government, universities, and the private sector; and skilled human capital were the most three significant factors affecting the technology innovation environment in Saudi Arabia as perceived by respondents.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Organizational leadership; New business enterprises -- Saudi Arabia -- Management; Creative ability in technology -- Saudi Arabia; Research parks -- Saudi Arabia; Leadership

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Schmieder-Ramirez, June;