Challenges of total quality management in higher education institutions

Al-Amri, Abdullah and Wong, T. C.; (2019) Challenges of total quality management in higher education institutions. In: Proceedings of the International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Operations ManagementBangkok, Thailand, March 5-7, 2019. IEOM Society International, THA, pp. 1200-1201. ISBN 978-1-5323-5948-4

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In today's competitive environment Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are facing many challenges and growing pressure from various stakeholders. To cope with this pressure, HEIs require a supportive managerial approach that fosters the understanding of stakeholders' needs and expectations. Total Quality Management (TQM) is considered as one of the most comprehensive approaches to enhance performance and to meet customer needs. While this approach is being successfully adopted in the manufacturing sector, the same cannot be achieved in many service organisations. HEIs operate in a unique environment with multiple stakeholders and subjective nature of managing TQM compared with the manufacturing industry and encounter more challenges due to their unique nature. Most of the existing studies focus on students and give less attention to staff. There is lack of research that that focus on staff views, thus more attention should be given to them due to their vital role as a mediator between the policymakers and students as well as their closeness to the encountered problems. Some of these problems might result from the nature of HEIs environment, and some might originate from existing perceptions regarding TQM applicability in HEIs. This research aims to contribute toward the identification of TQM challenges in HEIs from the staff perspective in order to gain a better understanding of TQM challenges. The study designed to collect qualitative data by conducting semi-structured interviews with staff from HEIs. The findings are expected to be an important step towards the identification of major TQM challenges in HEIs and to create better awareness regarding the potential obstacles as well as to call future research to move towards the second step of seeking and proposing a TQM-framework that facilitate successful TQM implementation.