Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award

August 1996


Total quality management (TQM) is a philosophy and process that has been successfully implemented in many business firms. Other organizations, including institutions of higher education, have become increasingly interested in adopting it. It is likely that facilitators need to be cognizant of organizational differences and adjust facilitation methods and strategies accordingly. This dissertation is an exploratory study designed to examine the role of the TQM facilitator in diverse settings. Specifically, the study is an in-depth two-case research study of TQM implementation in an international manufacturing firm and a regional institution of higher education. The primary foci of this dissertation are to (1) investigate differences in context and processes of each organization, (2) compare implementation events, (3) examine the facilitator's role at various stages of TQM implementation, and (4) identify barriers involved with TQM implementation in each organization. Conclusions of the study are that the facilitators' level of involvement in TQM implementation varied over time and at different stages of team development. Facilitators at the manufacturing firm used TQM tools and techniques more frequently than did facilitators in the academic setting. Lastly, outside facilitators had to adjust language, stories, and examples in the academic setting. They also relied heavily on an internal steering committee to plan agendas and assess the degree of acceptance by those involved in early stages of implementation.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted