Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Curriculum & Instruction/Literacy Studies

Committee Chair

Joy F Saab

Committee Co-Chair

Ernest R Goeres

Committee Member

Patricia Obenauf

Committee Member

Perry D. Phillips

Committee Member

Steven D. Rinehart.


The importance of implementing quality management in education and industry is of growing importance in today's world. There is a growing concern in Saudi Arabia with quality and only a few institutions have begun to implement TQM. This study examined two of the major institutions in Saudi Arabia, Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), and King Saud University (KSU), where TQM principles had been implemented. The study sought to determine the perceptions of upper and middle managers of the two institutions concerning the implementation of TQM and the factors related to those perceptions.;Little has been done in Saudi Arabia to compare TQM implementation strategies between a leading industrial firm (SABIC) and a leading educational institution (KSU). This research was an exploratory study designed to examine the role of the TQM facilitator in diverse settings. Specifically, the study was an in-depth, two-case research study of TQM implementation in an international manufacturing firm and a regional institution of higher education.;Data were gathered by means of questionnaires and interviews. A questionnaire for faculty and staff and a set of structured questions were used to interview TQM leaders in King Saud University. The questionnaire was randomly given to 150 staff members from three different colleges, 50 each from Pharmacy, Engineering, and Education. Interviews with deans of the three colleges were done. In SABIC, questionnaires were given to 150 staff and unit workers of the three units of the company as well as interviews with the Chief Managers of three units.;For SABIC, it was found that the stimulus for change was due to competition from other companies and the desire to improve the retention rate of employees. For KSU, competition from the other universities for student enrollment and a declining economic situation were the main factors. External pressures were common factors for both of them, but the contexts were different. A major challenge for both organizations was to convince people, both internally and externally, that a change in the work culture was necessary if the major issues were to be addressed and the survival of the organizations ensured.;Leadership commitment was an essential component of TQM implementation that emerged from the interviews of TQM leaders. It required the involvement and support of the Chancellor, President, Managers, members of the faculty, and staff. However, the major challenge was to make the staff aware of TQM and obtain their commitment to TQM training and meetings. It was found that one of the challenges to implementation was to target areas where TQM would lead to improvement in the organization's work climate, productivity, and employee satisfaction.;Keywords: Total Quality Management, Saudi Arabia, Leadership.