Case on TQM

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Using case study methodology, the authors asked quality managers about their company’s experience with ISO 9000:1994 and total quality management (TQM) implementation. The results show that initially the standard could help some companies reorganize their procedures and define responsibilities and duties. However, managers’ perspectives on its possible effect on company performance are not positive. Only product quality improves after implementation. On the contrary, TQM has improved many aspects of performance, the most influential aspects being those “soft” dimensions of leadership and human resource management. These aspects were not included in ISO 9000:1994. After analyzing ISO 9000 as a first step toward the TQM implementation, as much of the literature advises, the authors’ findings suggest that managers consider it to be a disturbing element when implemented jointly with TQM. Their study points out that, in practice, there are two parallel quality systems in a company. To get better results, it is important to adapt ISO requirements to facilitate TQM implementation; otherwise, the only advantage of the registration is the “permission” to selling the market.


Over the last decade, ISO 9000 certification has been the subject of many articles. The phenomenon of its quick development led to a belief that it was a great advantage for a company to attain registration. In keeping with this, many researchers tried to identify the impact of ISO 9000 certification on companies’ results and management. An important group of researchers has not found any strong positive relationship between certification and results. However, there is another group of articles that points out an influence of registration on product quality. Apart from any influence derived from implementation, some authors advocated that certification could be a good first step toward a total quality management (TQM) system, raising awareness of quality among workers...
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