Balancing the Moods: Quality Managers’ Perceptions and Actions Against Resistance

Quality management (QM) in teaching and learning is a result but also a cause of organizational change in higher education institutions. Hence, quality managers are confronted with different responses from academia (e.g., resistance) to institutional processes caused by QM in teaching and learning. The following article investigates how and with which actions quality managers respond to academics’ resistance. For this purpose, we use a theoretical framework suggested by Oliver (Acad Manag Rev 16(1):145–179, 1991), who distinguishes between different strategies and tactics. Our research focuses particularly on the strategy of compromising, which seems to be dominant and constitutive for quality managers as members of an emerging higher education profession. Our empirical results show that quality managers take different actions that are related to tactics like balancing, pacifying and bargaining.

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Acknowledgements

We are grateful to Isabell Steinhardt and Christian Schneijderberg for their comments on an earlier version of this article. Furthermore, we want to thank our two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments.

Funding

This work originates from the research project WiQu—impact research on quality assurance of teaching and learning—procedural, structural and personnel causes of quality assurance departments’ impact. It was supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung) [Grant Number 49 01PY13003A/B].

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Correspondence to Markus Seyfried.

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Reith, F., Seyfried, M. Balancing the Moods: Quality Managers’ Perceptions and Actions Against Resistance. High Educ Policy 32, 71–91 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41307-018-0124-6

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Keywords

  • higher education
  • quality management
  • institutional processes
  • resistance
  • balancing