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A Systematic Literature Review on Islamic Values Applied in Quality Management Context

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Abstract

Contemporary Islamic management scholars have agreed that values are embedded in quality management. Their agreement is grounded on the famous prophetic tradition encouraging diligence in work, uttered more than 1400 years ago, which has been narrated authentically. However, little studies have specifically indicated its application in quality management activities. As quality management is initiated in the West, little attention has been given to Islamic perspective of the discipline. However, as the Japanese had successfully implemented quality management in their cultural value perspective, many parties come to acknowledge the significance of values. In the literature, various Islamic values have been linked to quality management practice. While studies analyzing and categorizing them is limited, several values are redundant or being termed differently, though they are similar in crux. This article compiles the values and categorizes them depending on similar bases of Quranic verses or Prophetic traditions. The categorization proposes a set of Islamic values related to quality management practice, based on a simple frequency analysis matrix. Finally, this article concludes with prospects for future research.
Cite this article as:
Ishak, A.H. & Osman, M.R. (2015). A Systematic Literature Review on Islamic Values
Applied in Quality Management Context, Journal of Business Ethics,
doi:10.1007/s10551-015-2619-z
A Systematic Literature Review on Islamic Values Applied in Quality Management
Context
Amal Hayati Ishak* and Muhamad Rahimi Osman
Academy of Contemporary Islamic Studies, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM),
Shah Alam Malaysia.
*Corresponding author: amalhayati@salam.uitm.edu.my
Abstract
Contemporary Islamic management scholars have agreed that values are embedded in
quality management. Their agreement is grounded on the famous prophetic tradition
encouraging diligence in work, uttered more than 1400 years ago, which have been
narrated authentically. However, little studies have specifically indicated its application
in quality management activities. As quality management is initiated in the West, little
attention has been given to Islamic perspective of the discipline. However, as the
Japanese had successfully implemented quality management in their cultural value
perspective, many parties come to acknowledge the significance of values. In the
literature, various Islamic values have been linked to quality management practice.
While studies analyzing and categorizing them is limited, several values are redundant or
being termed differently, though they are similar in crux. This article compiles the values
and categorizes them depending on similar bases of Quranic verses or Prophetic
traditions. The categorization proposes a set of Islamic values related to quality
management practice, based on a simple frequency analysis matrix. Finally, this article
concludes with prospects for future research.
Keywords: human values, Islamic values, quality management practice, evidences
Introduction
The mainstream quality management emerged in the West initiated by players of the
Industrial Revolution. Thus, its philosophical foundation has been largely dominated with
the western culture, which have been criticized as narrowly focused to outputs (Syed
Othman, 1996; Naceur Jabnoun, 2005; Muhammad A. Al-Buraey, 1985). Nevertheless,
the rise of Japanese after disastrous World War II had been an eye opener to the non-
western culture influence in quality management. This is due to the fact that the Japanese
implemented it within the scope of their culture (Ishikawa, 1985; Naceur Jabnoun, 2005).
In a book written by Ishikawa (1985), entitled ‘Qualiy Management the Japanese Way’,
they are described to favor collectivity in work, loyal and family centered. They also
initiated the practice of quality circles as a platform to disseminate knowledge and
experience between organizational members. These attributes have played an important
role in rejuvenating the devastating state of Japanese economy after war (Khaliq Ahmad
& Shamim Ahmad, 1994).
In similar vein, a series of research have concluded the importance of organizational
culture in supporting successful implementation of quality management. In a research
conducted by Baird, Hu, & Reeve (2011), they reported on significant positive
association between cooperation, outcome orientation and innovativeness with quality
management practices. In parallel, Prajogo & McDermott (2011) explained on the
influence of cultural values on organizational performance in three measures; product
quality, product innovation and process innovation.
