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Impact of TQM on company’s performance October 6, 2009

Posted by Bima Hermastho in TQM Domain.
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The Authors

Vinod Kumar, Sprott School of Business, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada
Franck Choisne, Sprott School of Business, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada
Danuta de Grosbois, Department of Tourism and Environment, Brock University, St Catharines, Canada
Uma Kumar, Sprott School of Business, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada
Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact of total quality management (TQM) implementation on different dimensions of company performance.
Design/methodology/approach – The study investigates Canadian finalists (winners and certificates of merit) in the Total Quality category of the Canada Awards for Business Excellence. The data were collected either through in-depth personal interviews or by mail/telephone using the questionnaire and then analyzed.
Findings – The data analysis confirmed the hypothesized positive impact of TQM on all investigated dimensions of company performance, i.e. employee relations (improved employee participation and morale), operating procedures (improved products and services quality, process and productivity, and reduced errors/defects), customer satisfaction (reduced number of customer complaints), and financial results (increased profitability).
Research limitations/implications – Small sample size limited the scope of statistical analysis. Also, the results of this study are only valid for TQM adopters and give an indication of what performance can be achieved by companies that undertake a successful TQM program.
Practical implications – The study provides useful insights into the performance improvement that can be achieved through TQM.
Originality/value – The study provides evidence on how different dimensions of performance are affected by TQM and gives insights into how long does it take to obtain these benefits.

Journal:  International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, Volume: 26, Number: 1, Year: 2009, pp: 23-37
Introduction

The importance of quality for company’s performance and success on the market is widely recognized in business literature and practice (Crosby, 1986; Deming, 1986; Juran, 1992). Numerous approaches to management of quality were suggested, in order to help companies improve efficiency and competitiveness through improvement of quality. One of them most popular and most often recommended approaches is the philosophy of total quality management (TQM) – a holistic approach that seeks to integrate all organizational functions to focus on meeting customer needs and organizational objectives. There are many principles of TQM, but in practice firms may follow known, accepted, standard models as a guide to carry out quality management (Tarí, 2005). For example TQM principles that are embodied in the seven criteria of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MNBQA) are deemed essential to instituting successful TQM systems (GAO, 1991).

Various authors have argued and empirically tested the positive impact of TQM on company’s performance in terms of operating and financial results, quality, customer satisfaction or employee satisfaction (Choi and Eboch, 1998; Hendricks and Singhal, 1997, 2001; Agus and Hassan, 2000; Terziovski and Samson, 1999, 2000; Brah et al., 2000, 2002; Saizarbitoria, 2005; Karia and Asaari, 2006; Yang, 2006; Fuentes et al., 2006). However, most of these studies focus on identifying the TQM practices that are most effective and crucial from the performance improvement point of view. Some of those studies focus only on particular type of performance: quality performance, financial performance or operating performance. They do not provide much evidence on how exactly TQM affects performance: are all performance dimensions improved and what areas of performance are mostly improved by TQM adoption?

Therefore the objective of this paper is to understand and measure the impact of TQM on different dimensions of company performance. In order to achieve the above objective, the research is focused on answering the following questions: Is there a significant company performance improvement after TQM adoption? Are these improvements more of financial, operating, employee performance or customer satisfaction nature? How long does it take to get significant positive benefits?

The study investigates Canadian finalists (winners and certificates of merit) in the Total Quality category of the Canada Awards for Business Excellence. Quality is crucially important for Canadian companies, faced with increasing competitiveness on international markets. As world markets are becoming increasingly integrated, Canadian firms are coming under strong pressures to ensure that their performance is up to the standards of major US and other international competitors. Increased globalization has therefore brought pressure on Canadian industries to be more competitive both in price and quality to succeed even in their domestic markets (Industry Canada, 2000). The internationalization of business is both a challenge and an opportunity for Canada and promoting quality products and services is becoming a national imperative for Canadian firms.

