The University Record, April 26, 1993

Students’ video suggests ways to alleviate skepticism of M-Quality

While the University has been focusing its attention on M-Quality activities for staff and faculty, a group of students has been in the background, quietly studying the concepts and implementation process. And they have come up with some suggestions to encourage participation.

Four students in Thomas Finholt’s Advanced Organizational Behavior class (Psychology 561) have studied staff reaction to M-Quality and created a video presentation called “M-Quality: Alleviating Worker Skepticism” for their term project.

LS&A students Julie Davies (senior), Michele Davis (junior), Susan McKoin (junior) and Nicole Webb (senior) say that there are three critical areas management must emphasize when introducing M-Quality to workers. Worker skepticism, they say, arises from a lack of emphasis on communication and decision-making methods, management support, and education.

The video presentation emphasizes that workers fear lack of continued support by management after they have made a commitment to the process, and also fear reprimand if they openly say what they think.

The group advises management to encourage open communication, include worker suggestions in the decision-making process, give workers the responsibility and the resources to accomplish M-Quality goals, and create an enthusiastic environment.

The 15-minute video is the product of data collected in field studies and interviews of U-M staff.

The purpose, the group notes, is to “provide the University assistance in the implementation process of M-Quality at the University of Michigan.”

So while the M-Quality process moves steadily from unit to unit throughout the University, it occasionally may take a leap into a new area—like this one into the student population.