Quality Management Journal Executive Briefs - April 2002 - ASQ

Quality Management Journal Executive Briefs - April 2002


Organizational Quality Management in Emerging Economies

Bharat A. Jain and Filiz Tabak, Towson University.

In the last 15 years, countries with emerging economies have been adopting total quality management (TQM) principles and techniques. It is not apparent whether it is feasible to effectively transfer quality management practices that have worked in developed economies to the fundamentally different organizational environment in emerging markets. The authors of this article investigated actual TQM practices in emerging markets by studying data from India. This study conducts an exploratory analysis of quality management practices in India.

The purpose of the study is to: 1) develop a valid and reliable instrument to measure TQM implementation in emerging markets in India; 2) investigate differences in perceptions of quality management practices among managers at different levels of organizational hierarchy and among managers of organizations in public vs. private sector; and 3) explore the link between TQM practices and firm performance. The results indicate the following:

  1. Perceptions of top managers and private sector managers on quality initiatives are more favorable than middle or junior level managers and public sector managers, respectively. Overall, the results suggest that efforts at implementation need to be intensified in the traditional TQM areas.
  2. The relationship between quality perceptions and performance varies by organizational form and managerial level. Successful implementation of TQM requires organizationwide consensus on the value of implementing TQM as well as specific aspects of it to be adopted by the organization. Top managers need to make additional efforts to resolve differences in opinion among organizational members on how to improve performance.


    Development of a Generic Quality Function Deployment Matrix

Ita Richardson, Eamonn Murphy, and Kevin Ryan, University of Limerick.

The concept behind the research presented in this article is that a generic software process improvement model, based on quality function deployment (QFD), can be used to help companies improve their software process in an affordable manner while also keeping business goals in focus.

The ultimate aim was to develop a model that would be useful in practice for small software development companies. In the course of this project, the researchers developed, verified, and validated part of such a model, the software process matrix (SPM), which is based on the QFD house of quality. The SPM is generic for all companies using it. The processes and practices in the matrix are based on existing software process improvement models. The SPM helps show the strength of the effect a practice has on each process and also the processes that are affected by each practice. To verify the relationships in the matrix the researchers used hypothesis tests taking expert opinion into account, carried out over three iterations of the matrix. The SPM has been validated using action research with control groups in a longitudinal study.

For the purposes of generalization and validity, the researchers considered the following:

  • Can the SPM be useful to other small indigenous software development companies whose starting process is assessed at a low level?
  • Can SPM be useful to other small indigenous software development companies whose starting process is assessed at a higher level?
  • Can SPM be useful to medium or large software development companies?


Exploring the Linkages Between Quality System, Service Quality, and Performance Excellence:Service Providers’ Perspectives

Lori S. Cook, DePaul University, and Rohit Verma, University of Utah.

This study explores the linkages between quality system, employee service-quality culture, and performance excellence in the banking industry operating in a turbulent business environment. Properly conducted quality culture and strategic consensus assessment has the potential of informing a service organization of its current position and potential areas for improvement. To be successful in a highly competitive environment, it is essential that all service employees of the organization understand the interrelationships between internal quality system and its impact on service quality provided to the customers. It is equally essential to understand that superior service quality can lead to higher levels of operational performance.

In an exploratory study the authors tested the linkages between quality system, service quality, and performance as perceived by the employees of a large banking institution in Hong Kong. In addition to collecting survey data, the authors collected detailed information about the organization and the business environment in Hong Kong. The survey instrument was based on a compilation of previous research assessing customers’ service quality perceptions and expectations. Multiple item measures were used to assess the employee perceptions for the six dimensions of quality system: leadership, strategic planning, customer and market focus, information and analysis, human resources focus, and process management.

Because of the intangible nature of services, service quality is inherently more difficult to measure than product quality. Parasuraman, Zeithaml, and Berry (1985) proposed a conceptual framework for service quality. Their research found that customers consider five dimensions in their assessment of service quality. These include reliability, responsiveness, assurance, empathy, and tangibles. These dimensions represent how the customers organize information about service quality in their minds.

The results of the study show that according to the perceptions of the bank’s employees, quality system affects service quality that in turn is related to organizational performance. The results also indicate that employees’ perceptions of delivery service quality impact organizational performance as measured by both monetary gain and value gain.

The Impact of ISO Certification on the Levels of Awareness and Usage of Quality Tools and Concepts: A Survey of Turkish Manufacturing Companies

Ceyhun Ozgur, Valparaiso University, Gary E. Meek, Black Hills State University, and Aysegul Toker, Bogazici University.

Total quality management and the implementation of quality systems have become major initiatives of companies throughout the world over the last 20 years. This is especially true for companies that are doing or wish to do business in the European Community.

For many of these companies, however, ISO certification has become a prerequisite when exporting their products. Companies must be able to demonstrate that they have the systems in place to provide a quality product if they wish to be competitive in the global marketplace. ISO certification has almost become a prerequisite for doing business in the global arena.

The quality of Turkish products has been steadily improving, which is evident by the number of awards won by Turkish manufacturing companies over the past few years. The authors conducted a study of 140 large Turkish manufacturing companies. The responses were compared across company size, level of quality certification, and geographical location. The objectives of their survey were to identify:

  1. The level of knowledge of quality tools and concepts among managers
  2. The extent of implementation and use of quality tools and concepts in the companies
  3. The impact of ISO certification on knowledge level and implementation

In this study, the authors determine which aspects of quality are being emphasized and which techniques are more commonly used. They also classify the tools and related concepts into two categories: basic and advanced and analyze the differences in use between basic and advanced tools both by ISO certified and noncertified firms.

The results lead to a greater understanding of the implementation of statistical tools and the relationship between the application of these tools and ISO certification in Turkey. There appeared to be significant differences in usage between ISO certified companies and noncertified companies for most of the basic standard quality tools but only on four of the advanced tools. ISO certified companies used more standard, basic quality tools than noncertified companies. Of the 13 advanced tools, however, the ISO certified companies used only four of them much more frequently. In addition, noncertified companies did not use any quality tool significantly more than ISO certified companies. Differences relating to company size were indicated for only the company usage of Taguchi methods, as large companies used this method more frequently than small- to medium-sized companies.

There were indications that some tools are either being used incorrectly or are misunderstood by the users in certified and noncertified companies.


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