The capacity of higher education institutions (HEIs) to serve as drivers to economic competitiveness has been negatively impacted due to the exponential growth and numerous constraints which interfere with their quality. In Kenya, HEIs, in their attempt to cater for the 28% increase in number of students, 6% government capitation cut and 14.3% of the 28 weeks, academic year time waste between 2014 and 2015, have encountered many challenges caused by overcrowding, crumbling infrastructure, inadequate human capital with 1:500 lecturers to student ratio and financial resources and declining quality of the professional courses on offer. They have raised concerns about the quality of public university education. The aim of this study is to analyze the effect of organization culture on the relationship between Quality Management System (QMS) adoption and organization performance of public universities in Kenya. The study was guided by structural contingency theory and equity theory; using a census survey with a Bureau of Standards. The study results revealed organization culture (β=0.492 p=0.030) moderated the relationship significantly implying the interactive effect of organization culture improved organization Performance by 0.7% (Δ R2 .007p=0.030). The study concluded that organization culture increases the effect of QMS adoption on organizational performance. response at 94.41% on a population 215 top management personnel of 11 public universities certified by the Kenya
Key words: Quality Management System (QMS), Universities, organizational culture, performance.