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Quality in higher education: The contribution of Edward Deming's principles

Richard Redmond (School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland)
Elizabeth Curtis (School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland)
Tom Noone (School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland)
Paul Keenan (School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland)

International Journal of Educational Management

ISSN: 0951-354X

Article publication date: 20 June 2008

Abstract

Purpose

There can be little doubt about the importance and relevance of quality for any service industry. One of the most influential contributors to service quality developments was W. Edwards Deming (1900‐1993). An important component of Deming's philosophy is reflected in his 14‐principles for transforming a service as they indicate what management needs to do to ensure that they and their employees are able to deliver good service quality. The purpose of this paper is first, to select and describe six of the 14 principles and their implications for organisational management; and second, to hightlight the relevance of these principles within higher education.

Design/methodology/approach

Six of Deming's principles for transforming organisational management and the application of these to management within the area of higher education are discussed. The selection of these six principles, for discussion is not that they are more important for quality, but because they are among the most important for management in higher education.

Findings

Deming's principle on teamwork is not only about problem solving and decision making but more fundamentally it is about breaking down organisational and professional barriers. This is necessary for creating opportunities for people to generate new insights and ideas for improving quality of the service provided by the organisation.

Orginality/value

This general review paper discusses six of Deming's principles seen as being important in managing education and considers that organisational management needs to embrace these particular principles if they are to be successful in pursuing their quality initiatives.

Keywords

Citation

Redmond, R., Curtis, E., Noone, T. and Keenan, P. (2008), "Quality in higher education: The contribution of Edward Deming's principles", International Journal of Educational Management, Vol. 22 No. 5, pp. 432-441. https://doi.org/10.1108/09513540810883168

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited