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Investigating a better quality support model for business higher education (Advert Reference: SF19/BL/MOS/SHOKRI2)

Faculty of Business and Law

About the Project

The current business education quality models such as Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) are based on quality control systems (e.g. ISO 9001) that could be replaced by preventative and continuous quality assurance philosophies such as Total Quality Management (TQM). Established in 1987, the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA) has been widely recognized as a universal sustainable TQM model. The system is used in any organisation in different sectors and of differing sizes to guide and measure the success of organisational and operational excellence in terms of quality and process improvement. Despite a great deal of establishment in many sectors, this model has not been widely tested for higher education, especially for business education. Therefore, it is in our intention to investigate the utilisation of this preventative model for business education as a potential replacement of traditional control-based quality systems. The key questions to be answered through this research are:

- Which criteria and indicators within MBNQA model are more influential to support quality assurance models such as AACSB? Why?
- How the business education can be affected via a new bespoke theoretical integrated quality model?

This research is directed to answer these questions through multi-disciplinary literature such as TQM and MBNQA (Jones, 2014; and Sabella et al, 2014) and business education accreditation (Shawn, 2009), and Deming’s TQM (1985) theory and Assessment and Evaluation theory in higher education (Harvey and Green, 1992).

The challenge of employability gap between employers and business graduates (Shokri and Nabhani, 2015), cultural value of Total Quality Management theory (Shokri et al., 2016, 4*ABS) and quality management vision of future managers using MBNQA (Shokri and Nabhani, 2019) are evident in recent publications as referenced below.

This research has exploratory approach and is conducted through mixed-method, and empirical data collection from academic leaders and scholars. It will demonstrate potential significant impact on the future of business education.

This project is supervised by Dr Alireza Shokri.

Eligibility and How to Apply:

Please note eligibility requirement:
• Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
• Appropriate IELTS score, if required.

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see:

Please note: Applications that do not include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words (not a copy of the advert), or that do not include the advert reference (e.g. SF19/…) will not be considered.

Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality.

Funding Notes

Please note this is a self-funded project and does not include tuition fees or stipend.


Shokri, A. (2019). Investigating the view of quality management success factors amongst future early career operations leaders. International Journal of Quality and service Science. Forthcoming (In press)

Shokri, A. (2019). Reducing the scrap rate in an electronic manufacturing SME through Lean Six Sigma methodology. IEEE Engineering Management Review. 47(3), ISSN: 1937-4178, IEEE DOI: 0.1109/EMR.2019.2931184

Shokri, A. and Nabhani, F. (2019). Quality management vision of future early career Operations Managers: a model approach. International Journal of Quality and Reliability Management, 36(2), ISSN: 0265-671X, IF. 2.17

Nabhani F. Uhl, C. Kauf, F. and Shokri, A. (2018). Supply Chain process optimisation via the management of variance. Journal fo Management Analytics, 5 (2), ISSN: 2327-0012

Uhl, C. Nabhani, F. Shokri, A. Kauf, F. (2017). Purchasing manages and optimises existing product variance. Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, 29(3): 430-448, ISSN: 1741-038x, IF. 2.194

Shokri, A. (2017). Quantitative analysis of Six Sigma, Lean and Lean Six Sigma research publications in last two decades. International Journal of Quality and Reliability Management, 34(5), ISSN: 0265-671X, IF. 2.17.

Uhl, C. Nabhani, F. Kauf, F. Shokri, A. and Hughes, D. (2017). Purchasing Management: The optimisation of product variance. Procedia Manufacturing, 11: 1366-1374, ISSN: 2351-9789.

Shokri, A. Waring, T. and Nabhani, F. (2016). Investigating the readiness of people in manufacturing SMEs to embark on Lean Six Sigma projects: An empirical study in the German manufacturing sector. International Journal of Operations and Production Management, 36(8): 850-878, ISSN: 0144-3577, IF. 4.371.

Shokri, A. and Nabhani, F. (2015). LSS, a problem solving skill for graduates and SMEs: Case Study of investigation in a UK Business School curriculum. International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, 6 (2): 176-202, ISSN: 2040-416.

Shokri, A. Oglethorpe, D. Nabhani, F. (2014). Evaluation of sustainability in the UK fast Food Supply Chain. Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, 25 (8): 1224-1244, IF. 2.194.

Shokri, A. Oglethorpe, D. Nabhani, F. (2014). Evaluating Six Sigma methodology to improve logistical measures of food distribution SMEs. Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, 25 (7): 998-1027, IF. 2.194.

Shokri, A. Nabhani, F. Hodgson, S. (2010). Supplier Development in a Food Supply Chain through Six Sigma. Robotics & Computer Integrated Manufacturing Journal, 26: 639 – 646, ISSN: 0736-5845, IF. 3.464.

Shokri, A. Nabhani, F. (2009). Reducing lead time in a food distribution SME thorough simplified version of Six Sigma methodology. Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, 20 (7): 957-974, IF. 2.194.

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