American University
thesesdissertations_2506_OBJ.pdf (6.52 MB)

Total Quality Management in higher education: Perceptions of the chief academic officer of the results of implementing TQM in their higher education institution

Download (6.52 MB)
posted on 2023-09-06, 03:01 authored by John Eric Courtney

Higher education institutions in the United States are facing major challenges. From 1980 to 1992, costs have increased at twice the rate of inflation. Government funding for public institutions has declined. Institutions are being forced to offer significantly more financial aid to attract students. Students, governments and businesses have increasingly questioning the quality and the value of higher education. These challenges have served as the impetus for considering Total Quality Management, TQM, in higher education. The results of TQM in higher education have been mixed. The lack of knowledge in how to implement TQM is a primary reason it has not lived up to its potential. This study gathered and analyzed data from higher education institutions which had implemented TQM as of April 1994 to better understand the relationship between the implementation approach (institution-wide vs. departmental) and the outcome of the TQM initiative. A mail survey was sent during the Fall of 1994 to the Chief Academic Officers of 242 higher education institutions. The results of the survey showed 41% of institutions (99) which responded used TQM. Of these institutions, 61% implemented TQM using an institution-wide approach while 39% used a departmental approach. Institutions which implemented TQM with an institution-wide approach reported significantly more benefits, less problems and dramatically higher levels of success as compared to institutions which used a departmental approach. This research adds significantly to the Literature on successfully implementing TQM in higher education. It informs on the current trends of TQM implementation in higher education and also reports on emerging patterns which will be helpful in guiding future policy and decision-making for institutions considering a TQM initiative.



American University




Ph.D. American University 1995.


Media type


Access statement

Part of thesis digitization project, awaiting processing.

Usage metrics

    Theses and Dissertations


    No categories selected


    Ref. manager