Chris Peeble’s Top Ten Recommended Books Related to Assessment
W. Edwards Deming. (1994).The New Economics for Industry, Government, Education,
2nd Edition. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.
A readable and important presentation of the fundamental philosophical, moral, and practical foundations for ‘quality management.’ Although not as aphoristic as Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus , it makes a lot more sense. This work is shorter than Deming’s Out of the Crisis (MIT Press, 1986) from which it is drawn, and should serve as an “original source” for Deming’s thought and work.
Imai, Masaaki. (1997) Gemba Kaizen: A Commonsense, Low-Cost Approach to Management
McGraw Hill, NY.
Perhaps the best book on both continuous improvement, Kaizen, and radical, discontinuous improvement available today. In part, Imai shows what the Deming method can accomplish when applied intelligently to manufacturing and service enterprises.
Kaplan, Robert S. & David P. Norton. (1996).The Balanced Scorecard.
Harvard Business School Press, Boston, MA.
Shank, John K. & Vijay Govindarajan. (1993). Strategic Cost Management.
Free Press, NY.
Heskett, James L., Earl Sasser, Jr., & Leonard A. Schlesinger. (1997). The Service Profit Chain
Free Press, NY.
Stewart, Thomas A. (1997). Intellectual Capital: The New Wealth of Organizations.
Theses four books (#3 – #6) — Kaplan and Norton through Stewart — form a productive unity. They even reference one another from time to time. The notion of a balanced, multidimensional scorecard for measuring and predicting how well an organization has done and what it might do in the future is powerful and productive.
The four major dimensions of the Balanced Scorecard are:
1) Learning and Growth,
2) Internal Business Processes,
3) Financial Measures, and
4) Customer Focus.
The notion of Intellectual capital is essential for the first dimension; the service value chain directly addresses the second and fourth dimensions, because, after all, information technology organizations are in the service business; the notion of value chain analysis and activity based costing, essential elements of strategic cost management, are a crucial part of the third dimension. All four dimensions, in turn, can be subsumed by a generalized notion of quality management and customer satisfaction.
Luftman, Jerry N., editor. (1996) Competing in the Information Age: Strategic Alignment in Practice.
Oxford University Press, NY.
Discussions of how organizations can derive the greatest value from their investments in information technology. The title gives the answer: through the alignment of IT operations and goals with the strategic goals of the larger organization. These are among the most intelligent writings I have seen coming from the IBM consulting organization since it became enamored of TSO and PL/1 some twenty five years ago. I should note, however, that there are few solid measures of “value added” by IT in any organization, let alone in universities. However, this work presents solid arguments rather than depending on leaps of faith.
Roberts, Harry V., editor. (1995) Academic Initiatives in Total Quality for Higher Education.
ASQC Quality Press, Milwaukee, WI.
A fine summary of a wide range of QI projects in universities but precious little about the applications of IT in higher education. The role of E-mail does receive some attention.
Banta, Trudy W., Jon P. Lund, Karen E. Black, & Frances W. Oberlander, editors. (1996) Assessment in Practice: Putting Principles to Work on College Campuses.
Josey-Bass, San Francisco.
A summary of state-of-the-art assessment projects. This work provides an excellent supplement to the McClure and Lopata manual.
Fisher, Donald C. (1995) Baldrige on Campus: The Assessment Workbook for Higher Education.
Quality Resources, NY.
How the various criteria for the Malcom Baldrige National Quality Award might be applied to higher education. This workbook, which was developed with the aid of NACUBO, will no doubt serve as the draft standards if the Baldrige is extended to education and to governmental
Finally, Number Eleven (out of Ten). Do not purchase, just browse your library’s copy.
Christopher, William F. And Carl G. Thor, editors. (1993) Handbook for Productivity Measurement and Improvement. Productivity Press, Portland, OR.