Managing quality in a wānanga setting : two sides of the same coin
Anderson, Norma Rosales
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Citation:Anderson, N.R. (2014) Managing quality in a wānanga setting : two sides of the same coin. An unpublished thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master in Educational Leadership and Management, Unitec Institute of Technology.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:http://hdl.handle.net/10652/2542
Quality management is essential to leadership within complex educational organisations. An added layer of complexity for Wānanga Māori tertiary education is the imperative to manage quality between Māori and mainstream worlds, each underpinned by diverse characteristics of values and beliefs that consequently generate tensions. The notion of creative tensions is explored through this study assisting with the aim of researching how the management of quality between these two worlds within a Wānanga setting could be optimised. A culturally responsive qualitative methodology drawing on critical theory and kaupapa Māori theoretical frameworks was chosen. The first method employed was interviews with leaders in Wānanga. As a second pioneering method, a documentary analysis hui was designed based on the focus group method engaging participants to analyse company documents. This unique method stemmed from the responsibility, especially for non-Māori researchers, to embrace the notion of whanaungatanga (relationships) within Te Ao Māori (the Māori world). This study’s findings confirm the need for leaders not to treat the Māori and mainstream worlds as enemies but to find cohesion through their understanding in the pursuit of optimal quality management in a bicultural environment. This study emphasises that the leaders’ dispositions, skills and strategies to manage the two worlds of quality are crucial to success. This includes the reinforcement of Māori values, which need to be integrated within all leadership practices in Wānanga. The findings reveal evidence of efforts to avoid compromising Tikanga Māori (Māori values and protocols) while providing accountability essential to quality management. The implications for leaders in wananga settings are related to firstly, the development of capabilities to operate in two worlds, and secondly, building an understanding that, although differing in values and beliefs, the two cultures can be symbolised by the sides of a coin, which are fused together.