Title: Relationships between total quality management and Six Sigma inside European manufacturing companies: a dedicated survey

Authors: Andrea Chiarini

Addresses: Chiarini & Associates, Via Di Corticella, 181/3 – 40128 Bologna, Italy; Faculty of Engineering, University of Ferrara, Via Saragat, 1 – 44122 Ferrara, Italy

Abstract: This paper investigates the relationships between total quality management (TQM) and Six Sigma as viewed by a sample of 176 European manufacturing companies. The purpose is to understand whether or not TQM has been pushed into the background by Six Sigma or whether the two models are used alongside each other in manufacturing companies. Findings from a literature review were transformed into a questionnaire; the questions represent the hypotheses to be validated. The quality managers of the 176 companies completed the questionnaire in an interview and the responses were analysed by the means of frequency tables and percentage pie-charts. Interesting findings concerning what the companies think about TQM and Six Sigma have emerged. In particular, the relationships between TQM and Six Sigma and corporate social responsibility, staff involvement and management of improvements. In this way the research tries to fill a gap existing in literature.

Keywords: corporate social responsibility; CSR; large companies; quality managers; Europe; manufacturing industry; questionnaire; six sigma; survey; total quality management; TQM; large firms; employee involvement; quality improvement; improvement management.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPQM.2013.052023

International Journal of Productivity and Quality Management, 2013 Vol.11 No.2, pp.179 - 194

Available online: 10 Feb 2013 *

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