Implementing total quality
by Sue Whittle, Stuart Smith, David Tranfield, Morris Foster
International Journal of Technology Management (IJTM), Vol. 7, No. 4/5, 1992

Abstract: This paper argues that there is widespread agreement amongst practitioners and researchers in the field of total quality (TQ) that its implementation is fundamentally a process of culture change. It goes on to suggest that many of the problems companies are experiencing in implementing TQ are due to the models they are using to make sense of organisational culture and, as a consequence, how it might be changed. On the basis of a number of case studies researching how organisations have approached TQ implementation four generic models are identified: total institution; adaptive/survival; learning organisation; and transformational/dialectic. Initial findings indicate that companies tend to start adopting those models which are most compatible with their existing organisational culture, and later may move on to other models when they discover the inherent limitations contained in any of them. It is suggested that this process is inevitable in culture change – there can be no one best method.

Online publication date: Sun, 24-May-2009

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