Quality and competitiveness

It is widely recognized in the business literature and practice that firms have to emphasize their strategies more and more on quality in order to improve their performance and competitiveness. Quality has become a powerful strategic weapon in international competition and trade. Improved quality reduces waste and increases productivity. Further, improvements in quality and productivity enable firms to increase their market share and to charge higher prices for their products, which, in turn, results in higher profitability (Garvin, 1984). Many authors agree that quality of product and service is the key to competitiveness in the open market. Kondo (1999) notes that improving quality in creative ways reduces costs and raises productivity. Gordon and Sohal (2001) stress that since global trade in manufactured goods is growing, therefore it is essential that a viable manufacturing base is developed and maintained by implementing proper quality practices.

According to Garvin (1987) quality is not only a strategic weapon for competing in the current marketplace, but it also means pleasing consumers, not just protecting them from annoyances. Therefore, a company’s specific advantage is to identify and then compete on one or more of the dimensions of quality. According to Noori (1990), who stresses in his book that competitiveness cannot be achieved but through quality, the needs for quality are fourfold: cost, competitive advantage, reputation and staying alive.

Numerous empirical studies confirm that firms that have adopted a quality-oriented strategy have achieved improved productivity, greater customer satisfaction, increased employee morale, improved management-labor relations, and higher overall performance. For example, the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) tracked the performance of publicly traded companies which won the MBNQA during 1988 through 1996, and reported that MBNQA winners significantly outperformed the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (Goal/QPC, 1998). Similarly, Saizarbitoria (2005) investigated how the implementation of quality systems based on the ISO 9000 international standards and the Excellence Model of the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) affected performance of Spanish companies and concluded, using Delphi method, that implementation of both QM models had a positive influence on company results, mainly through the improvement of operations, efficiency and the costs of companies’ internal activities.

TQM and company’s performance

Although there are many definitions of TQM, there is a general consensus regarding the essential principles, practices, and values of TQM (Hellsten and Klefsjö, 2000; Eriksson and Hansson, 2003; Yang, 2003). Pfau (1989) described TQM as a holistic approach to improving quality, productivity and competitiveness in the international marketplace. Yang (2005) gives more detail by stating that TQM is an integrated management philosophy and a set of practices that emphasizes, among other things, continuous improvement, meeting customers’ requirements, reducing rework, long-range thinking, increased employee involvement and team-work, process redesign, competitive benchmarking, team-based problem-solving, constant measurement of results, and closer relationships with suppliers. Although TQM has been extensively researched for many years now, there is still significant interest in and need for empirical studies on TQM given the fact that many organizations still adopt and implement TQM and its diffusion in on the increase globally (Ehigie and McAndrew, 2005).

Hellsten and Klefsjö (2000) noticed that TQM is often illustrated by the model of a quality award, such as the MBNQA in the USA (NIST, 1999) or the European Quality Award (EFQM, 1999) established by the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM). They also recognized that these award models and their award criteria have had enormous influence on the practical implementation of TQM. Therefore most of the TQM principles are embodied in the seven criteria of the MNBQA and are deemed essential to instituting successful TQM systems (GAO, 1991). As far as the MNBQA framework is concerned, it is based on the four following basic elements and seven criteria:

  1. Driver. Senior executive leadership creates the values, goals, and systems, and guides the sustained pursuit of quality and performance objectives.
  2. System. System comprises the set of well-defined and well-designed processes for meeting the company’s quality and performance requirements.
  3. Measures of progress. They provide a results-oriented basis for channeling actions to deliver ever-improving customer value and company performance.
  4. Goal. The basic aim of the quality process is the delivery of ever-improving value to customers.

TQM implementation is believed to lead to company performance improvement. Numerous studies indicate positive relation between TQM implementation and performance. Examples of benefits achieved from TQM by companies around the world include: decreased inventory 23 percent in two years, order changes halved, delivery time reduced from 20 to 4.5 days, quality teams saved $5.6 million over four years, customer claims frequency reduced by over 40 percent, customer service response time reduced by 44 percent, lost time from injuries reduced 46 percent, cost of quality reduced from 12 percent to 9 percent, operating profits increased 7.4 times, 98 percent first pass yield, on-time delivery increased from 75 percent to 99 percent, customer complaints reduced by 78 percent, $12 million saved in one year in suggestion system, 91 percent of employees said proud to work for the company, positive responses on employee attitude survey increased from 76 percent to 83 percent.

