Finster, Mark (1991, ASQC) University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
This paper shows how establishing partnerships with business and government and implementing the philosophy of TQ can be instrumental in improving the curriculum and educational methods in schools of business.
At the beginning of each semester, businesses from the public and private sector register their system problems with the University of Wisconsin School of Business. Participating managers from the business community, along with graduate students, enroll in TQ courses. They form teams and work together throughout the 15-week programs, learning how to apply theories and methodologies to improve their systems. The curriculum entails the core philosophy and methodology of TQ, process management, continuous improvement, customer focus, understanding variation, teamwork, scientific methods and experimentation, data-based decision making, system thinking and analysis, total employee involvement, and human resource development.
The advantages of this approach include: (1) There are no exams or ranking activities to interfere with the participants' joy of learning; (2) There is no gap between theory and practice because everyone learns how to apply theories and methods; (3) Graduate students gain from the experience of working with real problems. The main benefit of establishing the partnerships with business and government has been the decision by senior management at the University of Wisconsin to embrace the TQ philosophy and begin to transform itself.
Education,Government,Quality management (QM),Teams,Total Quality Management (TQM),Business partnerships