Quality Management Journal Introduction - July 2003 - ASQ

Quality Management Journal Introduction - July 2003


The articles in this issue of Quality Management Journal are all related to the success or failure of quality management efforts and the factors that contribute. They range from general frameworks that can be applied in a variety of settings, to two specific service applications that deal with quality management in hospitals and university computer labs.

The first article, “Changing from Production to Quality: Application of the Situational Leadership and Transtheoretical Change Models,” by Richard A. Grover and H. Fred Walker of the University of Southern Maine, focuses on leadership and its role in determining the success or failure of quality management efforts. The authors integrate concepts from the Transtheoretical Model of Change and the Situational Leadership Model to develop a framework for assessing the readiness of followers for some of the changes associated with quality management, as well as prescribing appropriate leadership styles for meeting the needs of followers in each of the readiness levels. For example, in Level 1, the followers have no interest in and no ability to perform the tasks associated with quality management. The appropriate style of leadership is described as the “telling” style, which is highly structured and focuses on providing information and instruction. In contrast, followers in Level 2 are willing and eager to embrace quality management but lack the skills to carry it out effectively. For this level, the “selling” leadership style is appropriate, combining direction with an invitation for two-way dialogue. This article provides a useful set of guidelines for leaders to use in facilitating each stage of the transformation to quality. It stresses the importance of leadership as a factor in quality management success or failure.

In the second article, “Making Hospitals More Transparent,” Yoji Akao of Asahi University in Japan and Edward R. Chaplin of Continental Rehabilitation Hospital address the issue of transparency in evaluating organizations and encouraging quality transformations. They emphasize that hospitals are among the least transparent types of organizations, lacking a set of common standards, analogous to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles or reporting standards used by the SEC or FAA. Such standards encourage uniform procedures, and their transparency brings accountability to the organization. Chaplin and Akao provide suggestions for a set of standards that could be used in hospitals in the United States based on Akao’s work with hospitals in Japan. They are divided into process measures, which are sampled, and outcome measures. They stress the importance of transparency to success or failure of quality management in various types of organizations.

In “Measuring the Quality of University Computer Labs Using SERVQUAL: A Longitudinal Study,” David W. Hughey and Sudhir K. Chawla of Angelo State University, and Zafar U. Khan of Eastern Michigan University provide a nice description of the well-known SERVQUAL instrument and demonstrate its applicability in a university computer lab setting. Although SERVQUAL has been a well-accepted means of assessing quality in service organizations for many years, there are questions about how generalizable it is and the extent to which the items can be modified to the needs of specific settings without changing the fundamental principles upon which it is based. Hughey, Chawla, and Khan tested SERVQUAL in the Angelo State University computer lab and found that analysis of their data revealed the same three dimensions as the original survey: Staff, Services, and Professionalism. In addition, they found a high level of consistency between the findings when the survey was administered to different student populations two years apart. These findings provide evidence of the validity of SERVQUAL in a different setting, as well as providing support for the importance of staff, services, and professionalism in the success or failure of quality management efforts in service organizations.

In the final article, “Understanding the Obstacles to TQM Success,” Rose Sebastianelli and Nabil Tamimi of the University of Scranton, studied barriers to total quality management (TQM) success at a macro level. They asked managers of a large number of organizations to assess the importance of various barriers to TQM success. They found that the top three perceived barriers to success were inadequate resources for TQM, inadequate human resource development and management, and lack of planning for quality. Lack of leadership for quality and lack of customer focus were also perceived as important barriers. Using multiple regression analysis, they were able to link the perceived barriers to success to various outcomes, moving beyond previous research, which has been based only on managers’ perceptions of barriers. Their results show the effect of these factors on various desirable and undesirable outcomes of quality management in organizations.

Combined, these articles provide a comprehensive picture of important factors in the success and failure of quality management in various types of organizations, as well as guidelines to avoid some of the greatest obstacles to success.

Barbara B. Flynn

Quality Management Journal


Barbara B. Flynn
Wake Forest University

William A. Golomski

James B. Kohnen
St. Mary’s College of California

William Tony

David Nelsen

Leigh Ann Klaus
Kris McEachern

Cathy Schnackenberg

Jen Czajka
Laura Franceschi

Laura Franceschi


John Anderson
University of Minnesota

Selwyn Becker
University of Chicago

Robert E. Cole
University of California

James W. Dean, Jr.
University of North Carolina

James R. Evans
University of Cincinnati

John P. Evans
University of North Carolina

Frank M. Gryna
University of Tampa

John Hamburg
APEX, Inc.

David Luther
Luther Quality Associates

Ram Narasimhan
Michigan State University

Duke Oakes
Quality Management Division, ASQ

Roger G. Schroeder
University of Minnesota

Kalyan Singhal
University of Baltimore

Michael J. Stahl
University of Tennessee


Sanjay Ahire
University of Dayton

Kimberly A. Bates*
University of Toronto

Paul M. Bobrowski
Syracuse University

Kenneth Boyer
Michigan State University

Kenneth E. Case
Oklahoma State University

Injazz Chen
Cleveland State University

Barrie Dale*
University of Manchester

Richard Deane
Georgia State University

John Delery
University of Arkansas

Kevin Dooley
Arizona State University

Edward Duplaga
Winona State University

Susan West Engelkemeyer
Babson College

Byron Finch
Miami University

Mark P. Finster
University of Wisconsin

Laura Forker
University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth

Soumen Ghosh
Georgia Institute of Technology

Glenn H. Gilbreath
Virginia Commonwealth University

John M. Groocock*
TRW (Retired)

Robert Handfield
North Carolina State University

Sandra J. Hartman
University of New Orleans

Marilyn Helms
Dalton State College

Mary Collins Holcomb
University of Tennessee

Ann Jordan
University of North Texas

Gary Kern
Indiana University South Bend

Jill Phelps Kern
Digital Semiconductor

David Kerridge*
Aberdeen University

Ray A. Klotz
Qualcomm Inc.

Frank Knight
FISI Madison Financial

Ronald D. Kurtzmann
Diamond Management Systems

Keong Leong
The University of Nevada–Las Vegas

A. Magid Mazen
Suffolk University

Satish Mehra
University of Memphis

Kim I. Melton
North Georgia College and State University

Henry R. Neave*
British Deming Association

Yoram Neumann
California State University

William Newman
Miami University

Gary Ragatz
Michigan State University

Gipsie B. Ranney
Belmont University

Richard N. Rosett
Rochester Institute of Technology (Retired)

Brooke Saladin
Wake Forest University

Helmut Schneider
Louisiana State University

Nirmal Sethia
California State Polytechnic University

John G. Surak
Clemson University

William Tallon
Northern Illinois University

Michael D. Tveite
The Tetrad Group

Peter Ward
The Ohio State University

L. David Weller
University of Georgia

Ted Weston
Colorado State University

*International reviewer


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