IJQRM The Baldrige Education Criteria For Performance .

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The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available atwww.emeraldinsight.com/0265-671X.htmIJQRM23,9The Baldrige Education Criteriafor Performance ExcellenceFramework1118Empirical test and validationReceived March 2005Revised August 2005Masood Abdulla Badri and Hassan SelimDepartment of Business Administration, College of Business & Economics,United Arab Emirates University, Al Ain, United Arab EmiratesKhaled Alshare and Elizabeth E. GrandonAccounting & Computer Information System Department,Emporia State University, Emporia, Kansas, USA, andHassan Younis and Mohammed AbdullaDepartment of Business Administration, College of Business & Economics,United Arab Emirates University, Al Ain, United Arab EmiratesAbstractInternational Journal of Quality &Reliability ManagementVol. 23 No. 9, 2006pp. 1118-1157q Emerald Group Publishing Limited0265-671XDOI 10.1108/02656710610704249Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to empirically test the causal relationships in the MalcolmBaldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA) Education Performance Excellence Criteria.Design/methodology/approach – Using a sample of 220 respondents from 15 United ArabEmirates (UAE) universities and colleges, results of regression analysis and confirmatory structuralequation modeling show that all of the hypothesized causal relationships in the Baldrige model arestatistically significant.Findings – A comprehensive “measurement model” grounded in the Baldrige PerformanceExcellence in Education Criteria for the 33 items of measurement is developed, tested, and found tobe valid and reliable. Leadership is identified as a driver for all components in the Baldrige System,including measurement, analysis and knowledge management, strategic planning, faculty and stafffocus and process management. All Baldrige components (categories) are significantly linked withorganizational outcomes as represented by the two categories of organizational performance resultsand student, stakeholder and market focus. The paper also tests the statistical fit of the only Baldrigemodel dealing with higher education, which was published in 1998 by Winn and Cameron.Research limitations/implications – The data obtained are based on a sample of UAE highereducation institutions. Studies in other countries should be conducted using the developed model toensure the reliability of the results obtained.Practical implications – A greater understanding of the linkages between the elements making-upthe MBNQA Education Performance Excellence Criteria model, facilitating the guiding role that theaward models play in the implementation of quality management in higher education.Originality/value – For the first time, an instrument of the MBNQA Education PerformanceExcellence Criteria is developed and tested. A new in-depth and holistic perspective for examining therelationships and linkages in the MBNQA Education Performance Excellence Criteria model is provided.Keywords Baldrige Award, Quality awards, Higher education, Performance measures,United Arab EmiratesPaper type Research paper

IntroductionMany researchers, encouraged by case study success stories, have called for evidencefrom large-scale studies on the effectiveness of quality management programs, such asthe Baldrige Criteria (Meyer and Collier, 2001; Bigelow and Arndt, 1995, 2000; Motwaniet al., 1996; Gann and Restuccia, 1994). The MBNQA has evolved from a means ofrecognizing and promoting exemplary quality management practices to acomprehensive framework for world-class performance, widely used as a model forimprovement. As such, its underlying theoretical framework is of critical importance,since the relationships it portrays convey a message about the route to competitiveness(Flynn and Saladin, 2001). It becomes imperative that the relationship betweenconstructs be tested and validated. It is important because organizations allocatesubstantial resources toward improvement of their processes based on therelationships in the Baldrige framework.There are only a few studies that fully address Baldrige in the area of education.Evans (1997) initially discussed MBNQA and institutions of higher education byrelating it to learning and curriculum issues and identifying what higher educationshould be teaching based upon a survey of Baldrige Award winners. Using thefindings of Evans study as a baseline, Weinstein et al. (1998) identified an apparent gapbetween the Baldrige Award winners’ perceptions and the current practice in highereducation institutions. While developing a curriculum based upon Baldrige principleshas received noteworthy attention, what is not readily evident within the literature isthe actual application of the MBNQA concepts as part of the educational deliveryprocess. Belohlav et al. (2004) described how several faculty members in theDepartment of Management at DePaul University designed, developed, and deliveredcourse material using the MNBQA framework both as part of the structure and aspoint in their individual classes. They concluded that end-of-term student evaluationsindicated that the approach led to a higher level of student engagement in the learningprocess, as evidenced by more abundant and higher-quality feedback to theinstructors.Winn and Cameron (1998) examined the validity of the proposed relationshipsamong the MBNQA dimensions using data from higher education. They developed asurvey instrument of the processes, practices, and outcomes of quality at a largeMidwestern university in the USA. Through some psychometric tests, they indicatedthat the seven MBNQA dimensions are distinct constructs and are being measuredreliably by the questionnaire items. To assess the validity of the framework’sassumptions, three sets of regression analysis were conducted. The relationshipbetween the leadership dimension and each of the four system dimensions was strongand statistically significant. They concluded that the assumed relationship between anorganization’s leadership and each of the quality process was definitely supported.Using structural equations modeling, the same authors proceeded to perform statisticalanalysis of MBNQA framework as a whole. They presented an alternative frameworkof relationships that took into account the lack of direct effects on quality andoperational results from leadership, information and analysis, and strategic planningand the lack of direct effects on customer focus and satisfaction from leadership,information and analysis, and human resource development and management. Thealternative model evidenced some acceptable goodness-of-fit with the data.The BaldrigeEducationCriteria1119

