Date of Award


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education

Dissertation Committee

Susan M. Zgliczynski, PhD; Edward Kujawa Jr., PhD; Jeffrey W. Glazer. EdD


evaluation, Leadership studies, organizational culture, System of Profound Knowledge, Total Quality Management


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the practice of Total Quality Management (TQM) in an organizational culture using Deming's System of Profound Knowledge (1993) as a construct that combines the philosophical and methodological dimensions of TQM. As with TeleServices Resources (TSR), the evaluative case study subject for this research, organizations worldwide have adopted TQM to establish a culture that would make them more capable of producing quality products and services. Many of these efforts never realized their potential. My premise for this study is that the potential of their efforts are not fully realized, because organizations do not have the perspective or framework to evaluate their own progress. This research combined the four dimensions of the System of Profound Knowledge with the Fourth Generation Evaluation (Guba & Lincoln, 1989) methodology, a process of constructive inquiry, to evaluate the inculcation of TQM at TSR. The four dimensions of the System of Profound Knowledge served as a template to guide the data collection and analysis process: Appreciation for a System, Knowledge about Variation, Theory of Knowledge, Psychology. Three data sources were triangulated to describe the current state relative to each dimension: employee interviews, document review, evaluator observations. These constructed realities were acknowledged and negotiated for understanding, revision and consensus among and between a cross section of representatives from each of three levels: executive management, middle management, agents and supervisors. The conclusions in bridging TQM theory to practice in this case study evaluation reflected that, although significant quality initiatives had been put into place with some measured results, TSR had not optimized the potential of TQM to fully inculcate the qualitative ideas and quantitative methods as represented in the four dimensions of the System of Profound Knowledge. The recommendations provided additional thoughts and strategies to continue to derive TQM's potential by encouraging TSR to not abandon their investment, to follow through on their efforts to date and to reaffirm TQM as a viable corporate initiative in accomplishing strategic objectives. This work provided an evaluative framework for organizations and future researchers to reflect and to build on TQM's potential to establish an organizational culture that optimizes resources and fosters collaboration among stakeholders in the creation of quality products and services.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access