A critical realist study of quality management in Nigerian Universities
Adetunji, Adeneyi Temitope
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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This critical realist study is an investigation of the experiences of principal officers during the research was necessitated by a general lack of knowledge about how quality management implementation occurs in the Nigerian university context. The thesis main research question was how have Nigerian universities been responding to quality management implementation’. The thesis uses a critical realist paradigm and adopts a qualitative approach to unveil the causes of events. This study rejects the positivist preoccupations with prediction, quantification and measurement used by earlier researchers to determine quality management in developed countries and to replicate the approach in a country like Nigeria. The study adopts a critical realist approach, since critical realism gives primacy to the social and personal identity of human values of emancipation rather than material concerns, which are subject to measurement. The study uses semi-structured interviews to discover causal and missing mechanisms from twenty-nine principal officers in six universities. Thematic Analysis was adopted to analyse the themes that emerged from the empirical findings, and used to analyse the causal mismatch between the theory and the reality observed. The approach was used to clarify the blame attributed to the implementation of quality management and government policies rather than philosophical inappropriateness. The approach provides a starting point for querying any unexamined ideology operating in various universities in Nigeria. The findings reveal that many competing voices are operating in different parts of the sector. This has effects on the structure, causing the mechanism to function wrongly, with a lack of a common platform to understand government policies and quality management. Finally, the thesis’s contribution to knowledge includes the using critical realist approach to review relevant literature related to quality management. Its Methodological contribution is through the use of a critical realist approach to produce a social and personal identity of principal officers involved and re-descriptive narrative account of events that have been hitherto unexplored locally and internationally.
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