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Evaluating the EFQM Excellence Model for Higher Education in a global learning society by John Hirst


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Title: Evaluating the EFQM Excellence Model for Higher Education in a global learning society by John Hirst

Evaluating the EFQM Excellence Model for Higher
Education in a global learning society byJohn
Hirst University of Durham
  • As we have come to recognise the limitations on
    rational calculation, planning and forecasting as
    bases for intelligence in organisations, interest
    in the potential for organisational learning has
    increased (James March)

Focus on whats important !
  • People in elite universities have to become the
    intellectual epicentre of society, not just
    maintaining the tradition of research teaching
    but always asking what impact their institution
    is having on the world
  • (Sexton)
  • It is less important to measure specific
    outcomes than to assess how learning processes
    and events are integrated
  • (Harrison)
  • People who are transforming education today are
    doing it by building consensus around a common
    set of principles, values and priorities and
    debunking the high degree of specialisation,
    departmentalisation and partisan politics (Covey)

EFQM Fundamental Concepts
  • Focus on achievement of purpose
  • Centrality of the student experience (meeting
    basic higher needs)
  • Leadership sustainability
  • Governance (coherence, integration evaluation)
  • People effectiveness
  • (rather than efficiency)
  • Management - open, creative, trusting, learning
  • Constructive relationships partnerships
  • Relevance responsibilities to society

Why do we need a model?
  • Some people are never convinced by related
    experiences. They see only disconnected
  • (OConnor Seymour Introducing NLP)

Symptoms of failure
Bureaucratic management Top-down control Ineffecti
ve decision- making Poor communications
Blaming and undervaluing
Demoralised people
Declining reputation, financial security,
quality of applicants, academic standards
Inaccessible leadership Lack of trust openness
Remote from its students
Conflict inconsistency
Detached from needs of society
Underfunding resourcing
Defensive and self-destructive
Symptoms of success
Effective management Integrated
processes Effective decision- making Good
Affirmation empowerment
Fulfilled people
Increasing reputation, financial security,
quality of applicants, academic standards
Accessible leadership Trust Openness
In harmony with its students
Coherence consistency
Relevant to the needs of society
Investment in resources
Creative and constructive
Indicators of a successful department
  • clear vision leadership
  • staff signed up to dept. strategy
  • viable size
  • appraises own performance
  • good feedback from students
  • has an improvement action plan
  • implements action plans and encourages student
  • has developed appropriate external relationships
  • benchmarks against best in field
  • excellent in both teaching learning
  • performed well in RAE
  • commands confidence in the University
  • exceeds student expectations

The EFQM Excellence Model
Enablers (causes)
Results (effects)
People Results
Key Performance Results
Customer Results
Policy Strategy
Society Results
Resources Partnerships
Innovation and Learning
The EFQMExcellenceModel
  • The Excellence Model represents a dynamic systems
    process that will take time to master
    discovering how to get the best out of it only
    comes with experience and a determination to make
    it succeed.
  • It is futile to try to use the Excellence Model
    in an inappropriate context. It will only work to
    advantage in a culture conducive to complex
    learning in which people openly trust one
    another, share a common vision, and are supported
    even when they make mistakes. A bureaucratic,
    authoritarian culture in which distrust,
    hypocrisy, blame and defensive behaviour abound
    predetermines a negative outcome, especially if
    the Model is used to impose control and
  • The Excellence Model can switch-on and train
    the subconscious mind to think systemically. The
    subconscious mind has far greater capacity than
    the conscious mind to make sense of and optimise
    complex interactions and opportunities. The Model
    provides a framework for the development of
    subconscious competence which becomes
    increasingly spontaneous, adept and agile.

  • distrust quantitative analysis statistics can
    be made to prove anything
  • sceptical about any framework that claims to
    reveal the truth target for deconstruction
  • feel threatened by emphasis on leadership
  • prefer going through the motions of compliance
    to honest self-assessment
  • managerial language is offensive
  • consumerises staff-student interactions
  • good management is that which leaves (me) well
  • allegiance to discipline or college - no love
    lost for the institution as a whole
  • Deans are responsible for strategic planning not
  • based on utilitarian/universalist thinking aimed
    at uniformity and control (i.e. someone else
    telling me how to live my life)
  • suspicion that its a set-up

Whatdoes EFQM offer ?
  • a way of managing devolved decentralised
    structures Univ. of Wisconsin breaks down
    barriers and defensive routines
  • an organic approach promoting propagation of
    pockets of excellence and pruning dead
  • focuses on whats important starts with final
    ends, assesses impact of decisions, keeps track
    of progress
  • encourages people to listen to and trust others
    challenges hierarchy and management by dictat and
    committee assurance is internal to the system
    avoids machine-age obsession with need to
  • improves communication shared understanding and
    quality of decisions based on authentic feed-back
  • encourages people to be pro-active in developing
    customised just-for-you innovative solutions
    not reactive to uniform, conservative, imposed
  • involves people and values their individual
    collective contributions
  • focuses on leadership not managerialism

4 Steps To Excellence
Develop implement strategic plans reflecting
goal deployment of common purposes through
process framework and improvement plans
Communicate achievement of purpose plans
promoting stake-holder commitment, reputation
Collect evidence to show how the organisation is
working together and how effectively it is
achieving its purposes and learning from
experience feedback
Use range of indicators measures to reflect
desired balance, effectiveness and integration of
human, social structural capital dimensions
Undertake annual self-assessment against
Excellence Model criteria (preferably involving
key stake-holders) to identify strengths areas
for improvement
Assessment methods include workshops based on
work-book pro-formas, questionnaires, interviews
Establish values to underpin culture behaviour
throughout institution trust, openness,
inclusivity, learning, cooperation, community
common purpose
Training leaders stake-holders throughout the
institution in values, culture, learning
disciplines purposes
Student Experience Survey
Changing perceptions of universities
  • 1970s
  • Guardians of the spiritual non-material
    permanent values of the life of the mind
  • (Joseph Rowntree HE Project)
  • 1990s
  • Factories for the production of degree-holders
  • (Will Hutton)
  • 2000s
  • Disney university or hamburger university
    (Van Looey, Van Dierdonck Gemmel)

Are things improving?
  • 1980s
  • Instead of a bright new management-orientated
    culture, there is a danger that what we are
    seeing is a decline in the old beliefs, replaced
    only by the growth of public-sector anomie
  • 1990s
  • Universities are characterised by
  • low trust
  • adversarial management
  • taller hierarchies
  • greater management power
  • less responsible autonomy (Jones)
  • 2000s
  • Government micro-management and inconsistent
    policies are a worse threat than the market. The
    market is one way to allow universities some
    autonomy, but it needs caution because all kinds
    of social factors that are important will be
    neglected and undermine the core business of the
    University and the priorities of those who fund
    things will start to conflict (Harris)

Political Confusion about Higher Education
  • public good or commodity?
  • state funded/managed or market-dependent?
  • knowledge for own sake or business needs?
  • serving the learning society or the market
  • teaching or research?
  • academic or moral education?
  • social inclusion or academic excellence?
  • knowledge as possession or knowledge as
  • students as consumers or members?
  • degree outlets or learning through ways of life
    as an educative process?

The pursuit of ever more perfect accountability
provides more information, more comparisons, more
complaints systems but it also builds a culture
of suspicion and low morale (ONeill)
  • uncertainty risk
  • modernisation
  • sustainability corporate social responsibility
  • diversity widening participation
  • relevance to society
  • differentiation - branding/packaging the student
    experience intrinsic/inherent values
  • collegiality residence
  • commodification of relationships ways of life
  • effectiveness of leadership governance
  • bureaucratic vs market rationality
  • regional assemblies - funding
  • mergers economies of scale
  • efficiency impact on internal structures
  • business management processes models
  • employability
  • charitable status
  • falling population growth-rate
  • technology new modes of delivery

The Silent Takeover Noreena Hertz (Cambridge)
  • The growing dependency of Government on
    business, and the blurring of boundaries between
    public and private sector threatens to make
    societal improvements irreversibly dependent on
    the creation of profit
  • If government and business become partners, who
    will be there to adjudicate if things go wrong ?
  • Low voter turnout, falling levels of trust and
    increasingly visible corruption have contributed
    to a widespread feeling that politics simply does
    nt matter
  • If governments are not farsighted enough to
    confront the Silent Takeoverthe world we live in
    will be one in which corporations rule, markets
    are above the law, and voting becomes a thing of
    the past.

Bowling Alone Robert Putnam
  • massive decline in social trust
  • rise in fear and loneliness
  • collapse of associations clubs
  • break-down of marriage family
  • fragmentation of institutions of civil society,
    including education
  • loss of interest in politics
  • increase in transaction costs (especially due to
    liability insurance legal fees)
  • increase in violence, crime and abuse
  • conflict between values and life-styles

Globalization the 2 Faces of Liberalism
  • The enlightenment western liberal ideal failed in
    the face of incommensurable difference. Free
    market imperialism has revived it but is it
    sustainable in the new global order? If not,
    where does that leave us?
  • Liberalism as universalism - shared concept of
    what is good within a common social order
    dedicated to tolerance justice. Closely linked
    to relativism our worlds are so different from
    one another that they are mutually unintelligible
    can only enjoin them by bureaucracy, markets or
    military intervention
  • Liberalism as individualism - autonomous
    individuals and institutions dedicated to
    tolerance justice. Closely linked to
    subjectivism and emotivism people have to rely
    on their own individual preferences or wants to
    determine what is good and gain influence over

Modus Vivendi (ways of life)
  • Modus vivendi continues the liberal search for
    peaceful co-existence but it does so by giving up
    the belief that one way of life, or a single type
    of regime could be best for all
  • (John Gray)

Universities as models of modus vivendi
  • Ways of life must be practiced by a number of
    people, not only one, span the generations, have
    a sense of themselves and be recognised by
    others, exclude some people and have some
    distinctive practices beliefs
  • (J. Gray)
  • Sustainable ways of life are those through which
    you discover who you are, what you want to be and
    where you want to go, in relation to everyone
    else - Aristotles profound reality

Bias towards intellectual development
  • in contemporary English speaking society, and
    within higher education institutions
    particularly, the systematic bias towards the
    intellect and the analytical is most pronounced,
    leading to a lack of emphasis on the whole
    person (Brennan Little)
  • academic procedures fail particularly in the
    matter of shaping dispositions and attitudes
  • purely intellectual development without
    commensurate internal character development makes
    no sense whatsoever (Covey)

Managing sustainable ways of life
Relevance to the needs of society
  • teach sustainable ways of life based on
    reflection on the common life as an educative
    process (R. Williams)
  • build the social capital necessary for civil
    society - societal responsibility (CSR)
  • develop attributes that contribute to social
    economic sustainability
  • sense of belonging
  • thirst for personal growth learning
  • concern for the well-being of others
  • desire to give-back to society going beyond
    individual self-interest
  • ability to accept responsibility and be a good
    leader (principle-centred leadership)
  • (these are also the defining characteristics of
    the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For)

Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For
  • Over the past 5 years, the best companies would
    have earned an investor a compounded annual
    return of 12.1 compared with a 5.8 decline for
    the FTSE All-Share Index as a whole
  • Over the past 3 years, the best companies
    returned 3.6 compared with a 15 decline in the

  • Universities are responsible to society as a
    whole, of which they are an integral part. They
    operate by public consent in order to serve the
    needs of society, to the satisfaction of society
    (van Marrewijk)

Societal Focus
Stakeholder Focus
Owner/share-holder Focus
  • The aim of Higher Education should be to sustain
    a learning society
  • (The Dearing Report)
  • You rarely see a coherent societal strategy in
    Higher Education
  • (Sir Michael Bichard)
  • CSR is a new and distinctive phenomenon it
    requires organizations to fundamentally re-think
    their position and act in terms of the complex
    societal context of which they are part (Marcel
    van Marrewijk)

Dearings 4 Purposes
  • personal effectiveness and fulfilment (to achieve
    self-realisation through learning-how-to-learn,
    i.e. by transcending ones in-built and often
    subconscious limitations)
  • intellectual capital (to promote knowledge and
  • learning and innovation (to sustain a
    knowledge-based economy)
  • social capital (to shape a democratic, civilized,
    inclusive society)

Whats wrong with market logic ?
  • The paradox of competition is that it is benign
    only when counterbalanced by habits of
    co-operation. A purely competitive world begins
    by being creative but ends by becoming
  • Society depends on the existence of certain
    relationships that stand outside economic
    calculations these are the institutions of
    civil society and they have become seriously
    eroded in consumption-driven cultures they are
    endangered by the intrusion of the logic of the
  • (J.Sacks The Dignity of Difference)

  • Higher Education has little if anything to do
    with the values of a market society and
    everything to do with moral principles good
    deeds, caring relationships, a willingness to
    make personal sacrifices for the common good,
    belonging to a community dedicated to certain
    ideals. These are the values that give continuity
    and dignity to life (J. Sacks)
  • Higher Education is suffering a steady attrition
    of resources and imagination, and is at every
    level under pressure to give priority to narrowly
    functional concerns it is treated politically as
    a consumer good to be marketed to parents or
    students. In the long-run this is bound to weaken
    any sense of corporate responsibility and public
    intelligence (R. Williams)

Clash of ideologies
  • In the West people seek their own advantage from
    behaving towards others they encounter in
    business without full exercise of trusteeship,
    justice, consultation and loyalty. Western
    organisation theory, finance and accounting
    theory promote human relationships which are
    somehow deficient in terms of these principles
  • They produce organisations with structures that
    limit the operation of basic principles of
    common-sense behaviour
  • They never tire of repeating that a combination
    of free markets with democracy is the only
    sustainable model of development
  • In Islam the manager must give the same weight to
    moral, social and environmental considerations
    as to purely financial ones
  • (T. Gambling Business Accounting Ethics in

What is Excellence?
  • Traditional approaches to strategy based on the
    economic model of the firm involve a centralised
    body making choices aimed at increased
    shareholder value by short-term profitability at
    the expense of long-term sustainability.
  • Organisational excellence aims at long-term
    sustainability by understanding and responding to
    the multiple, often conflicting, expectations of
    society, regulatory bodies, students and
    employees and relating them to the myriad of
    interactions between people, policies
    strategies, technologies and markets.

What is Organisational Learning?
  • managing complexity
  • accommodating diverse purposes and ways of life
  • discerning profound realities
  • sustaining values and ideals
  • managing boundaries relationships
  • mediating moral conflicts
  • building trust and discretion
  • developing knowledge as understanding
  • operating in morally opposed environments
  • managing interdependency
  • developing character and competence
  • building social, moral intellectual capital

Why is organisational learning vital for HE ?
  • political confusion modernisation or modernism?
  • globalization
  • the silent takeover
  • bowling alone
  • values-pluralism
  • modus vivendi
  • quality of the student experience
  • differentiation brand-equity
  • moral education
  • trust discretion
  • systemic management vs micro-management
  • re-connecting social, moral, intellectual and
    economic planes
  • social/societal sustainability

Moral education
  • Morality does not mean discerning the difference
    between bad and good but discerning what ways
    of life lead to the long-term good of humanity.
  • Moral education is neither the imparting of
    rules in a vacuum nor the discussion of how
    students think they decide issues, but is bound
    up with roles and responsibilities actually and
    actively learned in the corporate life of an
    institution (R. Williams)
  • Moral education is integral to the ecology of
    hope for the future because it locates social
    change at a level at which we can make a
    difference through the acts we do, the principles
    by which we live, and the relationships we
    create. It sees us as something other than
    replaceable parts of an economic system. It
    provides a counter-point to late-modern Western
    culture that tends systematically to dissolve the
    values and virtues that give meaning to life (J.

Why is moral education so important ?
Learning-how-to-learn universities as
educational processes
  • belonging to an inclusive community
  • learning relational skills friendship types
  • developing ethical awareness (principles of
    truth, justice, equity, respect, and ethical
    decision-making skills)
  • living in a multidisciplinary community within
    which different disciplines are applied to common
  • experiencing multi-cultural living in a community
    with different cultural ethnic narratives
  • integrating the social, moral, intellectual,
    economic spiritual planes, developing virtues
  • developing companionship through peer-group
    mentoring, communal living and dining, recreation
    and looking out for one anothers safety
  • learning to reconcile individual self-interest
    with the common good
  • developing self-awareness self-belief
  • practicing interior learning processes
    (intuiting, sensing, feeling, thinking,
    perceiving, judging)
  • participating in roles responsibilities
    actually and actively learned in the corporate
    life of the institution
  • experiencing democracy as a means whereby people
    with different outlooks reach common decisions
  • learning social trust on which democracy and
    civil society depend

  • Institution-level
  • Organizations which continue to improve their
    quality ultimately have to adopt a more social
    management style, in other words move towards
    higher levels of corporate sustainability (van
  • Sector-level
  • Sustainability is dependent on a reconnection
    of the social and the economic (Hertz)
  • Global-level
  • The UN World Declaration on Higher Education
    emphasises the primacy of social exchange values
    over economic exchange values (Hirst)

(No Transcript)
Learning Organisation Characteristics
  • capitalises on uncertainty ambiguity
  • embraces change
  • decentralises decision-making with
  • promotes a holistic organic view of the
    organisation in terms of systems processes
  • creates new knowledge with insights intuition
  • identifies learning facilitators
  • gives opportunities to take risks and learn from
  • links staff development training to learning
  • has a culture of disclosure openness
  • sees communications as opportunities for sharing
  • spreads trust throughout the organisation
  • encourages involvement in the community
  • networks internally externally
  • promotes a holistic organic view of the
    organisation in terms of its relationships
  • sees relationships as opportunities for learning
  • promotes a shared vision combined values
  • resists bureaucracy

Creating a Learning Culture
  • Trust or the lack of it is at the root of
    success or failure in relationships and in the
    bottom-line results of business, industry,
    education and government (Stephen Covey)
  • Trust is one of the most powerful factors
    affecting a countrys economic health. Where
    trust is low, individuals and organisations are
    more wary about engaging in financial
    transactions which tend to depress the national
    economy (Steve Knack World Bank)
  • Without stable associations with others we fail
    to acquire the habits of co-operation which form
    the basis of trust on which the economics and
    politics of a free society depend (Jonathan
  • Trust is the foundation of virtue
  • (Matt Ridley)

Steps to Organisational Learning
  • transform individual and organisational concepts
    of learning
  • create knowledge-based partnerships
  • develop and expand team-learning activities
  • change the role of managers to coaches
  • encourage experiments and risk-taking without
    blame for failure
  • create structures, systems and time to facilitate
  • build opportunities and mechanisms for sharing
  • empower people
  • circulate information throughout the organisation
  • develop the five disciplines, especially systems
  • create a learning culture and a positive
    relational context
  • develop the vision for organisational excellence
    and personal fulfilment
  • root out bureaucracy

Obstacles to Organisational Learning
  • bureaucracy is a manifestation of control that
    stifles trust, learning and innovation
  • competition emphasises selfish individualism
    leading to impoverished relationships
  • instrumental control results in low-discretion
    and low-trust cultures that prevent learning
  • impoverished relationships result in poor
    communications, defensiveness and mistrust
  • poor leadership neither preaches nor practices
    learning and promotes skilled incompetence out of
    fear of loss of control
  • rigid hierarchies maintain silo mentalities in
    order to retain control
  • (Marquardt)

  • an anathema to excellence
  • (Sir Michael Bichard)
  • we cling to this dominant paradigm (instrumental
    control), despite all the evidence to the
    contrary, because it is our main defence
  • the purpose of managing the context is to create
    an emotional atmosphere in which it is possible
    to overcome defences and test reality. In other
    words, the context must be managed to create a
    culture that enables complex learning
  • (Ralph Stacey)

Learning Disciplines (Peter Senge)
  • Systems thinking is a discipline for seeing
    wholes. It is a framework for seeing
    interrelationships rather than things, for seeing
    patterns of change rather than static
    snapshots. It begins training people to think
  • Mental models reflect peoples perceptions and
    beliefs that determine not only how they make
    sense of the world but also how and when they
    take action. This discipline involves uncovering
    hidden assumptions and developing new paradigms.
  • Personal mastery is a personal discipline of
    self-knowledge and personal development. It
    raises awareness of the subconscious being and
    the underlying beliefs that condition ones
    behaviour. It provides the impetus for creativity
    and a vision beyond self-interest

Learning Disciplines (Peter Senge)
  • Team-learning is a collective discipline that
    involves developing the practices of dialogue and
    discussion and how to deal creatively with the
    powerful forces that oppose productive dialogue
    and discussion, such as conflict, defensive
    reasoning, game-playing and avoidance routines.
    It encourages people to develop shared
    understandings about complex issues, coordinate
    their activities and share best practice.
  • Shared vision provides the focus and energy for
    learning. When people care deeply about something
    they develop a vision they can truly share which
    helps to connect them to it and binds them
    together with others in pursuit of a common
    purpose or cause.

4 Stages of Learning
  • tell a story in which everyone has a part
  • enlist dissidents
  • differentiate between final ends, other ends and
    means to ends
  • enthuse as well as inform
  • emphasise self-awareness (MBPTI) and authenticity
    derive identity from relationships not tasks
    (gender issue!)
  • develop relational quality (RP)
  • provide opportunities to experiment
  • keep in touch with reality focus on whats
  • instil a common vision and build trust and
  • develop helicopter vision
  • replace bureaucracy with systemic ways of working

3 Dimensions of an HE Institution
Structural Capital
Admin Departments
The University
Schools Departments
Colleges Societies
Social Capital
Human Capital
The Double-Warrant
Hirst, 2002
The Double-Warrant
Hirst, 2002
Evaluation improvement
The advance of science technology is an
unstoppable process but it has no built-in end
or purpose. In every area of policy there are
choices to be made. Thinking of modernisation as
a single unidirectional process has the effect of
narrowing these choices . in the monocular
neo-conservative view of modernisation, every
society in the world will eventually follow
America in becoming a secular democracy (John
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