Name: John

Strategic Management

Research for Senior Managers

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Unit Code:

Student Number: 14786


Activity 3

You should undertake a literature review and record and report sources
relevant to your research project. Your review should be presented in an
appropriate format and include:

A critical review of the literature which informs the development of
your proposal and the research project and report your findings

A bibliography of material relevant to the research question and
literature review.


Over the years a significant number of studies have
been conducted by researchers reviewing the impact of quality management on
organizations specifically those operating in a manufacturing environment. The
primary function of such organizations is to make a profit from the services
and products they produce or provide the impact of quality management on such
organizations by introducing consistent practices that reduce the probability
of variation and deviation. With this in mind it is indicated that quality
management has become an important aspect of many organizations, the
utilization and adherence to total quality management practices allows for the
organization to perform more effectively and thus provide better services or
products to its customers.

The reviews of TQM practices are widespread and have
been covered by a number of different reviewers however whilst the majority of
reviews of TQM practices are positive in nature Wilkinson, Godfrey and
Marchington (1995) argued that proponents and critics of TQM are potentially
selective in their review and analysis. They discovered that both groups were
not impartial with their conclusions with the proponents focusing on
possibilities and the critics pitfalls. They concluded after the review of the
appropriate literature TQM initatives need to be reviewed in the context of the
organization in question, reviewing the market in which it operates, industrial
relations and HR practices and specifically gaining an understanding of how
quality is understood by parties using it.

With this in mind the impact of TQM is considered on
the organization as a whole reviewing the impact on operational performance of
an organization. Easton and Jarrel (1998) study reviewed the impact (positive
or negative) of total quality management on an organizations financial performance.
The collection of the study information was conducted in two separate parts,
the first part gathered information from management that related to major
milestones in the development of the organizations TQM. The second phase probed
key areas to allow assessment of the level and maturity of deployment.

The study showed that organizations that pursued TQM
over a longer term showed a significant improvement in financial performance
compared to those who did not.

This idea was further explored by Ghadiri, A., Bahari, M.D., Bafrani, F.A.,
Alami, M., Farzaneh, M. and Timachi, M. (2013) and they reviewed the impact of TQM principles
on the financial performance of organizations that were part of the Tehran stock
exchange. Data was collected via survey and after analysis it was proposed that
a relationship did exist between several independent variables described as the
following; leadership, continuous improvement, internal and external
cooperation, customer focus, management of process, employee fulfilment and
learning and a dependent variable financial performance.

The studies both concluded that all if the independent
variables had a positive relationship with the financial performance of the

Whilst the impact of TQM on financial performance has
been identified as having a positive impact it needs to be considered if there
is a differentiation between organizations that follow a quality mindset
compared to those who do not.

Reed, Lemak and Mero(2000) explored the relationship
between TQM and competitive advantage to determine if the claims made in TQM
literature is justified or not. The review of the literature indicated that
organizations that utilize the strategy of TQM could gain a cost or differentiation
based advantage over those who do not.

Additionally utilizing the concepts found in resource
based theory and systems thinking organizations could provide structure to its
TQM program that improved the sustainability of the program.

Kaynak (2003) went a stage further and he conducted a
study to investigate the potential relationships between TQM practices and to
identify and analyze both direct and indirect impacts of TQM on an
organizations performance.

After reviewing the data the findings of the study
suggested that a positive relationship did indeed exist but the magnitude of
the relationship was dependent on the extent to which the organization
implemented TQM. Further to this the study highlighted the interdependence of
TQM practices on the organizations performance. The study identified three
practices that directly impact the organizations performance which within the
context of the study were defined as inventory management and quality
performance. The practices that were seen to have the biggest dependence were
supplier management, product or service design and process management. It was
also identified that financial process was strongly influenced by operational

Whilst the studies conducted by Reed et al (2001) and
Kaynak (2003) show the positive influence of a following TQM practices many
organizations formally certify to 
internationally recognized standard such as IOS9001.


Whilst literature has shown the advantage
organizations can have from implementing TQM initiatives it must be noted that TQM
contains distinct factors or categories that potentially have differing degrees
of influence over the success or failure of the program.

Mann and Kehoe (1995) explored the factors that affected
the successful implementation of TQM. The data collected via survey
questionnaires identified several critical organizational characteristics that
the researchers recommended that organizations need to analyze and understand
before they start the process of the implementation of TQM. They argued that
before the implementation of a TQM process the organization should review these
factors to allow the determination of the implementation strategy to be
followed that would generate the most success.

Additionally they showed that a complex relationship
exists between organizational factors and quality activities and thus the
organization needs to be aware of this when running an implementation or
improvement program, it was also noted that that these factors that are
critical to quality activities change over time, are different for each quality
activity and they will vary depending on the stage and maturity of the

Rahmen (2001) explored the performance of ISO9001
certification on an organizations performance. The study compared organizations
that were formally certified to the ISO9001 standard, those who followed a TQM
program but were not certified and those who followed both. The results showed
no significant difference between organizations that had and had not certified
to ISO9001 indicating that the application of TQM was of more importance.

However when the individual TQM factors were explored
it was indicated that leadership was ranked highest out of all of the factor
implying that this factor was vital in stimulating quality performance in

Javed (2015) investigated the impact of top management
commitment on quality management. The study proposed in the model that top
management commitment was directly correlated to the success of quality
management. The study utilized data collected by means of a survey and
questionnaire containing statements and questions that allowed for the
collection of the required information and covered all employees of the
organization is question.


The study results allowed for the following conclusion
to be drawn that the data collected showed that the commitment of top
management is reflected in the success of quality management however the study
also cautioned that top management was not the only predictor with regards the

As indicated in the study by Javed (2015) top
management is an important but not the sole predictor for the success of TQM.

In conclusion total quality management techniques have
been utilized in business for decades however there are differences in opinion
on the impartiality of the data. The research indicates that organizations that
utilize the practices of total quality management practices generally have a
significant overall improvement in the overall organizational performance of
the business when compared to those who did not follow these practices. These
organizations showed much improved customer satisfaction and overall
profitability as was shown in Easton et al (1998) and Ghadri et al (2013) studies.
Organizations with a total quality management structure had means that
differentiated them from potential competition as shown by Reed et al (2000).

One aspect that was apparent in all of the studies was
the importance of management and leadership in the quality management process.
Without top management showing commitment to the program there was a definite
difference in organizational performance as shown by Javis (2015) whilst this
was not the only predictor in the model it held the most significance.

The majority of the studies utilized a variety of
questionnaires that were generated independently by each research this could
lead to some bias with relation to the individuals being interviewed. For
future research reviews of the questionnaires used should be undertaken to
allow for consistent comparison across organizations.







Mann, R. and Kehoe, D., 1995. Factors affecting the
implementation and success of TQM. International
Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, 12(1), pp.11-23.

Kaynak, H., 2003. The relationship between total quality
management practices and their effects on firm performance. Journal of operations management, 21(4), pp.405-435.

Adam, E.E., Corbett, L.M., Flores, B.E., Harrison, N.J., Lee,
T.S., Rho, B.H., Ribera, J., Samson, D. and Westbrook, R., 1997. An
international study of quality improvement approach and firm performance. International Journal of Operations
& Production Management, 17(9),

Feng, M., Terziovski, M. and Samson, D., 2007. Relationship
of ISO 9001: 2000 quality system certification with operational and business
performance: A survey in Australia and New Zealand-based manufacturing and
service companies. Journal of
manufacturing technology management, 19(1),

Flynn, B.B., Schroeder, R.G. and Sakakibara, S., 1995. The
impact of quality management practices on performance and competitive
advantage. Decision sciences, 26(5), pp.659-691

Carlos, V.S., Lourenço, L. and Mendes, L., 2015, August. The
Influence of TQM on Employees’ Work-Related Attitudes and Behavior. In Toulon-Verona Conference”
Excellence in Services”.

Easton, G.S. and Jarrell, S.L., 1998. The effects of total
quality management on corporate performance: an empirical investigation. The Journal of Business, 71(2), pp.253-307.

Rahman, S.U., 2001. A comparative study of TQM practice and
organisational performance of SMEs with and without ISO 9000 certification. International Journal of Quality
& Reliability Management, 18(1),

Ghadiri, A., Bahari, M.D., Bafrani, F.A., Alami, M.,
Farzaneh, M. and Timachi, M., 2013. The survey of relationship between total
quality management and financial performance. Strategies, 5(2), pp.590-598.

Ahire, S.L. and Dreyfus, P., 2000. The impact of design
management and process management on quality: an empirical investigation. Journal of operations management, 18(5), pp.549-575.

Rahman, S.U. and Bullock, P., 2005. Soft TQM, hard TQM, and
organisational performance relationships: an empirical investigation. Omega, 33(1), pp.73-83.

Reed, R., Lemak, D.J. and Mero, N.P., 2000. Total quality
management and sustainable competitive advantage. Journal of quality management, 5(1), pp.5-26.

Levine, D.I. and Toffel, M.W., 2010. Quality management and
job quality: How the ISO 9001 standard for quality management systems affects
employees and employers. Management
Science, 56(6),


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