Title: People resistance in TQM implementation: a qualitative study on Malaysian universities

Authors: Noor Azman Ali, Mohamed Zairi, Fauziah Mahat

Addresses: Department of Management and Marketing, Universiti Putra Malaysia, UPM Serdang 43400, Malaysia. ' European Centre for TQM, School of Management, Bradford University, Bradford BD9 4JL, UK. ' Universiti Putra Malaysia, UPM Serdang 43400, Malaysia

Abstract: The aim of this paper is to discuss the theoretical and research evidence related to the issue of people barriers concerning problems and pitfalls in Total Quality Management (TQM) implementation. The people-based and service-oriented nature of Higher Education (HE) institutions leaves the university leaders and managers for quality projects to look seriously into the cause of the problems, and apply a strategic approach to ensure successful quality initiatives. A qualitative survey on seven universities in Malaysia suggests that the main reasons for people resistance are lack of knowledge and information on the quality programme, lack of motivation and complacency attitudes, and the quality programme being perceived to cause more burden rather that benefit. The relevant human resource management practices and approaches are discussed to overcome the problems.

Keywords: human resource management; HRM; higher education; HE institutions; people resistance; total quality management; qualitative methods; TQM implementation; Malaysia; resistance to change; barriers.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPQM.2008.015966

International Journal of Productivity and Quality Management, 2008 Vol.3 No.1, pp.1 - 11

Published online: 02 Dec 2007 *

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