Title: The best quality management practices in small and medium enterprises: an international study

Authors: Louis E. Solis, S. Subba Rao, T.S. Ragu-Nathan

Addresses: Instituto de Empresa, Madrid, Spain. The College of Business Administration, The University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio 43606, USA. The College of Business Administration, The University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio 43606, USA

Abstract: Total quality management provides a sound foundation upon which small and medium enterprises (SMEs) can compete and grow in the global arena. A survey based research was conducted in five countries (USA, India, China, Mexico and Taiwan) to assess the quality management practices in small and medium size companies. Our findings reveal that very high levels of common quality practices exist in terms of top management support, strategic quality planning, customer orientation and quality citizenship. However, common weaknesses among the top quality companies exist in relation to the human resources aspects of quality management. Our findings provide a potentially valuable benchmark for small and medium enterprises in the countries studied by identifying the best practices of the top quality companies, as well as identifying areas of quality practices for improvement. It is hoped that the findings in this study have implications to improve the level of quality practices for small and medium enterprises across a range of countries.

Keywords: best practices; empirical study; international; small and medium enterprises; SMEs; quality management.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMTM.2001.001421

International Journal of Manufacturing Technology and Management, 2001 Vol.3 No.4/5, pp.416-443

Available online: 02 Jul 2003 *

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