EXPLODING THE MYTH: DO ALL QUALITY MANAGEMENT PRACTICES CONTRIBUTE TO SUPERIOR QUALITY PERFORMANCE?
ABSTRACT In his landmark article on total quality management, Powell (1995) lamented the lack of large scale studies investigating quality management practices and performance. This study begins to fill that void using a large, random sample of manufacturing sites. The results show that quality practices can be categorized into nine dimensions. However, not all of them contribute to superior quality outcomes. “Employee commitment,” “shared vision,” and “customer focus” combine to yield a positive correlation with quality outcomes. Conversely, other “hard” quality practices, such as “benchmarking,” “cellular work teams,” “advanced manufacturing technologies,” and “close supplier relations” do not contribute to superior quality outcomes.
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ABSTRACT: Sumario: Total quality management (TQM) has become, according to one source, as pervasive a part of business thinking as quarterly financial results, and yet TQM's role as a strategic resource remains virtually unexamined in strategic management research. Drawing on the resource approach and other theoretical perspectives, this article examines TQM as a potential source of sustainable competitive advantage, reviews existing empirical evidence, and reports findings from a new empirical study of TQM's performance consequences01/1995;
Article: Building a learning organization.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Continuous improvement programs are proliferating as corporations seek to better themselves and gain an edge. Unfortunately, however, failed programs far outnumber successes, and improvement rates remain low. That's because most companies have failed to grasp a basic truth. Before people and companies can improve, they first must learn. And to do this, they need to look beyond rhetoric and high philosophy and focus on the fundamentals. Three critical issues must be addressed before a company can truly become a learning organization, writes HBS Professor David Garvin. First is the question of meaning: a well-grounded, easy-to-apply definition of a learning organization. Second comes management: clearer operational guidelines for practice. Finally, better tools for measurement can assess an organization's rate and level of learning. Using these "three Ms" as a framework, Garvin defines learning organizations as skilled at five main activities: systematic problem solving, experimentation with new approaches, learning from past experience, learning from the best practices of others, and transferring knowledge quickly and efficiently throughout the organization. And since you can't manage something if you can't measure it, a complete learning audit is a must. That includes measuring cognitive and behavioral changes as well as tangible improvements in results. No learning organization is built overnight. Success comes from carefully cultivated attitudes, commitments, and management processes that accrue slowly and steadily. The first step is to foster an environment conducive to learning. Analog Devices, Chaparral Steel, Xerox, GE, and other companies provide enlightened examples.Harvard business review 01/1994; 71(4):78-91. · 1.27 Impact Factor