David H. Entin

Document Type

Occasional Paper

Publication Date

Spring 1992


Total Quality Management (TQM) is an important movement that has gained increasing interest and application in higher education over the past two years. Most literature on the subject has focused on initial successful implementation in a few model institutions. This study examines ten varied colleges and universities in the greater Boston area.

The key TQM advocates at the schools are primarily senior business affairs administrators and faculty leaders in the business administration/management departments. Consequently these are the primary units implementing total quality management. Primary skepticism and opposition is typically found on the academic side of the enterprise. Interest and training throughout the institution is found only when there is leadership and support by the institution's president. The article cites twenty-four examples of TQM application on these campuses.

The study found only one college where TQM is well institutionalized; its hold at the other nine institutions is more tenuous. The TQM advocates on each campus are strongly committed to the concept, though the definition of TQM varies considerably. The institutions that survive the current crises facing higher education may be those that successfully apply TQM.


Working Paper #11


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