ASQ - Education Division

Soft Skills for TQM in Higher Education Standards

Abstract: The aim of this paper is to explore if higher education considers soft skills to be important for their business school students and if so which skills are needed. In total quality management it became clear that its hard side of measuring and data analysis can only be successful if it is replenished with the soft side, the people side. This has serious consequences for the education of professionals. Professionals, especially in higher education should be trained in soft skills, trained in managing themselves and their relations with others. In this study first a definition of soft skills is provided with a list of 20 examples out of the literature on this field. These are used to match with the standards for higher education programs from ABET, AACSB, EQUIS, AMBA, AUN and the Dublin descriptors. An analysis is made which of these skills are required in these accreditations and which are lacking.

Keywords: Total Quality Management - 21st Century Skills - Accreditation - Higher Education Brief

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