Exploring the training quality management experience of stakeholders in the South African National Defence Force
Els, Renier Christiaan
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Quality Management (QM) is an important aspect of any organisation’s systems and processes. QM focuses on providing quality products or services to a particular client/customer within the market. QM is not something which happens automatically; therefore organisations need to ensure that a system that embeds quality in the form of policies, processes and procedures is in place. Thus far, limited research has been conducted on QM in the South African National Defence Force (SANDF). This qualitative study, by making use of a descriptive, phenomenological research design, explored stakeholders’ experiences regarding QM of training in the SANDF. Purposeful sampling was used to select nine participants (trainers and training officers) to be individually interviewed, based on their knowledge and experience of QM of training in the SANDF. The data were analysed by making use of Tesch’s eight steps, and the trustworthiness of the data was evaluated against certain criteria. The findings indicated that leaders in the training unit in the SANDF do not support QM; leaders do not have the necessary knowledge to support QM effectively on a daily basis. Furthermore, participants felt that people (all soldiers involved in training) down to the lowest level are not involved in QM of training. Participants indicated that the training unit in the SANDF does not demonstrate a strong quality culture. The participants also felt that inadequate leadership support, lack of people involvement and lack of a strong quality culture contribute to ineffective decision making for quality improvement of training in the training unit. This study contributes immensely to QM literature in general, and in particular to training in the SANDF. Based on the findings, recommendations could be formulated to improve QM and to propose the implementation thereof as a dynamic process in the SANDF.
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