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Evaluation of TQM effectiveness: evidence from a survey of EFQM-registered organisations - a Scottish experience

Soltani, E. and Van Der Meer, R.B. and Williams, T.M. (2003) Evaluation of TQM effectiveness: evidence from a survey of EFQM-registered organisations - a Scottish experience. In: OR 45 Annual Conference, 2003-09-02 - 2003-09-03.

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Abstract

Despite the widespread popularity of TQM, a heated debate continues about its value-creation potential in todays organisations. Some researchers call for organisations to focus on gaining hard information about the processes of production and service delivery to release this potential and devote their limited resources accordingly. Others, however, claim that winning employee commitment to the TQM philosophy of continuous improvement enables concurrent improvements in TQM objectives. Yet there is little empirical evidence to choose either of these propositions in preference to the other. This study addresses the empirical question of the extent to which quality-driven organisations believe that a strict choice should be made between the two approaches in order to release the value-creation potential of TQM. In our study, we usesurvey data based on postal questionnaires and semi-structured interviews collected from managers in 64 TQM-oriented organisations based in Scotland. Our findings suggest that, for TQM to be effective, the two approaches should be viewed as complementary and ought to be combined in practice. Finally, we combine the survey evidence with previous research in order to suggest a number of recommendations for improving the effectiveness of TQM programmes in quality-driven organisational environments.