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A study of quality management paradigm

Yeung, Wing Shun Vincent (1999) A study of quality management paradigm. Professional Doctorate thesis, Murdoch University.

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While quality has become essential to organizations, managing or delivering quality is not easy. A lot of organizations adopt TQM so as to deliver quality and improve performance in market share and profit making. However, plenty of managers in these organizations have failed. TQM has not benefited the organizations. While some managers have not adequately prepared for the difficulties in the adoption process, the impact of incompatible or contradictory management principles and practices persisted by the managers and ingrained in the organizations is requiring to be revealed. In particular, the principles and practices of economic value driven management philosophies have been proposed to be the major sources of incompatibility or contradiction. Adoption of new organization wide management principles and practices is a paradigm shift. The management paradigm facilitates and sustains the adoption as well as the success of the programme. This study has been carried out to address the fundamental problems of the paradigm shift and the impact of contradictory management principles and practices:
• Is conformance to the TQM paradigm positively associated with TQM success?
• Is conformance to the economic value management (EVM) paradigm negatively associated with TQM success?

Related hypotheses on differences between groups of respondents with different managerial and organizational characteristics and conformance differences in an organization are also tested to reveal a more comprehensive picture of TQM success and failures. Structural equation modeling and hypothesis testing are utilized. A cross-sectional field survey by a developed questionnaire was conducted. Results of 230 respondents from the management teams of 32 organizations adopting TQM were obtained. The research results show that the TQM paradigm positively associated with success measures is a construct of four dimensions (Organizational Goal; System Design; Organization Structure; Role of information) and, the EVM paradigm negatively associated with success measures is a construct of another four dimensions (System Design; Task Objectives; Organization Structure; Working Relations). Job Coordination and Individual Goal & Work Performance are not significant dimensions in the paradigms associated with the success measures. Through the testing of multi-group models with constraint and without constraint, it is revealed that managers working in companies with different lengths of experience in TQM and different countries of origin are performing under different principles and practices to achieve TQM success. Managers of technical functions and of nontechnical functions and, managers with different levels of customer contact frequency are also performing under different principles and practices.

Through the t-test of mean differences, it is revealed that managers with higher levels of education levels, senior level managers, and non-technical managers are conforming better to the TQM paradigm or correspondingly poorer to the EVM paradigm. They have less contradiction in their TQM principles and practices. Regarding conformance differences at organizational level, the conformance differences between training levels have significant association (negative) with TQM success. Finally, implications of all the findings and further research issues are discussed.

Item Type: Thesis (Professional Doctorate)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Division of Business, Information Technology and Law
Notes: Note to the author: If you would like to make your thesis openly available on Murdoch University Library's Research Repository, please contact: Thank you.
Supervisor(s): Armstrong, Robert W.
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