Balanced scorecard in higher education institutions. Congruence and roles to quality assurance practices

Published date04 September 2017
Date04 September 2017
AuthorNigusse W. Reda
Subject MatterEducation,Curriculum, instruction & assessment,Educational evaluation/assessment
Balanced scorecard in higher
education institutions
Congruence and roles to quality
assurance practices
Nigusse W. Reda
Mekelle University, Mekelle, Ethiopia
Purpose The purpose of thispaper is twofold: rst, to highlight the congruence and rolesof the balanced
scorecard in the quality assurance practices in higher education institutions, and second, to propose a
balancedscorecard model for higher education institutions.
Design/methodology/approach A descriptive literaturereview was used to understand the balanced
scorecard,quality assurance practice (System model) and characteristicsof the higher education institutions.
Findings Used appropriately,the philosophical tenets of the perspectives of the balanced scorecard seem
to be congruentwith the input, process and output dimensions of quality assurancepractices. Thus, if the core
functions of higher education are explicitly represented in each perspective, the balanced scorecard seems
importantfor materializingthe input, process and output dimensions of quality assurance in higher education
institutions. It may help to track and measure the status of higher education institutions in each quality
assurancedimension and ultimately help to align each dimension with the universitys vision.
Research limitations/implications The paper relied on the description of previous literature.
Therefore, as it did not depend on the empirical evidences, the conclusions derived in the paper are more
Practical implications The paper will add an input to the ongoing discussionson the applications of
the balanced scorecard to higher education institutions. Moreover, the proposed model of the balanced
scorecard may help higher education managersto assess the performances of higher education institutions
and their academicdisciplines according to their areas of excellence.
Originality/value This paper attemptsto undertake a literature review on the balancedscorecard and its
roles to the quality assurancepractices in higher education. In addition, the congruence betweenthe balanced
scorecardand the contemporary characteristics of the higher educationinstitutions is also explored.
Keywords Quality assurance, Higher education, Balanced scorecard
Paper type General review
1. Introduction
Equating higher education institutionswith corporate entities is becoming a common trend
in all higher education systems. This is evidenced, among other things, by the transfer of
management tools from corporate organizations to higher education institutions. The
introduction of total quality management towards the 1980s (Srikanthan and Dalrymple,
2002) and, lately, the balanced scorecard (Ruben, 1999) for higher education institutions
could exemplify these application transfers. Nonetheless, their compatibility with the
processes in highereducation institutions has been debated.
These days, the use of the balanced scorecard,rather than total quality management, has
become popular in higher education institutions. It was introduced, among other things, to
improve the management and quality assurance practices of the core functions of higher
education institutions: teaching and learning, research and community service. Thus,
Received 28 September 2015
Revised 13 July 2016
23 November 2016
Accepted 10 July 2017
QualityAssurance in Education
Vol.25 No. 4, 2017
pp. 489-499
© Emerald Publishing Limited
DOI 10.1108/QAE-09-2015-0038
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