Title: A key to TQM benefits: manager involvement in customer processes

Authors: Vincent W.S. Yeung, Robert W. Armstrong

Addresses: Department of Manufacturing Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon, Hong Kong. The University of North Alabama, Florence, AL 35632-0001, USA

Abstract: Many companies adopting TQM find that the expected benefits are not delivered. Their management do not recognise that there are still barriers to overcome before obtaining the TQM benefits. One of the barriers is an inadequate focus on the latest market environment and on actual customer responses - TQM efforts are devoted to improving performance indicators of internal processes instead of external customer satisfaction. Links and contact between managers and customers are important if companies are to overcome the barriers and obtain the benefits of TQM. A survey of managers and section heads in Hong Kong companies adopting TQM shows that the level of customer contact determines the contributions to TQM benefits. The extent of TQM benefits reported by those respondents with more customer contact are better aligned with their extent of adopting TQM adoption of TQM generates more benefits while adoption of the contradictory Economic Value Management (EVM) principles and practices reduces TQM benefits. Whilst a lot of advice exists about adopting TQM systematically or more thoroughly, managers| involvement in customer processes helps the programme to deliver the expected benefits.

Keywords: TQM; customer satisfaction; paradigm shift; manager involvement; Hong Kong; total quality management.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSTM.2003.002568

International Journal of Services Technology and Management, 2003 Vol.4 No.1, pp.14-29

Available online: 24 Jul 2003 *

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