Conference article

The Archetype of Excellence in Universities and TQM

Loukas N. Anninos
Department of Business Administration, University of Piraeus, Greece

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Published in: 10th QMOD Conference. Quality Management and Organiqatinal Development. Our Dreams of Excellence; 18-20 June; 2007 in Helsingborg; Sweden

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 26:107, p.

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Published: 2008-02-15


ISSN: 1650-3686 (print), 1650-3740 (online)


Universities have always been primary actors in the creation and utilization of knowledge. Since the age of Plato in Ancient Athens; where people enchanted by the mysteries of life and nature; gathered in Academia and under a strong bond discussed a variety of issues; until the birth of the first European university in Bologna and even today; the pursuit for objective and scientifically documented knowledge along with the need for individual and social development continue to permeate the idea of higher education. The university aims a) at transmitting scientifically documented knowledge through teaching; b) at advancing science through research and c) at engaging in economic development; social prosperity and progress.

The challenges that universities face and the pursuit of quality in mission attainment mark out excellence (to the degree it can be achieved) as a basic objective; a reference criterion and a seal of efficient and effective university management and operation.

In bibliography; there are many articles written regarding excellence in higher education (eg. Ho and Wearn; 1996; Badri and Abdulla 2004; Hides 2004; Osseo-Assare; 2005; Badri 2006; Sohail and Shaikh;2004; Calvo- Mora 2006); prizes (Baldridge Award; European Quality Award) have been established for institutions that attain high performance level in specific dimensions and roadmaps to excellence have been suggested. The reason for all these actions has been the quality management school of thought and the discussion on its implementation in the university context. However; the concept of excellence is not something recently discovered; it is based on the idea of “good”; it embraces “good” and is a basic presupposition for it in a dynamic circle.

Therefore; the aim of this paper is to present the content of excellence through the parchments of the Ancient Hellenic Philosophy and its application in the university context. Further on; the meaning of excellence (aristeia) is presented and is compared with the main concept and principles of TQM; which is considered as a management philosophy that can lead an organization to excellence.


Excellence; Quality; Management; University


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