Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award

December 1997


Many of the colleges in the North Carolina Community College System have embarked on a "quality" journey to continuously improve the educational programs and services that they provide to their communities. The primary focus of this study was to determine the level of Total Quality Management (TQM) principles implemented in selected North Carolina community colleges and to determine if there was a difference in the perception of its implementation between administrators and faculty. Additionally, this study examined the influence of the following variables on the implementation of TQM in selected North Carolina community colleges: personal factors (age, gender, ethnicity, and length of employment) and organizational factors (length of institutional involvement in TQM, institutional service area, institutional size, and institutional participation in the Carolina Quality Consortium). Furthermore, the study also gathered data about the positive and negative outcomes as a result of TQM/quality. Data for this study were obtained from a survey instrument that was based on the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award. The survey instrument was mailed to eight full-time administrators and eight full-time faculty members from 29 North Carolina community colleges. Twenty of the institutions belonged to the Carolina Quality Consortium. The remaining institutions represented a convenient sample of the 36 North Carolina community colleges that were not members of the Carolina Quality Consortium. Four hundred sixty-four surveys were mailed and 368 were returned. The overall percentage of survey return was 79.3. The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) was used for the analysis of data. An alpha level of.05 was used for all statistical tests. The major conclusions were: (1) there are different levels of TQM implementation among! the community colleges identified in this study, (2) there is a difference between the perception of TQM between administrators and faculty members, (3) the length of employment at the institution is a factor in the perception of the implementation of TQM, (4) age, gender, and ethnicity are not factors on the perceptions of the implementation of TQM, (5) the length of involvement in TQM, the service area, the size of the institution, and participation in the Carolina Quality Consortium are not factors on the overall quality ratings, (6) the positive outcomes perceived as having resulted from TQM/quality initiatives included improved communication, improved support systems, customer service, and increased involvement in planning and decision-making, and (7) the negative outcomes perceived as having resulted from TQM/quality were incongruence in philosophy and practice, too much time wasted, work overloads, and endless paperwork.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted