Approaches to quality management in the UK: survey evidence and implications

Soltani, E. and Lai, P.C. (2007) Approaches to quality management in the UK: survey evidence and implications. Benchmarking: An International Journal, 14 (4). pp. 429-454. ISSN 1463-5771. (The full text of this publication is not available from this repository)

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Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/14635770710761852

Abstract

Purpose – This paper seeks to shift the focus to the implications of various quality management systems, as a pervasive feature of modern organisational life, for business excellence. Design/methodology/approach – A mail-based survey is conducted among a total of 150 UK-based European Foundation for Quality Management-affiliated organisations. This quantitative methodology sounds appropriate, given that there is a relative dearth of evidence regarding the nature of quality management systems as quality-driven organisations pursue continuous improvement through such systems. Findings – Together, International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) series and other total quality management (TQM) models were seen as helping organisations in the journey towards business excellence. Despite the apparently high level of interest in various forms of quality management systems, however, a major discrepancy was found between the rhetoric of these systems and the reality of their practice. For example, little evidence was found that the surveyed organisations were developing a more strategic approach to managing soft aspects of quality management. The results also highlighted the fact that the approach emerging in many organisations seems to be relatively the antithesis of that of the TQM-driven organisations. Research limitations/implications – A fundamental limitation of this study relates to its research method and the fact that it draws its data from only a mail-based survey. Therefore, additional follow-up research in the form of case studies – qualitative methodology – should be conducted in order to examine more deeply and validate the survey results. Practical implications – Specifically, despite being viewed as potentially a threat to quality management initiatives, indeed, the paper is in many respects a spirited defence of the distinctive contribution and value of ISO 9000 as a basis and stepping-stone for TQM success. Originality/value – This paper updates the earlier work and significantly highlights the move to broaden the aims and process of quality management systems by using international-wide quality management frameworks.

Item Type: Article
Additional information: Research Paper
Uncontrolled keywords: Benchmarking, Total quality management, Quality awards
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > Kent Business School
Depositing User: Suzanne Duffy
Date Deposited: 14 May 2008 07:23
Last Modified: 14 Jan 2010 14:11
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/3214 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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