ERIC Number: ED307438
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
An Evaluation of Quality Circles in Colleges of FE. Planning Staff Development No. 7.
Further Education Unit, London (England).
Quality circles can be defined as small groups of employees who meet regularly to solve problems and to find ways of improving aspects of their work. Quality circles are based on western ideas, but developed in Japan. Well-established guidelines for quality circles include support from management, clear reasons for the program, support of unions, an enthusiastic facilitator, voluntary participation, adequate training for members, administrative considerations, evaluation, pilot studies, and recognition of achievements. Quality circles have been used at two colleges in Great Britain: Accrington and Rossendale College and Barnfield College. The differing experiences at the two colleges illustrate how quality circles might be used as an approach to staff development as well as a way of solving problems. There are common themes: the need for a facilitator for each circle; the need for the support of management, especially middle management; and a need for participants to feel that their recommendations would be considered by management and appropriate action taken. In both cases, quality circles are perceived to have contributed to the development of problem-solving and other skills that are applicable in other settings, especially for team-based and group activities, such as occur in staff-development workshops. (KC)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Further Education Unit, London (England).
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (Great Britain)