Quality Management Strategies and Operational Performance of Selected Public Universities in Kenya
Tarus, Pamela Cherono
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Quality has become one of the key aspects that drive global firms. Customers are becoming more enlightened with products and services that they consume due to access of information. Quality concept is perceived from different perspectives by individual consumers. For organizations to remain relevant, improving the quality of their products and services is a key determinant of success. In order to keep up with the changing consumer needs and wants, public universities in Kenya need to adopt effective quality management strategies in order to enhance their operational performance. The aim of this study was to establish quality management strategies and operational performance in selected public universities in Kenya. The specific objectives of the study were; to establish the influence of employee training, continuous improvement and employee motivation and operational performance in selected public universities in Kenya. A descriptive research design was utilized in this study. Target population included 44 respondents selected from Quality Management Departments of the 5 well established Public Universities in Kenya which included; University of Nairobi, Masinde Muliro University, Moi University, Jomo Kenyatta University of Science and Technology and Maseno University. This study employed purposive sampling technique to select the representative sample. Purposive sampling method was considered because the respondents were selected by the researcher based on their knowledge and experience with regard to the problem under investigation. The unit of analysis were public universities and unit of observation were employees from quality management department of the five selected public universities in Kenya. Primary data was collected using structured questionnaires. Questionnaires were preferred because they provided the opportunity of keeping records of the information collected, freedom of giving information without interference from researchers and the opportunity of asking sensitive questions. Secondary data was obtained from quality audit reports, related articles and minutes. A review of published materials was conducted using content analysis and key themes were selected to make conclusions of the problem that was under investigation. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics such as means, percentages, standard deviations and inferential statistical. Quantitative data was analyzed using regression method to determine the statistical relations between variables at 95% confidence level and 5% significance level. The analyzed data was tabulated and presented using tables. The study established that there was a statistical relationship between employee training, continuous improvement and employee motivation on operational performance among selected public universities in Kenya. The study concludes that, for public universities operating in Kenya to gain competitive edge, investment in employee training, continuous improvement, research and development and employee motivation is mandatory. The study recommends that public universities in Kenya should always strive achieve stakeholder interests by focusing on developing the capacity of teaching and non-teaching staff through provision of scholarships, integrate their systems with technology such as financial systems, customer service systems and library service systems.