TQM Journal

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  • ISSN
    1754-2731

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to verify whether gender traits of brand personality (masculinity vs femininity) are able to differentiate services brands belonging to the same service industry. Second, this paper intends to assess the validity of Grohmann's scale (that measures the masculine and the feminine dimensions of brand personality) among Italian consumers. Design/methodology/approach – Empirical research was conducted on a sample of 200 consumers. Participants were asked to rate their perceptions of the masculinity vs femininity dimensions of four different service brands (two brands of food retailers and two brands of airlines). Findings – The findings show that Grohmann's scale reaches high levels of validity in the Italian context, as well and that femininity and masculinity measured by that scale are able to register differences in services brand positioning for brands belonging to the same service industry. Research limitations/implications – The services category includes very heterogeneous services with different degrees of interaction and consumer's involvement. Further studies are needed to isolate the impact of the perceived MBP and FBP associated either with the service industry/category or with the specific brand. Practical implications – Marketing managers can actively try to influence consumer's perceptions of FBP and MBP through the brand logo colors, brands slogans, masculine or feminine spokespeople, etc. to obtain their desired positioning. Originality/value – The paper is the first to specifically study brand personality's gender dimensions within services environments. The paper also supports the validity of Grohmann's scale outside the German context.
    TQM Journal 01/2014; 26(1):75-87.
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to investigate differences in personality and career satisfaction between quality managers and workers in other fields based on Person-Environment Fit theory. Design/methodology/approach ‐ Field study: personality and career satisfaction data for 965 quality managers were compared with those for a sample of over 85,000 individuals in many different occupations and employment settings using multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) and t-tests. Findings ‐ Quality managers were higher than other occupations in intrinsic motivation, tough-mindedness, and conscientiousness, but lower in career satisfaction, optimism, and assertiveness. Research limitations/implications ‐ This paper does not contain any longitudinal study; there is also a lack of some demographic variables, including race/ethnicity, job tenure, and career tenure. Practical implications ‐ The findings carry implications for career planning, recruiting, pre-employment testing, training, and helping quality managers navigate through their organizations and careers. Social implications ‐ Overall, the authors provide a personality profile of quality managers and show that many quality managers have lower career satisfaction than other occupations. Originality/value ‐ These findings provide an occupational profile of salient personality traits of QC managers which can be used in occupational classification, field identity, and career planning.
    TQM Journal 01/2014; 26(5).
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to highlight the usefulness of financial information as a complementary tool for quality programs implemented in healthcare institutions and, subsequently, to introduce an approach to its systematic management. Design/methodology/approach ‐ This paper begins with a description of the current status of quality management in healthcare services, continues with a theoretical explanation of the importance of financial indicators for making decisions, and finishes with a practical example showing how to integrate financial data into healthcare quality programs. Findings ‐ Financial indicators play a key role in healthcare quality management systems (QMSs). These indicators can be managed jointly with traditional non-financial measures, through introducing minor adjustments to the ISO 9000 model. Research limitations/implications ‐ The approach presented in the second part of this paper was built based on theoretical arguments and on its use in industries other than healthcare. Hence, further research is needed to provide evidence of its practical application. Originality/value ‐ First, this work integrates disciplines which are usually managed separately, such as quality and accounting. Furthermore, it focusses on an industry such as healthcare, where QMSs are not highly developed.
    TQM Journal 01/2014; 26(4).
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose ‐ By utilizing the two most commonly used approaches to generate "best practice frontier" to estimate efficiency of observed units, the purpose of this research paper is to estimate technical efficiency for total population of 200 Slovenian municipalities for the 2011 fiscal year. Design/methodology/approach ‐ Stochastic frontier analysis (SFA) and data envelopment analysis (DEA) methods are used to estimate technical efficiency levels. Namely, the majority of studies have utilized these two "traditional" approaches. Since the advantages of one method often represent the disadvantages of the other method, the two methods have been selected to compare the results obtained on the technical efficiency levels. Findings ‐ The results suggest that mean technical inefficiency should be approximately 22-25 percent (SFA method), whereas DEA method suggests the inefficiency in the range 12-18 percent. The DEA approach also suggests that the paper has many more technically efficient units compared to the SFA estimates. Nevertheless, the SFA assessment has revealed that, although on average the inefficiency should be larger compared to the DEA assessment, more than one-third of municipalities should exhibit relatively low levels of inefficiency (less than 5 percent). Originality/value ‐ This study utilizes both parametric as well as non-parametric approaches to assess the technical efficiency, which is not very common in the empirical literature. Besides, it focusses on the local government efficiency in a post-socialist country.
    TQM Journal 01/2014; 26(3).
  • TQM Journal 01/2014; 26(2):160-187.
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to define the necessity of total quality management (TQM) and quality assurance (QA) study into the undergraduate chemistry/science/engineering curriculum based on the consideration of current declining trend of science education, lack of social, business and technological implications with science, and for students to perceive science knowledge as useful, interesting and relevant. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The course design is outlined as an integrated and part of the science curriculum where "student-centred" and participative "inquiry-based" learning approaches is suggested to teach TQM and QA. Findings ‐ TQM and QA provide the opportunity to learn applied science and associated business consequences, enhance student motivation and engagements, improves decision-making and problem-solving abilities. Students become creative, develop thinking capability in a structured and logical way to express views, and evidently their knowledge-building efforts become apparent. Research limitations/implications ‐ The impetus of the "unit course" design is to focus on the fundamental concepts and understanding of TQM and QA, develop basic knowledge and practices, and explain quality system development and continuous improvement process. Practical implications ‐ TQM and QA study help students easily accommodate into the workforce; and enhance employability. Students achieve higher awareness of the social implications of science studies, better prepared to become future informed citizens, and take responsibility. Originality/value ‐ The paper discusses the rationale of TQM and QA study in the undergraduate course, and explains the underlying causes for not being receptive in the higher education. The paper discusses implicated contents and issues related to TQM and QA required to consider for implementation and, in context of the outlined course.
    TQM Journal 01/2014; 26(1).
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose ‐ The advent of social media is dramatically changing the way marketing communication is conducted. This paper reports a study regarding the use of social media in the wellness industry. This industry is competitive and utterly dependent on creating mutually beneficial relationships with customers. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the use of social media marketing in the wellness industry. Design/methodology/approach ‐ Qualitative methods have been used. In-depth interviews have been carried out with marketing communication professionals in seven leading Swedish spa-hotels. The data from the interviews were analysed utilising the constant comparative method from the grounded theory approach. Findings ‐ Dimensions describing the activities, challenges and results of social media in the hotels have been defined. The findings are related to service quality theory, in particular the service dominant logic of marketing (SDL), and a comprehensive framework is proposed. Research limitations/implications ‐ The findings should be useful for the scientific understanding of the effects of social media in marketing. The study is based entirely on qualitative data. Practical implications ‐ The results of the study should be useful for managers trying to market their offers effectively through social media. Originality/value ‐ The connections between social media and the SDL has not previously been studied in the wellness industry and such studies in other industries are rare.
    TQM Journal 01/2014; 26(3).
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose ‐ In today's height of competition, business process management (BPM) is regarded as best practice management principle that can assist companies in sustaining competitive advantage. The purpose of this paper is to strengthen theory building of BPM in fostering sustainable competitive advantage based on dynamic capability theory. Design/methodology/approach ‐ BPM owes its existence to total quality management (TQM) and business process reengineering and has gained importance as an enabler to coordinate the intricacies of the organisations. Past researches on BPM have been largely conceptual using case studies with scarce evidence for theory building. Findings ‐ Based on the review of literature, the study of BPM can be studied based on dynamic capability theory. Originality/value ‐ The outcome of this paper would add value to theory building for BPM.
    TQM Journal 01/2014; 26(5).
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose ‐ The systematic implementation and assessment of corporate sustainable development is difficult in the absence of a structured approach. The existing management systems and frameworks do not provide a balanced approach to the management of the triple bottom line of sustainable development. The purpose of this paper is to explore the possibility of developing a sustainable development management system (SDMS) and provides a basic framework for such a system. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The paper reviews the approaches that can be employed to embody the various elements of a SDMS ‐ including underlying values, system requirements, continual improvement, and assessment approaches. Advantages and disadvantages of developing a SDMS are also reviewed. Findings ‐ Descriptive guidelines augmented by prescriptive requirements could provide a comprehensive guide to corporate sustainable development management and assessment through a hybrid approach. A basic structure for the descriptive guidelines, prescriptive requirements, and assessment approaches is provided. Practical implications ‐ The paper could provide a needed starting point for managers to structure their thinking related to their organisation's sustainability initiatives. Originality/value ‐ The existing systems and guidelines addressing sustainable development are characterised by several limitations. This paper provides a unique framework for corporate sustainable development that has not been addressed in previous publications.
    TQM Journal 01/2014; 26(5).
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to report on research on the sensory perceptions that patients and bystanders experience during hospitalisation. Sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch influence both clinical outcomes and satisfaction. The paper offers suggestions to hospital management on ways to improve receivers' sensory perceptions. Design/methodology/approach ‐ Considering services as social interactions, a subjectivist view of reality is adopted and, accordingly, a qualitative research approach implemented. Data are collected through participant observation. Desk activity includes reasoned literature review, categorisation and model adaptation. Findings ‐ A simplified system model for service provision in the hospital ward is proposed. A management tool is provided in the form of a check list that the ward management can employ to assess its service-provision system from a five-senses perspective. Research limitations/implications ‐ The paper is affected by judgements subject to cultural biases. The validity of the management tool is still to be tested. Practical implications ‐ Once up and running, the model and the check list will be able to guide health managers towards improvements of satisfaction, clinical outcomes and working environment. Originality/value ‐ The paper represents an original effort to adapt tools already used in the commercial field to influence health service receivers' perceptions positively. While the positive results of improvements to a single sensory perception have been well documented, an integrated approach has not been put forward previously in the health industry.
