Perceptions of quality managers at Ontario colleges

Jarrell, Laura (2023) Perceptions of quality managers at Ontario colleges. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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A phenomenological research method, led by an “insider” researcher, was used to explore the perspectives of eight quality managers at Ontario colleges. Quality managers act as quality intermediaries by harmonizing internal and external requirements and stakeholder needs to shape quality assurance processes. As systems mature, there is a natural tension between accountability and improvement. While underrepresented in the literature, the experiences of quality managers are critical to inform the future of quality in post-secondary education, specifically related to leading and evaluating quality assurance processes and influencing quality. Reflexive thematic analysis of interviews and documents revealed a bidirectional relationship of influence between quality managers and the forces that exert influence on quality assurance, as well as four distinct themes. Quality managers frame and enable program quality as improvement-focused to secure buy-in and ensure the process is meaningful. Quality managers drive program change to legitimize quality assurance and ensure it has a positive impact on stakeholders. Quality managers cultivate a culture of quality by exerting influence beyond the scope of their role to connect and support institutional processes and strategies. Lastly, quality managers seek system change by supporting each other and looking for ways to exert collective influence at a system level.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 16178
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 135-148)
Keywords: quality assurance, post-secondary education, college, quality manager, compliance, improvement phenomenological, insider research
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: October 2023
Date Type: Submission
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Quality assurance--Ontario; Postsecondary education--Ontario; Universities and colleges--Ontario; Phenomenology--Research; Total quality management--Ontario

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