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Total quality management – a model for tertiary education
Issue Date: 
Teaching and Learning, 17(1),35-44
Total Quality Management (TQM) is a management philosophy developed by W.E. Deming, based on his experiences in US industry before and during the Second World War. The subsequent adoption of TQM by Japanese industry, but not by the US, is widely credited for the former's miraculous post-war reconstruction and the current
massive trade imbalance between the two countries. In 1986, Deming published a book entitled Out of the Crisis, in which he summarised his ideas and exhorted US industry to adopt them as the Japanese
had done. Although intended for an industrial audience, his book was also read by educationalists, who attempted to apply his ideas in their own situation. Since then, a number of researchers, including Byrnes(1992), Bonstingl(1992) and Fields (1 994), have explored the concept of Total Quality Management in education. A recently founded journal, Quality Assurance in Education, is also devoted to this topic.
The aim of this article is to explain the TQM philosophy to the unfamiliar reader in as few words as possible. The explanation is based on Deming's famous "Fourteen Points," as discussed in his book Out of the Crisis. The following sections describe how TQM operates in the manufacturing industry, elaborate on how TQM may be applied
analogously in education, and deal with a few of the usual objections to the application of TQM in education.
Appears in Collections:Journal Articles - Teaching and Learning

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