The Saudi Arabian Higher Education Sector (SAHES) faces many challenges which constrain its capability of adaptation to change, including its success in appropriate development and implementation of IS projects. At the same time, the attention and resources devoted by the government to this sector demand success of technology and information systems to provide high quality services in all functions within the university. This study investigates top management support as a critical factor of IS implementation in SAHES, focusing on three specific systems (Student Tracking, HR and Financial). It explores the major role this factor plays in success, and investigates problems regarding this factor in IS implementation. A conceptual framework is developed combining the top management role with the ‘Seven Ss’ model to support the resolution of implementation problems in SAHES. Data were collected through the triangulation of interviews and questionnaires with twenty-five senior and middle managers within five universities. The data are analysed and presented based on the conceptual framework by using an interpretive approach and employing Miles and Huberman’s (1994) tactics. A conceptual framework of the top management role in IS implementation is developed which contributes to theory, and a model is suggested to be adopted in SAHES to overcome implementation problems in that area. The study concludes with identification of the weaknesses and strengths of IS implementation in the factor studied and clarification of the role of the conceptual framework in overcoming problems in top management support.