Making the honor roll: Can schools benefit from business excellence?

Oscar Humberto Salcedo, University of Texas at El Paso


Our schools and school systems are feeling crunched from different directions. Some stakeholders are clamoring for more accountability, others for better results, and still others to do more with less funding. It is not surprising then that school communities are trying different approaches in an attempt to be responsive to different voices. Several schools have decided to borrow the disciplines of the International Standard known as “ISO 9001:2000” (hereafter ISO 9001) from the business realm in an attempt to address these pressures. This research investigates the applicability and benefits of ISO 9001, as perceived by school administrators and educators in schools which have adopted these practices. The hypothesis is that the ISO requirements are applicable to a school setting and that benefits similar to those purported to accrue to private business can reasonably be expected to accrue in a school setting. In developing my arguments, I consider the universality of ISO 9001's requirements, assess the similarities between the majority of school processes and private business processes by using the Zachman Enterprise Framework, and finally, use the Theory of Structure and Agency (ToSA) to illustrate the universality of the trade offs between individuals' aspirations, goals, and vocations and the structure (i.e., the rules, requirements, expectations, and limitations within which they operate). My findings demonstrate that these dynamics are profession-independent and that this fact provides a basis for applying the ISO 9001 standards to an education setting.^

Subject Area

Education, Leadership|Business Administration, Management|Education, Administration

Recommended Citation

Salcedo, Oscar Humberto, "Making the honor roll: Can schools benefit from business excellence?" (2011). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1494319.