This paper uses a developmental perspective to characterise quality initiatives in the higher education systems of four countries: Australia, New Zealand, the UK, and North America. Each country demonstrates variety in its practices, as well as consistent patterns of environment, policy and institutional response. Survey data support a continuum of quality evolution from a low quality, low organisational learning environment toward organisational learning capabilities. The three stages of learning proposed by both Senge and McKay and Kember are also reflected in the study’s findings. Drawing on these findings, implications for managers are outlined focusing on areas of key organisational transformation such as leadership, culture and infrastructure.
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