According to GAO (1991) of 20 companies scoring high on either the 1988 or 1989 MNBQA, there is a cause-and-effect relationship between the total quality management practices embodied in the Baldrige criteria and corporate performance, measured by employee relations, productivity, customer satisfaction, or profitability. The following four positive results have been shown:

  1. Better employee relations. Employees experienced more job satisfaction, there was a higher rate of attendance, and there was less turnover, absenteeism and accidents. The number of employee suggestions relating to quality rose by 16.7 percent.
  2. Improved operating procedures. Companies increased the reliability (improved by an annual average of 11.3 percent) and on-time delivery of their products or services and reduced errors (by 10.3 percent), product lead-time, and cost of quality.
  3. Greater customer satisfaction. There were fewer customer complaints (declined by 11.6 percent), and a greater number of customers stayed with the company.
  4. Increased financial performance. Each company also improved its market share (An annual improvement of 13.7 percent) and increased profitability (yearly gains averaged 8.6 percent in sales per employee; 1.3 percent in return on assets; and 0.4 percent in return on sales).

Huarng and Chen (2002) report evidence that TQM philosophy and TQM tools have a positive relationship with business performance of small and medium companies in Taiwan, i.e. the integration of TQM philosophy and tools positively influenced both cost reduction and business performance. Hendricks and Singhal (1997) conducted a longitudinal analysis comparing the performance of companies before and after the adoption of TQM and concluded that firms that have effectively implemented TQM outperform the control sample of companies without TQM on profitability, revenues, costs, capital expenditure, total assets and number of employees. Study conducted by Brah et al. (2000) yields clear evidence that TQM implementation improved business performance in the service sector of Singapore. The study found that the key to the success of TQM in improving company’s performance lies in its intangible and behavioral features such as top management support, employee empowerment and employee involvement. Another study by Brah et al. (2002) showed positive relationship between TQM implementation and quality performance of Singapore companies. Terziovski and Samson (1999) conducted a study of large number of manufacturing companies in Australia and New Zealand and concluded that a typical manufacturing organization is more likely to achieve better performance in employee relations, customer satisfaction, operational performance and business performance, with TQM than without TQM. In another study Terziovski and Samson (2000) tested the impact of company size on the strength of the relationship between TQM and organizational performance. They confirmed that TQM has a significant and positive relationship with most of the dimensions of organizational performance, but also concluded that larger companies tend to gain greater benefits from TQM than smaller firms.

Some authors focused on the relationship between TQM implementation and specific type of company performance: Agus and Hassan (2000), for example, confirmed the positive relationship between the length of TQM adoption and financial performance, while Hendricks and Singhal (2001) proved the positive impact of TQM implementation on the long-run stock price performance. Karia and Asaari (2006) examined the impact of TQM practices on employees’ work-related attitudes. The results of their empirical study indicated that training and education have a significant positive effect on job involvement, job satisfaction, and organizational commitment. Empowerment and teamwork significantly enhance job involvement, job satisfaction, career satisfaction, and organizational commitment. Finally, continuous improvement and problem prevention significantly enhance job satisfaction and organizational commitment. Numerous researchers also recognized that successful implementation of TQM and the scale of the potential benefits that can be obtained through this approach depend on several factors. Hoogervorst et al. (2005) argued that TQM approach requires focus on employee behavior, attention to organizational culture, management practices, and organizational structures and systems. Yang (2006) empirically confirmed that human resource management practices have a significantly positive effect on the implementation of TQM, and therefore on the improvement of employee and customer satisfaction and quality performance achieved through TQM. Fuentes et al. (2006) examined the relationship between strategy and TQM implementation and well as the impact of both on organizational performance. Their results suggested that differences in TQM implementation depend on the selected strategy and that companies with greater degrees of co-alignment between their strategies and TQM achieve the highest levels of performance improvement.