    TQM Journal 01/2014; 26(3).
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to propose a set of process capability indices (PCIs) which are based on robust and agile statistics such that they may be applicable irrespective of the process status. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The four popular PCIs ‐ Cp, Cpk, Cpm and Cpmk ‐ are reconstructed to improve location and dispersion predictions by introducing robust estimators such as the median and the interquartile range. The proposed PCIs are sequentially evaluated in partitioned regions where fluctuations are inspected to be not significant. The runs test playing the role of a detector permits marking those regions between two consecutive appearances of causes that disrupt data randomness. Wilcoxon's one-sample test is utilized to approximate PCI's central tendency and its confidence interval across all formed partitions. Findings ‐ The Cpmk depicted the most conservative view of the process status when tracking the magnesium content in a showcased aluminum manufacturing paradigm. Cp and Cpk were benchmarked with controlled random data. It was found that the proposed set of robust PCIs are substantially less prone to false alarm in predicting non-conforming units in comparison to the regular PCIs. Originality/value ‐ The recommended method for estimating PCIs is purely distribution-free and thus deployable at any process maturity level. The advantageous approach defends vigorously against the influence of intruding sources of unknown and unknowable variability. Therefore, the predicament here is to protect the monitoring indicators from unforeseen data instability and breakdown, which are conspicuous in wreaking havoc in managerial decisions.
    TQM Journal 01/2014; 26(5).
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to develop an approach for implementing business excellence (BE) based on prevailing corporate culture and to propose relevant gates to monitor the corporate culture in the way to excellence. Design/methodology/approach ‐ This research demonstrates a culture-based perspective of implementing BE. After an exhaustive review of literature, the relation between BE and corporate culture was clarified and a methodology was developed, which describes how BE projects can be performed successfully in the context of an existing culture instead of adapting the culture. Findings ‐ The outcome of this research is the main concept for culture-based implementation of BE. Furthermore, five culture gates were designed to control the effect of BE measures on the corporate culture in long period of time. The findings indicate how BE can be implemented without considerable efforts to change the culture. Practical implications ‐ The findings of this study are relevant to all different sized organizations in different sectors and industries for achieving outstanding results and maintain this capability permanently in the organization. Originality/value ‐ This paper presents a unique approach for implementing BE in the light of prevailing corporate culture; such an approach has not been addressed in previous publications.
    TQM Journal 01/2014; 26(4).
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to integrate resilience, robustness, and resplendence (R 3 ) with sustainable enterprise excellence (SEE) and social-ecological innovation (SEI) that assist firms to progress toward continuously relevant performance proceeding from continuously responsible strategy, behavior, and other actions. Design/methodology/approach ‐ Sustainable enterprise excellence, resilience, robustness, and resplendence (SEER3) model and the associated means of SEER 3 maturity assessment are introduced to explain the organizational concept. Findings ‐ SEER3 balances the complementary and competing interests of key stakeholder segments, including society and the natural environment and increases the likelihood of superior and sustainable competitive positioning and hence long-term enterprise success that is defined by continuously relevant and responsible governance, strategy, actions, and performance consistent with high-level organizational R3. Originality/value ‐ This paper adapts the established principles from physics to characterize enterprise R3 to come up with SEE model.
    TQM Journal 01/2014; 26(4).
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose ‐ Although aggressive leaps in process manipulation are the pinnacle to short-term stability and long-term growth, information technology (IT) is inherently highly variable and challenging in any continuous improvement effort. The purpose of this paper is to assess whether implementation of lean processes yielded repeatable, predictable results in IT schedule reductions. Additionally, the study determines what critical success factors (CSFs) are necessary. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The research used non-experimental quantitative methods analyzing archival secondary data. The sample for this case study was compiled from a defense industry organization that implemented these techniques in development, testing and fielding. Findings ‐ Based on the research, the results revealed a statistical significance whereby a difference between the PreLean schedule and PostLean schedule existed. The study also evaluated nine CSFs as quintessential to successful implementation of lean philosophies. From those nine CSFs, seven plyometric CSFs are derived as a model for implementation. These include: enterprise incorporation, team trust, transformational leadership, recursive improvement, integrated synergy, customer-centric culture and heuristic communication. Originality/value ‐ Although plyometrics is a term often used in athletics (Yessis, 2009), the description of an exercised function producing power and speed to exert maximum force in minimum time is introduced. Through a combination of synergistic alignments, each plyometric CSF maximizes the effects of each single CSF to produce rapid results. The model can be applied to IT and non-IT fielding, both within the defense industry and commercial sector.
    TQM Journal 01/2014; 26(4).
  • TQM Journal 01/2014; 26(2):143-159.

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