However, these empirical studies have narrowly analyzed values based on general
framework of Hofstede’s cultural dimensions (Baird et al., 2011), Competing Value
Framework of (O’Reilly et al., 1991) and Organizational Culture Profile of Quinn &
Rohrbaugh (Denison & Spritzer, 1991). None have made specific relation to values
underpinned in religious sources. However, contemporary scholars, such as Khaliq
(1996), Ahmad & Abulhasan (1996), al-Buraey (2005), Siti Arni et al. (2010) and Sany
Sanuri et al. (2011), have consistently elaborate on quality management from Islamic
perspectives. The major similarity in their work is the elaboration on a list of values
embedded in the practice of quality management. The values underpinned by Quranic
verses and Prophetic traditions are found repeatedly proposed by these scholars.
Methodology
This study employs the Systematic Literature Review (SLR) to compile the values and
related evidences. SLR is a method of searching, analyzing and synthesizing existing
study related to the topic of interest (Windle, 2010). It involves cognitive process to
assemble, critically appraise and synthesize related studies which address specific issue
or phenomenon under study. SLR summarizes previous studies via systematically records
relevant information of a particular area of study.
At the initial stage, SLR involves a comprehensive search to assemble relevant sources
where an inclusion criterion, or a specific frame, is pre-determined, in order to allow a
systematic and comprehensive search of related articles. The predetermined inclusion
criterion is crucial in order to have a narrow focus regarding the topic of concern (Windle,
2010). This is followed by a standard summary of relevant information, derived from a
critical cognitive appraisal by the researcher.
In this study, the inclusion criterion is quality management from Islamic perspective.
Search in the online sources yields minimal number of web based articles related to the
topic of concern. However, search on the library database reveals several books and
printed journals on the topic. The search also discovers two relevant standards, the
MS1900 (Shariah Based Quality management System) and MS2300 (Value-based
Management System- Requirement from Islamic Perspectives). Both are national level
standards (established in Malaysia), which commonly emphasize on Islamic values in
management activities.
Information gathered from these selected sources is used to create a synthesis matrix. The
matrix assists in the cognitive process to segregate attributes to relevant dimensions. It is
also capable of reporting the frequency of values highlighted in the literature.
Islamic Values
Islam has been revealed to Prophet Muhammad SAW since his prophethood in 609 CE
until 632 CE. Its revelation have successfully reform the conditions of the pagan Arabs
from corruption and harmful customs. Islam prohibited interest due to its tyranny towards
the poor and needy; fornication due to its exploitation of women and damage of family
ties; alcohol due to physical and emotional damage individually and collectively. On the
other hand, as a replacement to the prohibitions, Islam obligated and suggested different
modes of just and transparent business dealings, marriage for a proper relationship
between man and women and a wide range of halalan tayyiban (permissible and good)
foods and beverages which is wholesome and beneficial to be taken by man. These
unexhausted list of life guidance have reformed human conditions encompassing all
facets of life (Philips, 1995).
In addition, Islam also emphasizes akhlaq or good conducts, and Prophet Muhammad
SAW was sent as The Messenger of Allah, also as an exemplar for man. Since the demise
of The Prophet, the Muslims are left with two authentic sources which are relevant
irrespective of time, space and locality. The two sources refers to the Quran, defined as
the book of words of Allah; and the Sunnah, or Prophetic traditions, defined as sayings,
actions and tacit approval of Prophet Muhammad. Guided by these two sources, the
principles of Islamic teachings are characterized as complete and comprehensive.
Akhlaq is among the seminal principle of Islam. Simply translated, akhlaq refers to
Islamic values, or a set of ethics or good values grounded on the bases of the Quran and
Prophetic traditions, which permeates all spheres of human life (Hamzah, 1978 and
Kettani, 1984). Values and ethics are commonly used interchangeably (Khaliq, 2001 and
Sharifah Hayaati, 2007) and are sometimes found to be used together in writings. In
Islam, values belong to the discipline of akhlaq (Mohd Nasir, 2010 and Sharifah Hayaati,
2010).
In management, a value, according to Syed Othman & Aidit (1994), refers to something
the society believes strongly on it’s positive or negative. The set of preferred values
based on individual or society judgment is referred to value system, which may consist of
positive and negative values (Syed Othman & Aidit, 1994; Nik Azis, 2008 and Jabir
Qamihah, 1996).