IJQRM23,91120Figure 1.Baldrige EducationCriteria for PerformanceExcellence ModelWhile the Baldrige Award in education has captured the attention of decisionmakers, there has been little empirical research examining the usefulness of the awardcriteria to guide the actions of organizations that seek to improve performance(Goldstein and Schweikhart, 2002; Arif and Smiley, 2004). This research takes a steptoward providing senior leaders in educational organizations with a valid means ofmaking those decisions. The published Baldrige model (Education Criteria forPerformance Excellence) (NIST, 2004) is shown in Figure 1. The general MBNQAtheory that “Leadership drives the system which creates results” suggests that theperformance relationships are recursive (Meyer and Collier, 2001). When Baldrigequality experts defined the performance relationships among the seven categories,uncertain of the true direction of causation, they defaulted to the premise that allcategories are related and used two-headed arrows among all Baldrige categories.We seek to add to the growing body of support related to the validity of the generalBaldrige framework by examining it at the level of its theoretical constructs as itrelates to the education industry in an international context. By moving beyond thespecific criteria, we seek to examine the model in a larger context, as a theoreticalmodel for quality management in higher education. We tested if there was empiricalevidence that the relationships between the theoretical constructs held. To this end, weexamined individual relationships between categories and overall relationshipsbetween categories when they acted as an integrated system. We hypothesized that theseven Baldrige categories were related in a recursive causal model and that the sign ofeach path coefficient was positive. So, for example, Leadership’s direct effects in thecausal model were represented in two ways: first, as the leadership score increased, thescores of the other dimensions of strategic planning, faculty and staff focus, student,stakeholder, and market focus, and process management increased as well; and second,as the leadership score increased, the organizational results dimensions scores shouldalso increase. Leadership’s indirect effects were represented by increases in the

leadership score causing the organization results scores to increase throughleadership’s influence on the mediating dimensions in between. The award criteriawere studied to determine if the Baldrige theory of relationships among the sevenBaldrige categories were supported in UAE higher education institutions.The objectives of this study of Baldrige Education Criteria for PerformanceExcellence model were to:.develop a comprehensive measurement model, with associated constructs andscales, that accurately captured the content of the MBNQA-Education Criteriafor Performance Excellence;.address whether the seven Baldrige categories represented a good model forhigher education organizations (especially in the UAE); and.provide insight into the strength and direction of causation among the sevenBaldrige categories.The insights gained from these objectives should contribute to the qualitymanagement, performance measurement, and education literature. While the sevencategories and the associated structural (causal) model in the original and educationcriteria were similar, the specific measures addressed within each category (i.e. themeasurement model) were significantly different. For example, the original BaldrigeCriteria (NIST, 1995) most applicable to manufacturing defined the customer as thebuyer of goods and services; however, the Baldrige-Education Criteria for PerformanceExcellence (NIST, 2004) defined customers as the students, their families, communities,governments, and investors in students. Hence, the customer-driven measures used todevelop the scales and measurement model for the Baldrige Education Criteria forPerformance Excellence were different than the original Baldrige Criteria.The importance of the studyThe recent trends in decreasing financial support for educational institutions,increasing education costs, more local and global competition, changing students’expectations and backgrounds, and more engagement of students and communities incontinuous lifelong learning require higher education institutions to do more with less.Under such pressure, administrators of these institutions should be concerned aboutthe quality of their products. Thus, a solid theoretical model that helps them inmanaging the quality of education would be highly appreciated. Additionally, theimportance of this study relied on the fact that it attempted to test the model at thetheoretical constructs (items) rather than at the criteria level (dimensions), whichvalidates the model in a broader context as a theory of quality management. Moreover,no study, to the best of our knowledge, has utilized the Baldrige Educational Criteriafor Performance Excellence as a framework for studying quality management ineducational institutions; especially, in a non-Western country; instead, researchershave used the original (business) Baldrige criteria. Even though the MBNQAframework acknowledged that educational criteria were built on the same sevendimensions (categories) used for the business criteria, it did not assume that therequirements of all organizations were necessarily addressed in the same way (ECPE,2005). The Baldrige criteria for Education project is dedicated to improve educationalorganizations across the nation by providing leaders with resources for improvementthat will make a difference when implemented as designed. Moreover, as leadersThe BaldrigeEducationCriteria1121

IJQRM23,91122continue to improve their understanding about making meaningful changes in theirorganizations, the wealth of resources and tools available to everyone will alsoimprove.Review of literatureIn general, much of the published work on the quality aspects of higher education hasconcentrated on effective course delivery mechanisms and the quality of courses andteaching (Oldfield and Baron, 2000; Athiyaman, 1997; Bourner, 1998; Cheng and Tam,1997; McElwee and Redman, 1993; Palihawadana, 1996; Soutar and McNiel, 1996;Varey, 1993; Yorke, 1992). In particular, commentaries and case examples of qualityinitiatives appeared, but most authors focused on the applicability of quality principlesand tools to the education setting (Chaffee and Sherr, 1992; Seymour, 1993; Sherr andLozier, 1991; Cornesky et al., 1991; Marchese, 1993). More evidence has yet to beproduced to confirm the effectiveness of quality programs and processes on desiredorganizational outcomes in higher education (Winn and Cameron, 1998). Addressingthis dearth was a key objective of this research.The MBNQA framework and the European Foundation for QualityManagement (EFQM) model have become templates for most quality awards inmany countries (Mackerron et al., 2003). These frameworks are widely adopted byorganizations as a means of self-assessment to enhance performance. Theyrepresent an operational assessment tool for quality management practices. Asindicated by the large number of criteria guidelines that have been distributed,many organizations use these criteria to assess their organizational quality. Theapplicability and use

The Baldrige Education Criteria for Performance Excellence Framework Empirical test and validation Masood Abdulla Badri and Hassan Selim Department of Business Administration, College of Business .

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