Quality management factors and related performance measures in the cooperative extension system Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/8336h4329

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  • The purpose of this study was to identify the critical factors for effective quality management in the Cooperative Extension System (CES) and develop an instrument that measured quality management performance in selected CES organizations as a means of identifying organizational training needs. Three procedures were applied in this study. First, critical factors of quality management were identified through a literature review and verified by an expert panel. Second, performance measures defining each critical factor were generated from the literature, approved by an iterative panel and assigned to scales. Finally, an instrument was developed and administered to a test population for purposes of establishing reliability and validity of the scales. Seven critical factors were identified that contributed to effective organization-wide quality management in the CES: (a) Administrative Support for Quality, (b) Strategic Quality Planning, (c) Continuous Quality Improvement, (d) Strategic Human Resources Management, (e) Quality Information and Analysis, (f) Clientele Satisfaction, and (g) Quality in Education and Training. Performance measures characterizing quality management were operationally defined from the literature, and approved by the iterative panel. An instrument, comprised of 69 performance measures, was designed and administered to a test population of Extension professionals, achieving a 91% response rate. Five of the critical factors including: (a) Administrative Support for Quality, (b) Strategic Quality Planning, (c) Strategic Human Resources Management, (d) Clientele Satisfaction, and (e) Quality in Education and Training, and seven of their corresponding scales, showed evidence of reliability and validity. The critical factors of Quality Information and Analysis and Clientele Satisfaction each had a scale that were reliable, but construct validity was not evident. The critical factors of Strategic Human Resources Management, and Quality in Education and Training each had a scale that did not show evidence of empirical utility. All three scales within the critical factor of Continuous Quality Improvement did not show evidence of empirical utility. This study offers a promising model for subsequent theory building and for more systematic research in assessing organization-wide training needs preceding the introduction of quality management technology in the Cooperative Extension System.
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