In similar vein, Syed Othman & Aidit (1994) asserts that Islamic value system is the
preferred values originate from the shariah. It is grounded by the belief system (tawhid),
inferred by the revelation. Interestingly, Nik Mustapha (2005) refers values as the
“navigational device”, since they instruct a person’s feelings and actions. The function is
agreed by Jabir Qamihah (1996), explaining that Islamic value system is a collection of
akhlaq which mould excellent Muslim character, capable of contributing to the well-
being of individual, family and society. Values and ethics are also assumed as two main
ingredients for a successful management process (Khaliq, 2001 and Sharifah Hayaati,
2007).
In comparison with Protestant Work Ethic (PWE), Abdi et.al (2009) explains that Islamic
values are attached with intangible intentions, not only focusing on tangible work results,
such a productivity or quality. Indeed, Islam considers work as good deeds and will be
rewarded. Such belief is vacant in PWE (Abdi et.al , 2009).
Islamic values, built on the foundation of faith and oneness of Allah, has been highlighted
by Khaliq (1996) as capable of creating a conducive work environment for quality
management effectiveness. The view have been supported Sidani & Thornberry (2009),
stating that Islamic values are conducive to change and development, which is central in
quality management. The revelation does not directly infer on the values but elaborated
by contemporary studies in Islamic business and management (Forster & Fenwick, 2014).
As this is the case, this study conducted an SLR procedure to compile the values and
summarizes them in a frequency table. Though the values are sometimes being termed
differently, they are analyzed and grouped based on similar bases of Quranic verse or
Prophetic traditions. Therefore, several evidences (dalil) from the Quran and Prophetic
traditions are also being discussed. These values are the core subject in this study.
Quality Management from Islamic Perspectives
Contemporary Muslim scholars have acknowledged the existence of quality concepts in
primary sources of Islam (Khaliq, 1996; 2008; al-Buraey, 2005; Sharifah Hayaati, 2010;
(Siddiq et. al, 2010). They enrich the essence of quality management through primary
sources of Islam. There are a number of evidences (from the Quran and Sunnah) which
are directly and repeatedly connected to quality management. Among them; narrated by
‘Aishah RA; “Allah loves those workers who perform their works to the best of their
abilities (al-Bayhaqi)1.
Based on the hadith, Maqbouleh (2012), Siddiq et al. (2010) and (Abdi & Ibrahim, 2009)
have agreed that itqan is the connotation of quality. Abdi & Ibrahim (2009) defines itqan
as “the arrangement of things in a scientific and artistic way in order to obtain the perfect
results”. In similar vein, Syed Othman et.al (1998) conceptualizes itqan as
knowledgeable and conscientiousness. The two definitions complement each other as
knowledge is the major ingredient in getting a job done in a perfect manner. Thus, Abdi
& Ibrahim (2009) simply translated itqan as perfection. However, he concurs that as
compared to ‘perfection’, itqan embeds a spiritual connotation, to be loved by Allah, as
mentioned in the above sunnah. Moreover, itqan is also in line with Allah’s perfect and
flawless creation, mentioned in a verse; “And you see the mountains, you think them to
be solid, and they shall pass away as the passing away of the cloud, the handiwork of
Allah who has made everything in perfection, surely He is well-acquainted with all that
you do” (Surah al-Naml, 27:88). In a larger scope, itqan combines fairness, goodness,
kindness and forgiveness, which differentiates itqan from perfection (Abdi & Ibrahim
(2009).
Hence this study proposes itqan to be conceptualize as means towards quality. Itqan
defines work to be completed in order, discipline, accuracy and thoughtful, which will be
reflected in quality output, be it a product or service. It encompasses a wide variety of
values relevant to quality. The trigger behind itqan is the belief that Allah loves the doer
of itqan. Thus, as for the Muslims, it is advantageous to perform itqan as such person will
be blessed by Allah, rejoicing success in this world and hereafter. The preceding section
elaborates on values in relation to the concept of itqan.
