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An investigation into the application of quality customer service, as a dimension of total quality management at The Racing and Equestrian Academy, KwaZulu-Natal.

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This study is based in the concept of 'quality' as an ongoing concern in South African education. It deals with some definitions and views of what 'quality' is and how it is applied to the educational process. In doing this the study concentrates on Total Quality Management, a theory founded in commerce, and in recent years applied to education. Chapter 2 of the study, entitled Associated Literature, finally focuses on the concept of 'customer service' or 'customer care', an important element of Total Quality Management, as practised at The Racing and Equestrian Academy, an independent, co-educational boarding school in KwaZulu-Natal. The basic concept upon which this study relies is that students and parents are customers and that they define for themselves what quality is and whether they are receiving it or not. The study developed out of a series of questionnaires completed in 2002 that gave rise to critical concerns about the level of customer service offered by the Academy. These questionnaires are a part of the Academy's ongoing interest in 'quality' and the views of its customers in this respect. In order to discover what its customers' views are and to analyse them, this study has employed ethnographic research methods, in that it allows for: the portrayal of the situation in the subjects' (students' and parents') terms, multiple perspectives and the description of the specific situation at The Racing and Equestrian Academy. Questionnaires, observation and content analysis have been used to record and understand the real findings at the Academy in relation to the theoretical perspectives outlined in the related literature.


Thesis (M.Ed.)-University of Natal, 2003.


School management and organization--KwaZulu-Natal., Equestrian centres--KwaZulu-Natal., Private schools--KwaZulu-Natal., Total quality management., Theses--Education.