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Article
Publication date: 2 January 2018

Maria J. Manatos, Maria J. Rosa and Cláudia S. Sarrico

The purpose of this paper is to empirically test the thesis that universities are developing their different quality management (QM) systems comprehensively and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to empirically test the thesis that universities are developing their different quality management (QM) systems comprehensively and integrating them in their broader management and governance systems, covering different processes, organisational levels and the principles of QM.

Design/methodology/approach

The empirical work is based on a country case study which embeds three paradigmatic university case studies. Data are obtained from institutional documents, as well as from individual and panel interviews. A content analysis using N-Vivo was undertaken.

Findings

Universities show signs of integrating QM in their overall management and governance framework. They develop their QM systems with a focus on teaching and learning, but they are increasingly trying to integrate their other processes. They seek to involve their different organisational levels, from the programme to the institutional level. Universities cover most QM principles, but show deficiencies regarding customer focus, mutually beneficial supplier relationships, involvement of people and process and system approach.

Research limitations/implications

The research shows the results of three paradigmatic cases regarding QM implementation, since these were the first to have their QM systems certified by the Agency for Assessment and Accreditation of Higher Education. In future work, it would be interesting to understand how other universities are developing their QM systems and whether implementation occurs in an integrated way.

Practical implications

The authors expect that the results will add to the discussion on the implementation of QM in universities, further contributing to the development of truly integrated approaches to QM in higher education.

Originality/value

The paper discusses the QM systems which are being developed and implemented in universities and analyses how integrated they are, as only those that are fully integrated will contribute to improve the overall quality of universities.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 35 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 13 March 2017

Maria J. Manatos, Cláudia S. Sarrico and Maria J. Rosa

The authors’ thesis statement is that the literature on quality management in higher education is evolving towards an idea of integration. Considering Part 1 of the…

Abstract

Purpose

The authors’ thesis statement is that the literature on quality management in higher education is evolving towards an idea of integration. Considering Part 1 of the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG) (ENQA, 2009) to be a framework for the implementation of quality management practices in universities, the purpose of this paper is to understand whether the ESG represent a truly integrated quality management model.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors analyse the content of the ESG taking into account three levels of analysis: the process level, the organisational level and the quality management principles level.

Findings

The analysis shows that the ESG are a quality management model, covering different processes, organisational levels and quality management principles. This is despite not being a truly integrated quality management model. Indeed, the ESG are mainly focussed on teaching and learning and on support processes, neglecting other processes of universities, such as research and scholarship and the third mission. In addition, they leave aside quality management principles more directly linked with a systemic and holistic approach to quality, such as the system approach principle.

Originality/value

The paper presents a new analysis of a much discussed quality management model for higher education. It explores the ESG in the light of the concept of integration, discussed according to a new framework of analysis. It also highlights the importance of a broader reflection on these standards and of their integration in the management systems of institutions.

Details

The TQM Journal, vol. 29 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2731

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 2 October 2017

Ana Rita Biscaia, Maria J. Rosa, Patrícia Moura e Sá and Cláudia S. Sarrico

The effects of customer satisfaction on loyalty have been widely discussed by the academic community. Although the results of the studies reported in the literature are…

Abstract

Purpose

The effects of customer satisfaction on loyalty have been widely discussed by the academic community. Although the results of the studies reported in the literature are often contradictory, the existence of a relationship between satisfaction and loyalty is acknowledged, despite the influence of moderators and constraints of various kinds. The purpose of this paper is to discuss this relationship in the specific context of the retail sector, since this sector presents major challenges in terms of competition, and efforts placed on customer satisfaction and loyalty are more evident.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey based on the European Customer Satisfaction Index (ECSI) model was applied to a retail store in Portugal. This model has its roots in Switzerland, where in 1989, Claes Fornell developed a new complementary method for measuring the overall quality of companies’ output, through the calculation of an aggregated customer satisfaction index. The proposed model is based on a set of causal relationships established between a set of constructs. The ultimate goal is to calculate both satisfaction and loyalty indexes as well as to estimate the relationship between both constructs. Structural equation modelling, based on a partial least squares (PLS) estimation methodology, is the statistical technique used to estimate the model parameters, as well as to compare the aggregated indexes. PLS is based on the principles of linear regression and combines multiple regression aspects with factor analysis, in order to estimate a series of interrelated relationships.

Findings

The results confirm a positive influence of satisfaction on customers’ loyalty to the retail store. The study also shows the importance of the image construct, due to its strong direct effects on satisfaction, which makes it essential for influencing the loyalty index, both directly and indirectly. The impact of the image construct is also evident on the expectations, as the latter has shown a considerable direct effect on perceived quality.

Research limitations/implications

The study is based on a single case study of a Portuguese sports retail store. In future it would be interesting to study a representative sample of the whole retail sector.

