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Customer-Supplier Analysis in Educational Change

Summary: [This abstract is based on the author's abstract. A longer abstract is available on the journal's website]

There has been dramatic growth in the use of quality management disciplines in all fields. Quality management professionals pay close attention to understanding customers and suppliers in complex disciplines or enterprises. In the area of education, planners of change efforts require a model to help them understand customer and supplier interactions so they can improve the success rate of educational reforms. Major resources are put toward educational reform efforts, so it is critical to determine whether the investments are likely to lead to successful implementations. To this end, researchers explored the definitions of customers and suppliers in education using a Delphi survey of two cohorts comprising education and business professionals. Results suggested the need for discussions of all stakeholders in education as both customers and suppliers. This contrasts with the business model of stakeholders serving either customer or supplier roles. The study results were used to create a systems model and rubric for the analysis of educational stakeholders in order to determine the likely relationships among customers and suppliers in any educational change effort. Problems and pitfalls involving improper customer-supplier identification were noted.

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  • Topics: Supplier Quality, Quality Management, Customer Satisfaction and Value, Total Quality Management
  • Keywords: Systems analysis,Suppliers,Stakeholders,Quality management (QM),Education,Customer focus,Total Quality Management (TQM)
  • Author: Biehl, Richard E.
  • Journal: Quality Management Journal