Professionals freaking out: The case of accreditation in Dutch higher education
The T Q M Journal , Volume 21 - Issue 5 p. 473- 485
Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to define what factors cause willingness and/or resistance among lecturers in universities towards external evaluation systems, especially accreditation. Design/methodology/approach - A model has been designed to describe possible factors of willingness and/or resistance towards accreditation based on Ajzen and Metselaar. A literature review has been undertaken on the effects of external evaluation like ISO 9000 as well as accreditation systems such as Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology and European Quality Improvement System. A questionnaire has been administered to a group of 63 lecturers from three departments at Fontys University in The Netherlands. The results of this preliminary survey have been presented to 1,500 academics in The Netherlands and Flanders to collect empirical data. Findings - Resistance to accreditation can be found in the consequences of accreditation for the work of the lecturer (workload), negative emotions (stress and insecurity); the lack of knowledge and experience (help from specialists is needed); and lack of acceptance (other paradigm). Originality/value - The paper provides more insight into the difficulties that organizations, especially universities, have to commit their employees to external evaluation. It might be possible to generalize the findings to other professionals in other organizations. Little research in this field has been undertaken so far. Accreditation of prior learning Higher education ISO 9000 series The Netherlands © 2009 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.