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An organizational learning model for vocational education in the context of TQM culture

M.Y. Lam (Vocational Training Council, Hong Kong)
Gary K.K. Poon (City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong)
K.S. Chin (City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong)

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management

ISSN: 0265-671X

Article publication date: 14 March 2008

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to try to establish a relationship between organizational learning capability (OLC) and TQM culture (TC) based on a case study of a leading vocational education institution of Hong Kong, and to develop an organizational learning transformation model for vocational education in the context of TQM culture.

Design/methodology/approach

The linkage between OLC and TC constructs is established and confirmed statistically by a structured questionnaire survey. Key TC constructs are then identified and prioritized using analytic hierarchy process (AHP) based interview, focus group, and ethnographic study to formulate an empirical TQM culture based OL transformation model for vocational education. Finally, the validity and effectiveness of the model is verified through an actual implementation case.

Findings

Strong positive correlation is found between the OLC and TC constructs, while shared vision, long‐term focus, and teacher involvement are identified to be the key TC constructs that can have significant impact on OLC in vocational education. It also confirms that rules orientation prohibits the creation of TQM culture, while innovative leadership does nurture its formation. An empirical TQM culture based OL transformation model for vocational education is formulated and subsequently tested through an implementation case. The result confirms that the model can effectively facilitate a transition of a traditional vocational education institution towards a learning organization for organizational excellence.

Originality/value

Although the evolutionary development and theory supports for TQM and Organizational Learning (OL) are distinct, they appear to have more in common than they have in distinctiveness. However, there is little synergy developed between these two fields so far both in academia and industry. The paper establishes a theoretically informed and statistically confirmed organizational learning transformation model for vocational education in the context of TQM culture.

Keywords

Citation

Lam, M.Y., Poon, G.K.K. and Chin, K.S. (2008), "An organizational learning model for vocational education in the context of TQM culture", International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, Vol. 25 No. 3, pp. 238-255. https://doi.org/10.1108/02656710810854269

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited