Title: The willingness of ISO certified Greek SMEs to continue their quality journey to TQM under crisis conditions: a systemic approach

Authors: George Sainis; George Haritos; Athanasios Kriemadis; Moyra Fowler

Addresses: DEREE, The American College of Greece, 6 Gravias Street GR-153 42, Aghia Paraskevi, Greece ' University of Hertfordshire, College Lane, Hatfield, Hertfordshire AL10 9AB, UK ' University of Peloponnese, Efstathiou and Stamatikis Valioti and Plateon, 23100 Sparta, Xenofontos 33, 16675, Glyfada, Athens, Greece ' University of Hertfordshire, College Lane, Hatfield, Hertfordshire AL10 9AB, UK

Abstract: The current study contributes to the understanding of quality practices adopted by Greek SMEs, under economic crisis conditions. In the context of the survey, a questionnaire was distributed to Greek ISO certified SMEs. Using as criterion the number of employees currently employed, different groups of SMEs were formed. From the email sent to SMEs all over Greece, a total of 180 companies responded (45% response rate). The quality criteria used for measuring TQM implementation level were the 'organisational performance assessment', the 'organisational culture', the quality processes and the quality tools and techniques. Conclusions support the belief that Greek SMEs continue their quality journey giving greater emphasis on cultural dimensions. The low rates recognised for quality tools and processes implemented support the perception that ISO certified SMEs reinforce TQM implementation but not in such a level as to contribute to a 'continuous improvement' process.

Keywords: total quality management; TQM implementation; SMEs; small and medium-sized enterprises; ISO certification; quality improvement; quality performance; quality tools; quality techniques; quality culture; quality certification; Greece; crisis conditions; systemic approach; organisational performance; organisational culture; continuous improvement; financial crisis.

DOI: 10.1504/IJASS.2016.082168

International Journal of Applied Systemic Studies, 2016 Vol.6 No.4, pp.327 - 348

Received: 01 Feb 2016
Accepted: 26 May 2016

Published online: 09 Feb 2017 *

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