The existing studies, however, do not provide much evidence on how exactly TQM affects performance, i.e. they do not allow comparison of the level of improvement of different dimensions of performance due to TQM adoption.

Research model

The model used in this study (Figure 1) is based on the literature and the specific model from the GAO (1991) study. The core of this model is based on the assumption that TQM is positively and highly correlated with superior performance. This relation is affected by different moderating variables: the time (number of years after TQM adoption), as well as the economic and industry characteristics (Block 3).

Moreover, the impact of TQM practices (Block 1) on company performance (Block 2) can be enhanced and adequately assessed only with the use of proper performance measures and systems (Block 4). The TQM practices considered here (Block 1) are the ones listed in the MBNQA criteria and include: leadership, information and analysis, strategic quality planning, human resource utilization, quality assurance and products and services, quality results. With regard to company performance (Block 2), the model embodies the four key measurable areas of company’s operations that were used in GAO (1991) study and could demonstrate the impact of TQM practices on corporate performance: employee relations, operating procedures, customer satisfaction, and financial performance. Finally, only the main moderating variable, i.e. the effect of the time, is directly taken into account in this study.

Methodology
Research design

The data were collected either through in-depth personal interviews or by mail/telephone using the questionnaire. Population and sampling were considered at two levels: organizational and individual. The organizational population of interest in this study is the group of finalists (winners and certificates of merit) in the Total Quality category of the Canada Awards for Business Excellence. At the time of the study, there were 19 firms meeting this criterion. A sample of 15 firms was randomly selected. All of them were already at an advanced stage of TQM adoption. The eight selected companies within the Toronto-Montreal region were interviewed in person, and the remaining seven were surveyed by mail questionnaire.

At the individual level, the population consisted of all the senior officials and managers familiar with the TQM program in any of the firms from the organizational sample. A list of CEOs has been obtained from Industry, Science and Technology Canada and one manager/senior executive was surveyed in each firm.

Characteristics of the sample

Despite the small size (14 observations), the sample is highly representative of the population studied (19) and reflects a very high response rate of 93.5 percent (14 out of 15). It is composed mostly of manufacturing companies: 12 out of the 14 companies that responded were in this sector. They include raw material industries, chemical industries, parts and engines industries, automotive industries and high-tech industries. The remainder of the sample consists of companies in the service sector.

The companies interviewed were predominantly American-owned (69.2 percent). Consequently, two-thirds of them had less than 50 percent domestic sales turnover. According to ISTC (1991), companies with a majority of their sales in foreign markets are more likely to practice TQM principle in a number of the key areas than companies who serve primarily the domestic market.

The average workforce size was 2,047 employees, with a minimum of 150 and a maximum of 7,000 employees. Again, according to ISTC (1991), having large companies (which is the case for the sample used in this study) increase the likelihood that first, they are more familiar with TQM than the small ones and second, they tend to believe more strongly that TQM can generate significant benefits and that these benefits will more than outweigh implementation costs.

Data analysis techniques

Several statistics have been used in order to analyze the data. First, the means were ranked from the lowest to the highest. Second, the standard deviation was used to calculate the coefficient of variation (std dev./mean). Coefficient of variations is reported for each variable to confirm the reliability of the measure. As a rule of thumb, the coefficient should be less than 0.3 to confirm the existence of a true mean among the sample. Also, the percentage of respondents who felt that TQM helped (2) or helped very much (1) has been calculated and shown in each table. Finally the Student t-test was calculated; it shows if the mean is statistically different from the mid-point of the scale, i.e. if one indicator has really been improved as a result of TQM. The scale used is as follows: (1) helped very much to (6) made worse. Since no responses of 6 were given, the scale is assumed to be understood as a five-point scale and the mid-point used is 3.

