Customer Service, what does it mean for the provision of post graduate business education?

Dalglish, Carol L. (2000) Customer Service, what does it mean for the provision of post graduate business education? In Institute of Public Administration Australia conference, 29 Nov – 1 Dec 2000. (Unpublished)

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The public service throughout Australia has moved over the past 10 years from an input focus to an output focus. Customer Service has become a buzz word with many public instrumentalities receiving awards for excellence in customer service. This paper explores the implications of a customer focus through the use of one organisational unit as a case study - the Brisbane Graduate School, within the Faculty of Business at the Queensland University of Technology. (QUT) The paper distinguishes between student focused, which implies a pedagogical perspective, and customer service which deals with the organisational issues including the whole organisations’ perception of the ‘customer’.

Three years ago the Graduate School of Business at QUT decided on a change of direction, reviewed and altered substantially the MBA program, its primary product, and decided that a customer service focus impacting on the nature of the whole learning experience would provided a competitive advantage, more difficult to copy that the revised program.

The customer service focus took a number of forms: involving the business community and students in the design of the new program including both content and delivery of the program, clarifying who we saw our clients to be, developing a student services function for both administrative and academic support, and overtly trying to develop a partnership between the Graduate School and its clients.

This has lead to a number of changes including:

• 6 entry points a year in to the program • A very broad curriculum • Change of Unit name • Continuous formal and informal student feedback • An explicit contract between academic staff and students • Different forms of marketing • Organisational cultural change

The implications of these changes have been many and raised a number of issues that have yet to be addressed including:

• Need for the ability to respond rapidly, to external and internal stimuli, both academically and administratively. • The tension between ‘quality’ education and customer perceptions • Need to raise the profile of the School and its products • Staff expertise • Time management • Management of student expectations • Changing expectations of staff

This paper will identify the changes that have happened as a result of the introduction of a customer service focus and the issues that have arisen, together with the implications of theses issue for the continuing growth and quality of the services offered.

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ID Code: 6476
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: For further information please contact the author directly on
Keywords: Carol Dalglish, Higher education, leadership, post graduate education, HERN
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100) > Higher Education (130103)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200) > Curriculum and Pedagogy not elsewhere classified (130299)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified (130399)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2000 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 13 Mar 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 05 Jan 2011 13:30

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