17 November 2016 | EQAF Paper

The quality culture paradox and its implications – is there a way out

Vanja Perovšek


In addition to exploring the quality culture paradox in the higher education (HE) area the paper is identifying practical ways for in-depth quality culture evolvement and change, drawing both from literature and practice. Authors’ master’s thesis is an important basis for the paper, including a case-study of quality culture shift at the University of Ljubljana by employing empowerment based approaches. The quality culture definitions used in HE neglect the complexity, defining it as an ideal quality culture - an improvement-oriented culture and not as an organisational culture focused on quality aspects (more narrow then the organisational, but just as diverse).

The concept further neglects the need of a learning experience as a necessary factor in the culture development and favours the setting up of pretence quality cultures, without in-depth organisational change. In contrast to mechanistic, new change approaches are dialogue-based and see organisations as living human systems. They prove influential, since the dialogue has a formative or degenerative influence on the organisations.


This paper was presented at EQAF and reflects the views of the named authors only.


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