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Ascribing meaning to quality cultures in the Portuguese context

Ascribing meaning to quality cultures in the Portuguese context Purpose – The purpose of this article is to discuss Portuguese academics’ views on quality assessment and the elements that are important for a better understanding of what ascribes meaning to “quality cultures” in Portuguese higher education. Design/methodology/approach – The discussion was based on the results of a survey run in 2010 among Portuguese academics on quality assessment objectives and purposes. Descriptive statistics was used to investigate academics’ support to what quality assessment was supposed to guarantee (its purposes) and which should be its objectives. Furthermore, a factorial analysis using Promax rotation (oblique) was performed to investigate if the different purposes could be grouped according to the different areas they address in terms of quality assessment, helping to uncover a rationale that could explain the answers obtained. Theoretically, the results have been analysed in the light of the “quality culture” concept. Findings – Perceptions of Portuguese academics that support internal processes of quality assurance correspond either to the responsive quality culture or the regenerative quality culture. The viable form of ideal cultures is analytically limited, and the perceptions gathered encourage “quality cultures” biased by stronger group control. Originality/value – The paper offers new insights into academics’ perceptions on quality assessment, a theme that so far has been relatively absent from higher education quality assurance studies. Furthermore, the results obtained could be useful to policymakers and quality assurance agencies when setting up evaluation and accreditation systems capable of balancing improvement associated with the group dimension and accountability coupled with the grid dimension. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Quality Assurance in Education Emerald Publishing

Ascribing meaning to quality cultures in the Portuguese context

Quality Assurance in Education , Volume 22 (3): 18 – Jul 1, 2014

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2014 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0968-4883
DOI
10.1108/QAE-05-2013-0020
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this article is to discuss Portuguese academics’ views on quality assessment and the elements that are important for a better understanding of what ascribes meaning to “quality cultures” in Portuguese higher education. Design/methodology/approach – The discussion was based on the results of a survey run in 2010 among Portuguese academics on quality assessment objectives and purposes. Descriptive statistics was used to investigate academics’ support to what quality assessment was supposed to guarantee (its purposes) and which should be its objectives. Furthermore, a factorial analysis using Promax rotation (oblique) was performed to investigate if the different purposes could be grouped according to the different areas they address in terms of quality assessment, helping to uncover a rationale that could explain the answers obtained. Theoretically, the results have been analysed in the light of the “quality culture” concept. Findings – Perceptions of Portuguese academics that support internal processes of quality assurance correspond either to the responsive quality culture or the regenerative quality culture. The viable form of ideal cultures is analytically limited, and the perceptions gathered encourage “quality cultures” biased by stronger group control. Originality/value – The paper offers new insights into academics’ perceptions on quality assessment, a theme that so far has been relatively absent from higher education quality assurance studies. Furthermore, the results obtained could be useful to policymakers and quality assurance agencies when setting up evaluation and accreditation systems capable of balancing improvement associated with the group dimension and accountability coupled with the grid dimension.

Journal

Quality Assurance in EducationEmerald Publishing

Published: Jul 1, 2014

Keywords: Quality culture; Quality management; Quality assurance; Quality systems; Quality assessment; Perception of Portuguese academics; Portuguese academia

References