ERIC Number: ED362647
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Evaluating Quality Circles in a College of Further Education. Manchester Monographs 31.
Quality circles (QCs) are small volunteer groups of workers who meet weekly with a trained leader operating to a strict code of conduct. They use techniques of brainstorming, cause and effect classification, pareto analysis, and presentation to consider work-related problems and recommend solutions to management. QCs have been tried in educational institutions in North America. Two QC-related experiments in the United Kingdom have distinct differences from the pure model. Accrington and Rossendale College was suffering problems of low morale in a period of rapid change, when QCs offered an opportunity to develop participation. A research project introduced the program to staff at a series of meetings and canvassed their views. Following training of volunteers, four QCs formed among library, technician, administrative, and Business and Management Studies Department teaching staff. Problems considered included overdue library books, insurance, external appearance of the college, and storage space. An evaluation identified a particularly important benefit: the staff development opportunity for support staff. QCs proved valuable in avoiding rushed decision making. The techniques themselves were helpful in other settings. Problems were opposition from middle managers who discouraged staff attendance and opposition from lecturing staff who saw circles as one change too many. (Appendixes include 45 references and a case study of one QC's solution to a problem.) (YLB)
Descriptors: Adult Education, Colleges, Educational Change, Educational Research, Employer Employee Relationship, Foreign Countries, Participative Decision Making, Postsecondary Education, Program Development, Program Evaluation, Program Implementation, Quality Circles, Quality Control, Work Environment
Haigh & Hochland Ltd., Precinct Centre, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9QA, England, United Kingdom.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Manchester Univ. (England). Centre for Adult and Higher Education.
Identifiers: United Kingdom