The Integration of Islamic Values in Quality Management
Contemporary scholars, such as Khaliq (1996), Khaliq & Abulhasan (1996), al-Buraey
(2005), Sany et al. (2011) and others have consistently produce writings on quality
management from Islamic perspectives. The major similarity in their work is the
elaboration on a list of values embedded in the practice of quality management. Some
authors simply propose value conception, while others indicate specific quality
management activities which corresponds the value. However, limited work has been
done to segregate the value and propose a set of universal values relevant to quality
management practice. This section elaborates 18 values which have been iteratively
elaborated by the scholars.
1. Justice
In the literature, justice has been consistently highlighted by Abulhasan M. Sadeq (1996),
Syed Othman Alhabshi (1996), Nik Mustapha (1996), Khaliq Ahmad (2008 & 1996),
Mazilan Musa & Salleh (2005), Syed Azauddin (2005) and Sany Sanuri et al. (2011).
Various indicators have been pointed out including protection rights of the staffs’ (Sany
Sanuri et. al, 2011; Khaliq, 2008 and Syed Azauddin, 2005), and avoidance of
discrimination (Nik Mustapha, 1996; Khaliq, 1996; Mazilan Musa & Salleh, 2005; Syed
Azauddin, 2005 and Sany Sanuri et. al, 2011). In addition, Sany Sanuri et. al (2011)
includes reward system which accords to prescribed tasks and the enforcement of rules
regardless of position, while Nik Mustapha (1996) and Syed Othman (1996) indicate just
enforcement of rules to all organizational members. Justice is also pointed by tolerance in
recognizing different talents (Syed Othman, 1996; Nik Mustapha, 1996; Syed Azauddin,
2005) and proper assignment of tasks (Syed Othman, 1996 and Syed Azauddin, 2005).
The discussion of justice is dominantly focused on staffs. However, Syed Azauddin
(2005) and Sany et. al (2011) extends the dimension to respect towards customers.
The emphasis for justice has been decreed by Allah SWT in a verse, “O you who believe!
Stand up firmly for Allah, bearers of witness with justice, and let not hatred of a people
incite you not to act equitably; act equitably, that is nearer to piety, and he careful of
(your duty to) Allah; surely Allah is Aware of what you do” (Surah al-Maidah: 8).
2. Honesty
Contemporary scholars have repeatedly suggest the application of honesty in quality
management (Syed Othman, 1996; Khaliq, 1996; Abulhasan, 1996; Nik Mustapha, 1996;
Siti Arni et al., 2010).
Being honest is indeed a command from Allah, “Verily! Allah commands that you should
render back the trusts to those, to whom they are due” (Surah al-Nisa, 4: 58). Based on
the verse, Khaliq (1996 & 2008), Abulhasan (1996) and Syed Azauddin (2005) indicate
honesty as promise keeping or fulfilling contracts and agreement towards relevant
stakeholders consist of customers, suppliers, organizational members and the public.
On the other hand, the antonym of honesty is deceitfulness which is condemned in the
Quran, “Woe to those who deal in fraud” (Surah al-Muthaffifin, 83: 1). Similarly, the
Prophet had advised on being honest in a hadith;
'Abdullah reported that the Prophet said: “It is obligatory for you to tell the truth, for truth
leads to virtue and virtue leads to Paradise, and the man who continues to speak the truth
and endeavors to tell the truth is eventually recorded as truthful with Allah, and beware of
telling of a lie for telling of a lie leads to obscenity and obscenity leads to Hell-Fire, and
the person who keeps telling lies and endeavors to tell a lie is recorded as a liar with
Allah (Sahih Muslim) 2.
In parallel with the above Quranic verse and hadith, honesty has been depicted by
avoiding data manipulation (Mazilan & Salleh, 2005; Syed Azauddin, 2005; Khaliq,
2008), as well as transparency in documentation and reporting (Syed Azauddin,2005;
Khaliq, 2008; Mohamed & al-Buraey, 2011 and Sany et al., 2011).
