Portland State University. School of Education.
John D. Lind
Date of Publication
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Public School Administration and Supervision
Junior high school teachers, Teachers -- Job satisfaction, School administration
2, xiv, 215 leaves: ill. 28 cm.
Quality Circles (QC) took root in Japan during the 1960s and was introduced into the U.S. in 1974. Today, many people believe QCs can increase teacher and school effectiveness. Beyond the realm of opinion, however, little research supports this belief. This study had three purposes. The first was to review QCs' literature. The second was to identify QC structures and problem solving procedures. The third was to test QCs in an educational setting and to analyze their effects on the attitudes of teachers. Methodology. QC groups and comparison groups were established at four school sites. Two measurement instruments, the Work Environment Scale (WES) and the Group Environment Scale (GES), were selected. Both the QC group and the non-QC group were pre tested using the WES. QC experience (treatment) was provided for the QC group. After six months, post testing was conducted to identify attitude changes regarding the work environment. The QC group was pre and post tested using the GES in order to identify change in participants' attitudes regarding relationships within the QC group and attitudes about the group's effectiveness. Findings. Hypothesis One: Significant improvement will occur in the attitudes which Quality Circle members hold about their work environment. In eight out of ten WES subscales, QC attitudes changed in the predicted direction. In only two cases, however, was the change statistically significant. Hypothesis Two: Significant improvement will occur in the attitudes which Quality Circle members hold about their work environment as compared to non-circle members. In eight of the ten WES measures, attitude improvement for the QC group exceeded that of the non-QC group. In only three cases was this improvement statistically significant. Hypothesis Three: Significant improvement will occur in the attitudes which Quality Circle members hold about other circle members. In four of five measures, change occurred in the direction predicted. In only one case was this change statistically significant. Hypothesis Four: Significant improvement will occur in the attitudes which Quality Circle members hold about the effectiveness of the group. All five measures of group effectiveness showed statistically significant change. Conclusions. (1) QCs can operate successfully in an educational setting. (2) The attitudes of QC participants toward their work environment improved when compared to the attitudes of non-participants. (3) QC problem solving QC worked effectively in the educational sites. (4) QC participation improved personal relationships.
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