Findings

The prerequisite for a company to be eligible for this study was to be a finalist or a winner of CABE. It implies that the firm has been in a quality program for at least three years. The time frame has been broken down into four steps: first TQM initiatives (INIT), first quality improvement plan and policy (POLI), implementation of this plan and policy (IMPL), and finally the first outcomes (OUT) (Table I). The average time span between each step has been calculated. The time to reach the step of the first quality improvement plan and policy is defined as POLIT; IMPLT is the time between policy and plan and their implementation. FOUTT is the time between the implementation of policy and plan and the first outcomes. Finally, the total time (TOTALT) measures the duration between first initiatives and first outcomes.

On average, companies waited 33.3 months before noticing the first outcomes after TQM adoption (TOTALT), with a minimum of six months to a maximum of 96 months or eight years.

The first quality improvement policy and plan took place after a maximum of 37 months in the companies surveyed. On average, the time span was 10.5 months after the first TQM initiatives. These policies and plans were implemented within a maximum of 25 months (average time =7.9 months) which resulted in positive outcomes after a maximum of 48 months (average time =14.9 months). In other words, companies started to be involved in a quality program between 1978 and 1987 and saw their first positive outcomes between 1983 and 1991.

There is a high variability for the time span between TQM stages within each step especially the first two. The coefficient of variation is close to and even higher than 1 for each variable. Two reasons can be thought of: internal differences may be a result of the different industries in the sample (services, manufacturing, high technology industries); and the TQM adoption steps are based on the literature only, and not on empirical research. Regarding the last point, one hypothesis can be drawn from the results: “TQM adopters start the first two adoption steps (INIT and POLI) simultaneously”.

Respondents were asked to rate four TQM indicators, which are overall statements of a group of indicators (see Table II). For example, in the case of indicators measuring customer satisfaction, the overall statement is: “To what extent implementing TQM helped your company improving overall customer satisfaction”. Overall employee relations, overall operating procedures and overall financial performance were measured as well. In general terms, TQM helped to improve the four overall indicators, especially customer satisfaction, employee relations and operation (t-test is significant at 0.01).

According to ISTC (1991), companies that used a balanced approach to quality by adopting practices from each of the four categories as being part of QM (leadership, employee involvement, process improvement, and customer focus) were more likely to experience productivity growth. Larger firms (>200 employees), which is the case for the respondents of this study, used a higher average number of practices than small and medium-sized enterprises. Industry sector also appeared to have influence on the use of QM practices especially in the high-tech and high-tariff sectors.

Better employee relations

In general terms, overall employee relations were improved as a result of TQM. The mean response for TQM’s impact on improvement of overall employee relations was 1.62. As shown in Table III, the impact of TQM practices on employee relations has especially improved employee participation (1.36) as well as employee morale (1.71). In both cases, 100 percent of the respondents felt TQM helped very much in improving performances in these matters. Moreover, the t-test is highly significant (0.01).

Employee absenteeism can also be considered as being significantly improved thanks to TQM (t-test significant at 0.01) despite a mean fairly close to the neutral point (2.67). Reduction in accident and employee turnover was felt to have improved less as a result of TQM and these were not significant.

Findings showed that employee participation was the most affected indicator by TQM adoption. This is consistent with the US GAO (1991) study, which reported that employee suggestions, therefore participation, were the employee-related indicator that most illustrated the impact of TQM.

There was not much difference between the means of all the components of employee relations. In fact, the Cronbach alpha confirmed that the components of employee relations were all related (alpha=0.7429). This confirms the homogeneity of the set of criteria used to measure employee relations. This also confirms that a reduction in absenteeism, employee turnover and accidents, and an improvement in employee participation and morale indeed measure overall employee relations.

Improved operating procedures

In terms of operating procedures, an overall improvement of the ten related indicators can be seen (1.54 <mean≤2.36).

Five indicators have improved statistically (α=0.01) more than the worst ranking items: better products and services quality (1.54); number of errors/defects (1.58); the reduction of total quality costs (1.67); better processes (1.69); and productivity (1.86). These five items were felt to be have been improved thanks to TQM in almost 100 percent of cases. The only result contradictory with the US GAO study is the order-processing time (2.36), which was the best improved indicator in the USA, yet it was ranked the least improved by the sample (see Table IV).

The Cronbach alpha was calculated without better processes and cost savings because these variables had too many missing values to be included. Thus the sample was reduced to 11 respondents in the calculation. Alpha is quite high (0.7523), given the big number of items.

Greater customer satisfaction

According to the companies surveyed, the overall customer satisfaction turns out to be the performance-related indicator that had most improvement (1.33) due to TQM practices (see Table V).

The adoption of TQM practices helped to decrease the number of customer complaints (1.62) and to increase the customer retention (1.92). These improvements are significant at the 99 percent level. The number of compliments is not as often or well tracked as the number of complaints. Therefore, it is not surprising to find less improvement, although this is still significant at 95 percent level. Percentage of on-time delivery also improved significantly. This is one of the first areas where improvement can be seen rapidly after TQM adoption. Yet, the improvement becomes marginal, after time. These results are consistent with US GAO study.

The four customer satisfaction-related indicators are related (Cronbach alpha=0.8044), i.e. they are measuring the same concept. The number of customer complaints and the customer retention are highly correlated (squared multiple correlation is higher than 0.80).

Increased financial performance

The improvement of the overall financial performance is the least of the four areas of performance measured (2.17). Out of the five financial indicators, the most improved indicator was profitability, the least improved were return on sales (ROS, 2.25) and return on assets (ROA, 2.42).

The market share (2.17) had not greatly improved probably because, today, maintaining one’s level of market share is already a victory. In its survey, Industry Canada (2000) recognized that among firms that make moderate to extensive use of customer focus practices, an above average proportion experienced an increase in market share. As a matter of fact, it is believed that market share can only be sustained and increased through the provision of products which meet the needs and expectations of customers. Here we find one of the fundamental objectives of QM, i.e. business development through customer satisfaction (see Table VI).

A better indicator would have been “market share recovered”. Market share was used as a financial performance indicator in the US GAO study, but it appeared, as it was expected, not to be among the same group of performance indicators. As a matter of fact, the Cronbach alpha, which is, nevertheless quite high (0.7114), rose to 0.7727 when market share was deleted. More precisely, the squared multiple correlation coefficient which is part of the Cronbach alpha calculation, is the lowest (0.0927) for market share compared to the other items that ranked between 0.5802 and 0.8569. The same remark is valid for sales per employee. which should not be part of the financial indicators since Cronbach alpha rose to 0.9218 when its participation was deleted.

Summary and benefits for other studies

After five to 15 years of involvement in TQM and a positive impact on company performance seen for one to nine years, the best impacts of TQM (100 percent of companies felt that TQM helped to helped very much) on company performance reported an average mean ranking between 1.36 and 1.92 significant at 99 percent level. Employee participation, better products and services quality, decrease in defects/errors and less complaints are the best positive impacts of TQM.

There is no real breakthrough compared to the GAO (1991) study , i.e. improved customer satisfaction, improved employee relations, improved operating procedures and better financial performance. The only indicator that did not turn out to get the expected result, i.e. one of the best improved indicators, is order-processing time (see Table VII).

Regarding the homogeneity of the set of items used to measure each of the four company performance domains, it is generally reliable, especially for customer satisfaction, operating procedures and employee relations. For further research, one suggestion would be to suppress market share and sales per employee for assessing the financial performance. It seems, thanks to the Cronbach alpha test, that these items do not integrate the set of financial indicators.

Conclusions

The objective of the paper was to understand and measure the impact of TQM on company performance. Three research questions associated with this objective were:

  1. Are there tangible improvements in company performance since TQM adoption?
  2. Are these improvements more of a financial performance, operating performance, employee relations or customer satisfaction nature?
  3. How long does it take for a company to realize these tangible benefits?