3. Responsibility
The general encouragement to promote good and forbid evil in quality management has
also been classified as a responsibility (Khaliq, 2008; Siti Arni et al., 2010; Mohamed &
al-Buraey, 2011). The call has been decreed in a Quranic verse, “And (as for) the
believing men and women, they are guardians of each other, they enjoin good and forbid
evil” (Surah at-Taubah, 9: 71). The verse characterizes any act of enjoining good and
forbidding evil as a collective responsibility among the believers.
Responsibility has also been clearly demonstrated by the second Righteous Caliphs
(khulafa al-rasyidin), Umar al-Khattab. In a book written by Ahmad Ibrahim (1991),
Umar is reported have said: “If I appointed the best man among you based on my own
judgment, then I ordered him to be just, am I done with my responsibility? The
companions then said: Yes. And Umar replied; No! Not before I see his works, either he
has completed it or not.” The words of Umar depicted a wide scope of leaders’
responsibility in appointment of personnel, monitoring his works and the outcome.
In quality management literature, majority of authors depict responsibility as completion
of tasks (Syed Othman, 1996; Nik Mustapha, 1996; Syed Azauddin ,2005; Khaliq, 2008;
Sany Sanuri et al., 2011). However, Khaliq (1996 & 2008), Syed Azauddin (2005) and
Mohamed & Muhammad al-Buraey (2011) specify responsibility as ethical usage of
resources. Besides that, Abulhasan (1996), Syed Othman (1996) and Syed Azauddin
(2005), indicate leaders’ responsibility to show good exemplar. Others have also pointed
prompt action (Syed Azauddin, 2005 and Sany Sanuri et al., 2011), appointment of
qualified personnel (Sany et al., 2011) and the prioritization of publics’ welfare (Khaliq,
2008; Sany et al., 2011).
Additionally, others have also indicate responsibility in careful appointment of
employees (Nik Mustapha, 1996 and Sany Sanuri et al., 2011), and prudence in working
process by observing problems (Khaliq, 2008; Sany Sanuri et al., 2011; Syed Azauddin,
2005; Siti Arni et al., 2010; Mohamed & al-Buraey, 2011). Only Sany et al., (2011)
includes review meetings which function as a platform to reflect and evaluate outputs, for
further improvement of current situation. In general, the responsibility of performing
tasks should be targeted to satisfy the customers (Khaliq, 1996 and 2008), preserve the
environment (Khaliq, 1996) and the public (Mazilan & Shaikh, 2005).
4. Innovativeness
Majority of the authors indicate innovativeness as the ability to cope with changes
including technological advances (Abulhasan,1996; Khaliq, 1996; Syed Othman, 1996
and Syed Azauddin, 2005). Others point initiative for change, exploring opportunities for
improvement and reflect on self-evaluation (Nik Mustapha, 1998 & 1996). In addition,
Siddiq et.al (2010) extends to spiritual aspect of preserving responsibilities towards Allah
and other creatures in the process of change.
In Islam, the urge to put effort to change towards betterment is decreed in the Quran;
“…surely Allah does not change the condition of a people until they change their own
condition…” (Surah al-Ra’du, 13: 11).
Historically, Prophet Muhammad was reported to demonstrate innovativeness during the
War of Trench. The Prophet accepted an idea given by his companion, Salman al-Farisi,
to dig a trench around the city of Madinah. The idea was very peculiar among the Arabs.
However, it had brought victory for the Muslims despite the unusual fact that 313
Muslims armies were fighting 1000 enemies, formed by several pacts of the nonbelievers.
The incident is related by Zulkifli, (2007) to innovativeness, or the ability to suggest or
accept advance or revolutionary ideas.
