Sustaining TQM: A Synthesis of The Literature and a Proposed Research Framework

International Journal of Applied Strategic Management (ISSN: 1742-8204) Volume 2 Issue 2 - Download PDF

Dr. Mohd Ashari Idris, Research Associate, European Centre for TQM


Professor Mohamed Zairi, Juran Chair in TQM, ECTQM, University of Bradford School of Management. UK


As the new millennium progresses, TQM is expected to mature into a sustainability phase to support a universal business strategy. Its critical success factors will vary, in order to accommodate changes in the environment where the firms operate. Despite the fact that TQM initiatives have been recognised by many organisations as capable of transforming the quality culture and producing competitiveness, new initiatives or their improved versions are being suggested to retain TQM vigour and its sustainability. This has called for a continuous discourse and the development of a framework for sustaining TQM, which is the object of this paper.

The paper first traces the development of the concept of sustainability, leading to the conception of sustainable TQM. A framework of proposed research is presented drawing from literature on quality orientation, performance measurement, change management, and related organisational theories. Strategies for effectively sustaining TQM implementation are highlighted. A set of theoretical enablers and inhibitors for sustaining TQM are discussed, and a research model is proposed. From the model, various scenarios are constructed, and research propositions are deduced. Finally, a methodology for an empirical stage of research is offered.

Key Words: Sustainability, Quality Management, Quality System, TQM Theory, Quality Orientation, Critical Factors, Performance Measurement

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