Practical implications

The study is useful for the specific retail store where it was undertaken to help it devise better customer service, in order to increase satisfaction and loyalty. It is also useful for the entire network of stores for that retailer and other retail chains.

Social implications

The systematic application of customer surveys to whole sectors of the economy would improve competition, customer service and, ultimately, contribute to development and economic growth.

Originality/value

The ECSI has been applied to various industry sectors in different countries, including Portugal. It has never been used in the context of the Portuguese retail sector and it adds to the discussion on the relationship between satisfaction and loyalty, which is a pertinent topic of interest for researchers in quality management.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 34 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 3 July 2017

Sónia Cardoso, Maria J. Rosa, Pedro Videira and Alberto Amaral

This paper aims to look at the characteristics of internal quality assurance (IQA) systems of higher education institutions to understand whether these systems tend to…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to look at the characteristics of internal quality assurance (IQA) systems of higher education institutions to understand whether these systems tend to reproduce a given model, externally defined and suggested to institutions, or rather to be shaped by institutions’ features and interests.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is supported in the analysis of the content of self-assessment reports of 12 internal QA systems certified, in Portugal, between 2012 and 2015. An analysis grid was used based on three categories: IQA systems’ historical framework, structural/managerial component and monitoring, assessment and continuous improvement.

Findings

Institutions tended to follow a “one size fits all” approach, meaning that external (European and national) quality assurance (QA) references were used in an identical way, giving origin to rather similar IQA systems. Institutional characteristics do not seem to have played a relevant role, eventually due to institutions’ will to obtain their systems’ certification and, thus, achieve a light-touch external QA.

Research limitations/implications

The study was based on the analysis of only certified IQA systems and relies on document analysis. It would be interesting to also include non-certified systems, in a comparative perspective, complemented with data deriving from interviews and/or questionnaires with some of the actors involved in the certification process.

Practical implications

The study provides an understanding of how IQA systems are being implemented in Portugal. Thus, it can be of interest to other institutions as well as to QA agencies.

Originality/value

The study addresses a topic still relatively absent from research on QA in higher education, being of interest for researchers in the field.

Details

Quality Assurance in Education, vol. 25 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0968-4883

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 9 March 2012

Cláudia S. Sarrico, Maria J. Rosa and Maria J. Manatos

The literature is very rich in its discussion on how to measure school performance, but there are still a number of gaps to investigate in relation to the determinants of…

Abstract

Purpose

The literature is very rich in its discussion on how to measure school performance, but there are still a number of gaps to investigate in relation to the determinants of that performance, especially at the level of school performance management practices. The purpose of the paper is to understand better performance management practices in schools and how they may relate to school achievement.

Design/methodology/approach

Frequently, the performance of schools is evaluated using solely output measures: especially exam classifications, but also progression rates, completion rates and wastage rates. Previously, a value‐added approach was used to quantitatively evaluate Portuguese secondary schools beyond output results. From the results of this exercise, a sample of schools with different levels of observed performance was chosen. In‐depth case studies of the sample of schools were undertaken to gather an understanding of their performance management practices, taking Bouckaert and Halligan's framework of analysis.

Findings

Self‐evaluation and performance management are not well developed in schools. Most schools monitor exam results, progression and completion rates. However, they do not seem to do it in a formal and systematic way, and find it difficult to understand the reasons for the results obtained. Incorporation of performance measures into performance management is incipient, and most acknowledge the difficulty of going from measurement of results to improvement actions. Few can demonstrate that improvement actions have resulted from self‐evaluation and very few evaluate improvement actions' results. There seems to be an agreement that the external evaluation of schools has prompted the development of self‐evaluation.

Originality/value

This is a study at the meso level of analysis of public sector performance, that of state education. The study contributes to a better understanding of performance management in Portuguese secondary schools. More generally, it investigates the usefulness of the Bouckaert and Halligan framework to assess progress in performance management and whether that will lead to progress in performance itself.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 61 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 4 April 2016

Cláudia S. Sarrico and Maria J. Rosa

The purpose of this paper is to introduce and discuss the concept of supply chain quality management (SCQM) in education. It then analyses a particular country case study…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to introduce and discuss the concept of supply chain quality management (SCQM) in education. It then analyses a particular country case study in light of the concept, presenting empirical evidence of the challenges and good practices relating to it.

Design/methodology/approach

The empirical work is based on a country case study which includes data on four higher education institutions and nine secondary schools. Data are obtained from national and institutional documents, as well as from individual and panel interviews. The authors have used content analysis for both data and interview transcripts.

Findings

The authors find that whereas we can think of education systems as supply chains, there are important challenges to SCQM in education, namely, regarding information sharing, trust, integration and leadership. Conversely, the authors have found some ad hoc good practice which could be developed into more systematic SCQM practice.

