This paper provides a literature review of the studies on quality management in the world. By reviewing the literature on quality management, it is found that management commitment and international competition are critical for successful quality management implementation. However, there are differences on the level of quality management implementation among countries. It is suggested that the role of national culture, along with the importance of international competition be considered for quality management implementation in the global context. 1. Introduction
The pace of technological progress and industrial development has been dramatically intensified the competition in the business environment. While the competition was mainly within the countries before the Second World War, global competition and international business are regarded as the two major outcomes of the Second World War (Kathawala and Nanda, 1989; Raeside and Walker, 2001). The Japanese approach toward quality, which was later regarded as Total Quality Management (TQM), had tremendous impact on organizations and management practices, where it has been considered as “the Second Industrial Revolution” (Kanji, 1990). Historically, quality management evolved from engineering activities, mostly statistical quality control to more managerial concepts like quality circles, and just-in-time, encompassing broad organizational concept (Kim and Chang, 1995; Powel, 1995). TQM is a continuous process that aims at quality improvement in all processes and activities in the firm. The ultimate goal of TQM is to establish a management system and organizational culture that ensures customer satisfaction and continuous improvement (Kanji, 1990; Lake et al., 1994; Sitkin et al., 1994; Spencer, 1994; Hackman and Wageman, 1995; Lengnick-Hall, 1996; Westphal et al., 1997; La-Hay and Noble, 1998; Senthil et al., 2001; Wicks, 2001; Selladurai, 2002). However, there is not much agreement on the term “quality management”, what it exactly means, what makes it successful, and how it should be implemented. This might be due to the fact that the term “quality” means different for different people, which in turn will result in different frameworks for quality management. Overview of problem
Despite the number of research and publication in TQM, there is not agreement of the generalizability of QM practices in the world. While Spencer (1994) indicates that “QM recommendations tend to be universal”, there is another paradigm that relates quality management with the contingency theory of management, considering the effect of context (culture, market, manufacturing strategy) in QM implementation (Sousa and Voss, 2001). This paper attempts to provide a literature review of quality management across countries as well as the critical success factors of quality management. 2. LITERATURE REVIEW
The importance of TQM in management research was first addressed on the Journal of Academy of Management Review (Vol.19, Issue 3, Special Issue, “Total Quality”). Dean and Bowen (1994) indicated that TQM research was important since TQM had practitioner origins and management theory should address the practice. However, TQM has a different background from most management theory (Vinzant and Vinzant, 1993; Vinzant and Vinzant, 1996; Vinzant and Vinzant 1999), where it looks at the organization as total system. Where management theory has its roots in social sciences, such as economics, psychology, and sociology, TQM has practitioner origins (Grant et al., 1994). For that, TQM research is difficult for the complexity and interrelationship between many organizational variables (Dale et al., 2001). In spite of all research, TQM is in the early stage of theory development (Dale et al., 2001; Taiwo, 2001) and there is need for further research in TQM (Wicks, 2001), especially in its theoretical foundation, what makes...