The experiences of senior managers in schools implementing the ISO900 quality management standard
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NO FULL TEXT AVAILABLE. Access is restricted indefinitely. ----- It is undeniable that quality has become a significant emphasis in all organizations. In 1979 the International Organization for Standards, a non-governmental organization made up of national standards organizations, formed Technical Committee (TC) 176 for the purpose of developing a worldwide standard for quality management. Their efforts produced the first of three editions in 1987 of a family of quality management standards labeled by the titles IS09000. Subsequent editions were published in 1994 and 2000. The IS09000 quality management standard is a model that provides a framework for any organization to establish a customer satisfaction oriented quality system that is internationally recognized and can be independently assessed and certified. This study explores the experience of senior managers in three Hong Kong schools that have implemented the IS09000 quality management standard. As only a few schools in Hong Kong successfully applied IS09000 quality management standard in their school management and operation, it is important to explore why and how these schools applied this standard and their assessment of its implementation and impact. The results of this study revealed that despite their different backgrounds, districts and governing bodies, the three schools studied shared many common factors that helped to implement the IS09000 standard in school setting successfully. These elements also matched with the findings from the previous research and literature review. The three schools indeed had substantial improvement in students’ achievement and school management after the IS09000 implementation, but they all reflected that it was difficult to prove whether there was a direct relationship between implementation of IS09000 and students’ achievement, simply because teaching and learning was a comprehensive and complicated concept which was not easy to define and classify clearly and explicitly in school operation. This study identified factors that contributed to the successful implementation of IS09000 in a school. These factors, along with issues that principals identified in the application of the IS09000 standard, are of potential interest to policy makers and school leaders interested in quality improvement in schools. The study concludes with a few recommendations for the practice of school leadership and three recommendations for further research.
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