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Sustaining excellence in practice: a longitudinal study of a clothing manufacturing plant

Gudim, M. and Van Der Meer, R.B. (2001) Sustaining excellence in practice: a longitudinal study of a clothing manufacturing plant. In: 2nd MAAOE International Conference, 2001-09-26 - 2001-09-28.

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Abstract

This paper discusses the relevant academic literature on organisational excellence, presents a longitudinal case study of a clothing manufacturing plant, and discusses the case study findings in the light of the literature. Based on this, four observations are made. First, the nature of organisational excellence is multi-faceted, and cannot be simply equated with TQM or any other specific management approach. Second, although developing a Total Quality culture may yield significant benefits, improving operations does not, on its own, lead to sustainable organisational excellence. Instead, the organisation has to build its own, unique strategic position. Third, sustainable organisational excellence depends on building dynamic capabilities for organisational innovation. Fourth, top management performs two vital roles in sustaining organisational excellence: an administrative role of maintaining and exploiting existing organisational competences, and an entrepreneurial role of both continually developing and transforming existing organisational competences and searching for new competences in order to keep pace with changes in the environment.