The study provides evidence of the positive impact of TQM on company performance. Regarding the four domains of company performance studied, all of them were improved, in particular employee relations (improved employee participation and morale), operating procedures (improved products and services quality, process and productivity, and reduced errors/defects), customer satisfaction (reduced number of customer complaints), and financial results (increased profitability). These findings are consistent with an assumption of the US GAO (1991) study: “TQM is positively and highly correlated with superior operating and financial performance”. These tangible benefits were felt, on average, 33.3 months after TQM adoption, with a minimum of six months to a maximum of 96 months.

Therefore, regarding the impact of TQM on company performance, it was proved in qualitative terms that TQM has a positive impact on customer satisfaction, employee relations, operating procedures and financial results. There is still an important area of research regarding quantitative impacts. A survey of key indicators on each domain of performance should be undertaken over a suitably long time period, i.e. five years, to include before and after TQM adoption.

In this study, most of the respondents were from manufacturing. Therefore, conclusions are especially valid for manufacturing industry. However, a similar study might be done making a comparison between manufacturing and service companies in terms of TQM impact on performance domains.

Regarding limitations of the study, one might notice the small size of the sample. This is only small when speaking of real numbers. Yet, 14 from a population of 19 TQM finalists from the Canada Awards for Business Excellence are large, i.e. a 74 percent of the population has been studied. The only limitation is the generalizability to any company in Canada. The results of this study are only valid for TQM adopters and give an indication of what performance can be achieved by companies that embark on a successful TQM program.

The study provides useful insights on the TQM benefits in terms of performance in the most recognized TQM adopters in Canada (Xerox, Northern Telecom, Texas Instrument, Avco Financial Services to name a few). The findings can help academics, consultants, federal departments such as ISTC and firms alike to support and promote TQM in Canada.

ImageFigure 1The research model
Figure 1The research model

ImageTable ITime frame of TQM adoption
Table ITime frame of TQM adoption

ImageTable IIOverall indicators
Table IIOverall indicators

ImageTable IIIEmployee-related indicators
Table IIIEmployee-related indicators

ImageTable IVOperating indicators
Table IVOperating indicators

ImageTable VCustomer satisfaction indicators
Table VCustomer satisfaction indicators

ImageTable VIFinancial performance indicators
Table VIFinancial performance indicators

ImageTable VIIBest impacts on company performance
Table VIIBest impacts on company performance

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About the authors

Vinod Kumar is a Professor of Technology and Operations Management at the Sprott School of Business, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. Professor Vinod Kumar, the winner of the two Scholarly Achievement and three Research Achievement Awards of Carleton University, received his graduate education from the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Manitoba. He has an extensive industrial experience and also held additional responsibilities as the Director for Sprott School of Business at Carleton University from 1995 to 2005. Vinod Kumar is the corresponding author and can be contacted at: vinod_kumar@carleton.ca

Franck Choisne is the President of COMBIER – a specialty brewery company in France and Senior Research Associate in the quality area with the Research Centre for Technology Management, Carleton University. He has been cited or appeared in media, including the International Herald Tribune, Times, Newsweek, Newyorker, television shows on CNN, ABC, Cable channels like History Channel, Thirsty Traveler (Canadian) for his product innovation.

Danuta de Grosbois is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Tourism and Environment at Brock University, St Catharines, Canada. She holds two Master degrees received at Warsaw School of Economics, Poland and a PhD from Carleton University, Canada. Before joining Brock University she worked as an Assistant Professor at Warsaw School of Economics, Division of Decision Analysis and Support. Ms de Grosbois’ research is in the area of sustainable tourism, management of technology including innovation adoption, its impact on performance, and R&D portfolio management.

Uma Kumar is a Professor of Management Science and Technology Management at the Sprott School of Business, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. Professor Uma Kumar, received her graduate education from the University of Manitoba, the Carnegie Melon University, and the Indian Institute of Technology. She also held additional responsibilities as the graduate supervisor for Sprott School of Business at Carleton University for a number of years. Dr Kumar has published over 120 refereed articles.

 

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