- organizational effectiveness,
- higher education,
- performance measurement,
- behaviourally‐anchored ratings scale
Over the past two decades, institutions of higher education worldwide have come under pressure to demonstrate effective performance. Their response has been to borrow the quality concept from industry and place it at the centre of institutional performance assessment in higher education. This article describes a Hong Kong study which developed valid and reliable organisational effectiveness self rating scales for higher educational institutions. In the course of developing these scales, the relevance of quality to institutional performance assessment was examined. In failing to produce a valid and reliable effectiveness scale for a quality dimension, the study highlighted the shortcomings of the quality concept particularly as a basis for the comparative assessment of institutional performance. The study also indicated a methodology for identifying concepts which may provide a firmer base than quality for such comparisons.