Research limitations/implications

The study covers only a single case study, and a part of the education supply chain.

Practical implications

The work could inform policy makers as well as institutional leaders on practices that would improve the performance of the education supply chain.

Social implications

Education is a very important activity sector with a strong impact on the well-being of societies. Gains in education performance resulting from better SCQM in education would thus impact us all.

Originality/value

The paper offers a novel way of looking at the education system through the lenses of SCQM; if implemented it could significantly improve the performance of education systems.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 33 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 30 October 2009

Cláudia S. Sarrico and Maria J. Rosa

This paper aims to discuss methods for measuring and comparing the performance of Portuguese schools, confronting metric and practice benchmarking exercises.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to discuss methods for measuring and comparing the performance of Portuguese schools, confronting metric and practice benchmarking exercises.

Design/methodology/approach

Data on the schools was collected within the context of a programme for school evaluation launched by the Ministry of Education in 2007. The paper first uses a non‐parametric technique, data envelopment analysis, to assess the sample of schools using the data collected, taking a value‐added approach. The results obtained are compared with the results obtained by the panels of evaluators within the national evaluation programme of schools.

Findings

The paper concludes that the performance of the schools under the metric benchmarking exercise does vary substantially. However, the results do not correlate with the judgements made by the panels of assessors regarding schools' results. This might be because assessors find it difficult to take a value‐added approach and instead assess schools mostly on output measures, such as exam classifications and graduation rates, having difficulty in taking into account pupils' socio‐economic background and other variables not under the control of the school.

Research limitations/implications

The paper focuses on the Portuguese context, and its findings might not be directly applicable to other contexts. Also, if other quantitative and qualitative methods were used, other results might have been obtained.

Practical implications

Although the study is focused on the Portuguese context, contributing towards a better understanding of Portuguese secondary school performance, it is believed it will be helpful to inform the debate on school evaluation, performance improvement and policy setting in other contexts.

Originality/value

The paper concludes by arguing for metric benchmarking exercises of the type proposed, to inform schools, evaluators and policy decision‐makers, in combination with practice benchmarking exercises, which are better suited for qualitative aspects of performance.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 58 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 28 September 2010

Cláudia S. Sarrico, Maria J. Rosa and Inês P. Coelho

The purpose of this paper is to measure and compare the performance of Portuguese secondary schools.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to measure and compare the performance of Portuguese secondary schools.

Design/methodology/approach

Some data on the schools were collected via an electronic questionnaire sent to 103 secondary schools of the centre region of Portugal; other needed data were available through the Centre Regional Education Authority. Of the 33 schools that participated in the study, there was complete data for 29. A non‐parametric technique, data envelopment analysis (DEA), was used to assess the sample of schools and the results obtained were compared with some preliminary results of a national evaluation programme of schools.

Findings

From the findings, the tentative conclusion is that most schools are following national education policy priorities relating to decreasing dropout rates and increasing completion rates. School performance does not seem to relate to geographic location, size of the school, typology of the school or rotation of its executive committee. The paper concludes by discussing the need for metric benchmarking exercises of the type proposed, to inform schools, evaluators and policy decision makers. Finally, the complementarities between metric and practice benchmarking exercises are argued for.

Research limitations/implications

The paper reports on an exploratory study, and thus it contains limitations which need to be overcome by further work. The sample used is small and self‐selected; the DEA models used are quite simple; also, it would be desirable to compare the results of the DEA, with parametric techniques that have been used to evaluate school performance.

Originality/value

The paper makes a contribution to the understanding of schools' performance management, in order to inform schools, evaluators and policy decision makers.

Details

Quality Assurance in Education, vol. 18 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0968-4883

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 19 January 2010

Nicoline Frølich, Evanthia Kalpazidou Schmidt and Maria J. Rosa

The purpose of this paper is to discuss how funding systems influence higher education institutions and their strategies and core tasks.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss how funding systems influence higher education institutions and their strategies and core tasks.

Design/methodology/approach

Taking the results of a comparative study between Denmark, Norway and Portugal as a point of departure, the paper identifies and analyses the main features of these state funding systems, their strengths and weaknesses, and their impact on academia.

Findings

The system‐level analysis offers an illustration of a trend across Europe. The paper shows that mixed funding models have been implemented in all three countries.

Originality/value

Funding systems and their impacts do not come in neat packages. The systems demonstrate a mixed pattern of strengths and weaknesses. The impacts of the funding systems converge, although different mechanisms are employed. There are no clear cut differences in the perceived strengths, weaknesses and impacts of the two main types of funding systems – input‐based funding and output‐based funding – presented and discussed in the paper.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 24 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 19 January 2010

Brian Roberts

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 24 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

1 – 10 of 324