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Title: An organizational learning model for Hong Kong vocational education in the context of TQM culture
Other Titles: Zai quan mian zhi liang guan li wen hua xia Xianggang zhi ye jiao yu zhi zu zhi xue xi mo shi
Authors: Lam, Man Yu (林文裕)
Department: Department of Manufacturing Engineering and Engineering Management
Degree: Doctor of Engineering
Issue Date: 2006
Publisher: City University of Hong Kong
Subjects: Organizational learning -- China -- Hong Kong
Vocational education -- China -- Hong Kong
Total quality management -- China -- Hong Kong
Notes: iv, x, 227 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm.
Thesis (Eng.D.)--City University of Hong Kong, 2006
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 178-208)
CityU Call Number: HD58.82.L28 2006
Type: Thesis
Abstract: Both the total quality management (TQM) and organizational learning (OL) appear to be promising approaches for organizational transformation towards a more effective, efficient, and responsive organization in the past. The evolutionary development and theory supports for these two fields are distinct but they seem to have more in common than they have in distinctiveness. However, there is little synergy developed so far between these two fields both in academic research and industrial applications. It is possibly due to the fact that both the academia and industry are taking a limiting polarized view of TQM and OL, and hence not getting the benefits of linking the two. Literatures suggest TQM and OL are inextricably linked although the exact linking mechanism is unknown. TQM is reckoned an enabler for OL. Many authors confirm that TQM culture (TC) is a critical factor for successful TQM implementation. TC is also reported to facilitate OL and learning organization (LO) creation. Besides, organizational characteristics can have substantial impacts on TC and/or OL. TQM and OL principles have begun to take root in the vocational education sector upon facing the rapid changes and great challenges in recent years. To take the advantages of the possible synergy developed through integrating TQM and OL, a more thorough understanding on the exact linking mechanism between the two fields is deemed necessary. There is also an imminent need for a proven OL transformation model for the local vocational education sector. This explains the rationales for the present research study. Upon a detailed examination and understanding on the linking mechanism between OL and TQM, this research aims to develop an OL transformation model for the vocational education sector of Hong Kong in the context of TQM culture. The present research is carried out at a leading vocational education organization in Hong Kong (referred as Organization throughout this research study). This research study reveals that there is a strong positive correlation between the organizational learning capability (OLC) and TQM culture (TC). This study finding supports other literatures that TQM can effectively serve as an enabler for organizational learning, or LO creation and development. Indeed the study finding reveals that TC is the crucial link between TQM and OL. It is also confirmed that shared vision, long term focus, and teacher involvement are the three key TQM culture constructs (TCCs) that can improve the OLC significantly in the vocational education (VE) sector. The importance of these three TCCs on OLC implies educational leadership, and commitment from top management and teachers are vital to OL and LO development in vocational education. Through an improvement in TC, the OLC can be greatly enhanced accordingly. Acquiring a strong OLC, organization can learn effectively and expand continuously their abilities to change and shape their futures. They can then be transformed to LO for organizational excellence in a natural way. Furthermore, this research also shows that rules orientation prohibits the creation of the necessary TC for OL, while innovative leadership does nurture its formation. Based on the above research findings, a TQM culture based OL transformation model is formulated to facilitate the transforming of a traditional vocational education institution (commonly rules orientation organization) towards a LO. The model is centered on the findings that TQM culture (TC) developed through successful TQM implementation can serve effectively as an enabler for OL, in which TC helps building a strong organizational learning capability that enables an organization be transformed successfully to a LO for organizational excellence. In addition, changing a traditional vocational education organization from rules orientation to innovative leadership can assist the development of the necessary TC for OL. The proposed TQM culture based OL transformation model has been subsequently verified for its applicability in the local vocational education sector through an implementation case. Under the framework of the OL transformation model, a pilot TQM culture change programme is initiated and implemented in the Organization for eight months. The results are quite positive and very encouraging, and it is found that the organizational learning capability (OLC) of the Organization is improved considerably upon the completion of the implementation case indicating that the proposed TQM culture based OL transformation model is an effective and practical solution for the local vocational education sector on LO creation and development.
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