5. Knowledgeable
Only Abulhasan (1996), Nik Mustapha (1998), Syed Azauddin (2005) and Siti Arni et. al
(2010) highlighted the value of being knowledgeable. They indicate rationale decision
making and skilled human resource. Sany et al. (2011) adds factual based decision
making, which is central in quality management. As elaborated in ISO9004, the principle
of factual-based decision making stresses on ensuring accessibility, validity and
sufficiency of data for an effective decision making (SIRIM Berhad, 2010).
The Quran has stressed on the importance to depend upon true facts, avoiding mere
anticipation in a verse; “And follow not that of which you have not the knowledge; surely
the hearing and the sight and the heart, all of these, shall be questioned about that”(Surah
al-Israa’: 36). Allah also encourages reference be made towards the learned ones; “Ask
the learned man, if you know not (Surah al-Nahl, 16: 43).
6. Cooperation
In quality management, authors have consistently highlight cooperation or teamwork in
quality management. It is reflected in discussion, problem solving and brainstorming
(Syed Othman, 1996; Syed Azauddin, 2005), and collective pursue of objectives (Nik
Mustapha, 1996; Syed Azauddin, 2005; Khaliq, 2008 and Siti Arni et.al, 2010).
Cooperation also exists in teamwork coordination (Al-Buraey, 2005; Khaliq, 1996),
which is among the important elements of quality management.
In the Quran, Allah has ordered cooperation in the good; “Help one another in furthering
virtue and God-consciousness, and do not help one another in furthering evil and
enmity…” (Surah al-Maidah, 5:2). Indeed, solidarity in team is mentioned in a verse;
“Verily, Allah loves those who fight in His cause in rows (saff, in Arabic) as they were a
solid structure” (Surah al-Saff, 61:4).
Additionally, Prophet Muhammad was reported to advise the Muslims on collective and
mutual support in a sunnah, narrated Abu Musa al-Asha’ari: The Prophet SAW said, "A
believer to another believer is like a building whose different parts enforce each other."
The Prophet SAW then clasped his hands with the fingers interlaced (while saying that)
(Sahih Bukhari)3. The fond towards teamwork had also been depicted in another sunnah;
narrated by Ibn Abbas, the Prophet said, “the hand of Allah is with the jama’ah.” (Sunan
Tirmizi)4
7. Brotherhood
Prophet Muhammad had encouraged brotherhood using an interesting parable; al-
Nu’man bin Bashir narrated that the Prophet said:” You see the believers as regards to
their being merciful among themselves and showing love among themselves and being
kind among themselves, resembling one body. If any part of it is not well, then the whole
body suffers sleeplessness and fever with it” (Sahih Bukhari)5. In another hadith narrated
by Anas, the Prophet said: “None of you will have faith till he wishes for his brother what
he likes for himself” (Sahih Bukhari)6.
Both of the above hadith urge on preserving good relationship among Muslims. In similar,
majority of the contemporary scholars agree on the importance of preserving good
relationship. In quality management, the scope of preserving good relationship does not
only involves the organizational members, but also extends to customers, suppliers or
partners, as well as the society. Some authors differently suggest willingness to share
(Syed Othman, 1996; Nik Mustapha, 1996; Syed Azauddin, 2005), mutual assistance
(Syed Azauddin, 2005; Siddiq et.al, 2010), attentiveness towards others’ feelings (Khaliq,
1996) and involvement in charity (Syed Azauddin, 2005). These elements reflect
brotherhood.
The Prophet had showed good examples in interacting with others. There are
several verses explaining his compassion among his companions and followers.
Certainly a Messenger has come to you from among yourselves; grievous to him is your
falling into distress, excessively solicitous respecting you; to the believers (he is)
compassionate,
8. Values associated with syura
In Islam, syura is unanimously and repeatedly mentioned as a management tool by Mohd
Affandi (1992), Syed Othman (1996), Khaliq (2008) and Maqbouleh (2012). Maqbouleh
(2012) even specifically addresses syura as a quality management tool from Islamic
perspectives. Contemporary Islamic management scholars have described syura as a
process of mutual consultation and discussion for decision making with the aim of
attaining the best decision (Mohd Affandi, 1992; Syed Othman, 1996; Khaliq, 2008 and
Maqbouleh, 2012).
