ERIC Number: ED364148
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Oct-31
The Strengths and Weaknesses of Total Quality Management in Higher Education.
This paper defines Total Quality Management (TQM), discusses its origins, and identifies its strengths and weaknesses as they apply to higher education. The paper defines TQM as a philosophy of organizations that defines quality and improves organizational performance and administrative systems. The system originated from statistical quality control methods developed during the World War II. W. Edward Deming then convinced the Japanese that an emphasis on quality would produce benefits in productivity. Deming provided 14 principles designed from making quality a strategic advantage. Strengths of TQM for American higher education include increased employee participation and morale; better use of resources as a result of process analysis; increased cooperation across departments; enhanced solutions to problems; a common language applicable through an institution; and reduction in isolation. Various sources report that TQM weaknesses include the time and effort needed to implement the approach; leadership failure to understand TQM; lack of institutional commitment; frustration with teamwork; and limited ability to deal with larger issues like budget cuts and the challenges of multiculturalism. The paper concludes that many colleges and universities are using TQM, and that if barriers are removed, it could well serve higher education. (Contains 11 references.) (JB)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A