Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education-TOJDE July 2002 ISSN 1302-6488 Volume:3 Number:3

Total Quality Management in Education

Marmar Mukhopadhyay, 2001
National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration: New Delhi, hard cover, pp. 255

Reviewed by
Dr. Ramesh C. Sharma
Indira Gandhi National Open University, INDIA

With changing patterns of education delivery from face-to-face to online, course content, nature of learner, and organizational structures, the concept of quality has become an inherent component of the educational process for its success. Globally various bodies have been established to develop guidelines for quality products and services; and their maintenance. The globalization of education, migration of students from one community to other, one country to another, provides adequate causes for concerns to the educationists and administrators. Total Quality Management (TQM) in Education is a timely tool, which must be clearly understood, adopted and implemented as soon as possible. The book under review discusses various concepts, issues, processes, models and implementation strategies for TQM in educational settings. The book has consulted heavily the research conducted in the field by various researchers and scholars and thus gives an authentic touch to the quality movement in the schools.

Lets see what this book offers. The volume is organized under 12 chapters. Chapter 1st explains the basic issues of quality as such and various concerns of quality management related to its concept among the people and the techniques of quality management. The issues of absolute vs. relative quality, quality control to total quality management have been very well reviewed. Next chapter is on quality in education from both Indian and Western point of view. The author asserts that the quality of education is judged by the kind of humans it produces, and takes quality as a holistic concept. Chapter 3rd reveals the two hidden dimensions of TQM, 'total quality' and 'quality management'. Here the basic tenets of TQM have been minutely examined by expressing views of Deming, Crosby, Juran, Saylor, Yudof and Busch-Vishnian etc who did a pioneering work in establishing the significance of TQM. An explanation of Gurukala (Perceptor's family) system in the ancient India is a most suited example of quality management in education. The readers will find the discussion on the feasibility of adopting TQM in modern post-colonial Indian educational setting very useful and informative which cites work done by various scholars. This chapter concludes reporting status of TQM in Indian schools.

Systems approach in education occupies important place. Different components of a system and educational institution as a system have been examined in fourth chapter. Next chapter focuses on customer or client orientation towards TQM. There may be two kinds of clients when applying TQM in education, internal and external. Parents, employer, community, the state government, and the society at large constitute the external clients whereas teacher, non-academic staff, principal, manager and managing committee form the internal clients. Students in this concept occupy a unique position of belonging to both internal and external clients. The author goes on to explain certain input and process specifications for schools, built around client education and awareness.

Chapter 6th deals with assessment of institution. This chapter provides a wonderful reading experience in knowing about different parameters and tools of assessment. Various parameters as applicable to students, teachers, and parents have been discussed while highlighting factors as pointed out by Frazier, Boyer, Vanvught & Westerheijden and the equally excellent work done by Sallis. Cheng & Tam proposed seven models of education quality by contending conditions for model usefulness and indicators or key areas for quality-evaluation for these different models. After examining the work done by these scholars, the author developed a comprehensive model, called as Mukhopadhyay's Institutional Assessment System, which deals with both qualitative and quantitative methods of assessment. In this chapter, the section on tools for assessment shall be of special interest to the researchers on how to know the strengths and weaknesses of an institution. There are several tools which may be used like developed by Department of Education, Government of Maharastara (India); Johnston County Schools Total Quality in Education; and Mukhopadhyay Institutional Profile Questionnaire (MIPQ). The MIPQ has largely been used to seek teachers' view on their institution; it has also been used for the principals and non-academic staff. This questionnaire has identified eleven areas as indicators of quality like leadership, teacher quality, linkage and interface, students, co-curricular activities, teaching, office management, relationship, material resources, examination and job satisfaction; and has 110 items with 10 items on each of these areas. This chapter ends by discussing SWOT (Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) Analysis method's (developed in 1989 by the author of this present book) role in institutional assessment. Here the procedure of administration, sequence of activities in SWOT analysis and uses of assessment data has been very well explained.

The concept of participatory management and teamwork has been described in chapter 7th by taking relevant examples from the work done by scholars earlier in this area. The reader gets an understanding of the diverse roles of members in a team, how the teams can be formed, features of effective and in-effective teams, and how the teams make or mar an institution. Chapter 8th deals with leadership. The author has clarified various concepts of leadership like power and authority; leadership labels and styles, etc. Various characteristics of an effective leadership in a TQM institution are also nicely spelt out.

Next chapter focuses on data, information systems and decision making in the institution for continuous quality improvement. Various decision situations and processes like Top-down approach or informal discussions, Rational decision making provide a sound base for fundamental understanding to the reader. Different steps leading to creating the data, i.e., choice of tools, data collection, and data storage, analysis of data, data presentation etc are the necessary skills need to be developed in the school staff for effective decision-making.

'Understanding others' is the main theme of chapter 10th. This theme can be achieved by having clear cut picture on some commitment areas, performance areas and competency areas which have been beautifully explained by the author to know each individual teacher. He has also cited another model of 'can-do-will-do' for assessing the degree of competence and willingness in the individuals. This chapter concludes describing some approaches to HRD like induction, on-the-job-training, participating in training programmes, and participating in Open and Distance Education programmes, for effective Human Resources Development for TQM. The author then presents strategic planning for TQM in the next chapter. This chapter gives an understanding of different strategic plan models like Four Generic Strategies of Schooling (Murgatroyal and Morgan); and Four Level Strategic Planning (by Kaufman). On the basis of these models, the author worked out a strategic plan for adoption of TQM in Indian schools, comprising of seven steps: Belief, Vision, Mission, Goals; Learner Need Assessment and Client Education; Institutional Assessment and SWOT Analysis; Quality Policy and Intervention Plan; Cost of Quality; Planning for Implementation; and Evaluation and Feedback.

Finally the author has summed up various issues of quality management and taking strategic plans to their execution in the final chapter on 'Implementing Total Quality Management'. Here some of the parameters having direct relevance to implementation of TQM have been reviewed. The author has discussed various stages of adoption of innovation, categories of adopters (on the basis of their reactions and disposition), models of change, and factors on resistance to change. This chapter further suggests several ways in finalizing a plan or a road-map for implementing TQM in a school. The plans put forward by Crawford, Frazier, Yudof and Busch-Vishniac, and Chaffe and Tierney are worth reading. In the end the author sums up the process of TQM by explaining the following steps: prepare the ground; define the base line; set targets; plan for implementation; implement; and revise base line and take off.


The content of this work has been enriched by providing relevant table and figures on associated text at appropriate places. Additional information on various issues of TQM has been presented in boxes for extra knowledge of the reader. The Questionnaire and scales like Classroom Teaching Competence Scale, MIPQ, School Information Data Bank, Questionnaire for Principals, Students' Questionnaire, and Parents' Questionnaire are also provided as the appendices for ready reference and guidance to the researches.

I found this book very useful, informative, and timely and an essential guide for a total quality manager. It gives real insights into various facets of TQM in educational setting and goes on to suggest on how to achieve that.

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