Syura, as mentioned in the Quran refers to commandment of consultation in decision
making; “and take counsel with them in the affairs, so when you have decided, then place
your trust in Allah, surely Allah love those who put trust on Him” (Surah Ali ‘Imran,
3:159).
In the literature, majority of authors identify consultation as a mean of being open-
minded and respectful towards others’ opinion (Abulhasan, 1996; Syed Othman, 1996;
Khaliq, 1996 & 2008; Nik Mustapha, 1996; Al-Buraey, 2005; Sany et al., 2011; and Siti
Arni et al., 2010).
9. Sincerity
The value of sincerity is identified in writings of Syed Othman (1996), Khaliq (1996) and
Mazilan & Sahikh (2005). However, only Mazilan & Shaikh (2005) indicates it by
completion of tasks with freedom from self-interest. He also relates it to the concept of
work as ibadah, which is vacant in others writings. According to Haron (1997), sincerity
refers to the cause of actions for Allah’s blessings without expecting any material
rewards. In the context of work, one targets Allah’s blessings and denies any self-interest
upon tasks completion. Thus, one’s motive of task completion is not pride but fulfillment
of responsibilities. A comprehensive concept of sincerity is decreed in a verse; “Say:
Verily, my prayer, my sacrifice, my living, and my death are for Allah, the Lord of all
that exists” (Surah al-An’am, 6:162).
10. Good Intention
In the literature, good intention as working target has been consistently indicated by Nik
Mustapha (1998), Mazilan & Shaikh (2005) and Syed Azauddin (2005). Good intention
is reflected in goal setting (Abulhasan, 1996; Nik Mustapha, 1996 and Yusuf and al-
Buraey, 2011) and organizational mission and vision (Syed Azauddin, 2005). Siddiq et.al
(2010) extends further to the target of Allah’s blessings, which is the utmost goal of
Muslims.
In Islam, having pure intention is important. This is explained in a popular hadith;
narrated by ‘Umar al-Khattab, I heard Allah’s Messenger SAW saying, "The reward of
deeds depends upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what
he has intended. So whoever emigrated for worldly benefits or for a woman to marry, his
emigration was for what he emigrated for” (Sahih Bukhari)7.
11. Optimism
In the literature, majority indicates optimism as positive perception towards others in job
delegation (Alhabshi, 1996; Nik Mustapha, 1996; al-Buraey, 2005; Syed Azauddin, 2005
and Siti Arni et al., 2010). Others have bridge it more towards spirituality. Sany et al.
(2011) indicates submission to Allah, while Khaliq (1996) indicates hopes and prayer for
future betterment. Additionally, Khaliq (1996) and Syed Azauddin (2005) also indicate
acceptance of current achievement, either positive or negative, as a sign of optimism. In
similar vein, Norman, Avolio, & Luthans (2010) attribute optimism to goal attainment,
meeting deadlines, positive perception and motivated.
Indeed, Allah commands to put trust in Him in a Quranic verse; “Then when you have
taken a decision, put your trust in Allah, certainly, Allah loves those who put their trust in
Him” (Surah Ali Imran: 159).The verse infers optimism in confidence to the will of Allah,
have hopes, tawakkal or submit to Him and admit what has been destined after putting
some effort. In organizational context, optimism refers to trust or positive perception in
person or situation.
The verse encourages optimism by being confident with the will of Allah, have hopes,
tawakkal or submit to Him and admit
12. Consistence
In quality management, consistence is linked to the principle of continual improvement
(Alhabshi, 1996; Nik Mustapha ,1996) Syed Azauddin (2005). Continual improvement is
one of the quality management principles which emphasizes on activities to be performed
consistently. The principle mainly targets to pursue improvement in products, services
and overall performance (SIRIM Berhad, 2010). In parallel, authors have consistently
reflect consistence in activities which are conducted continuously or periodically.
Majority have advocate continual training (Nik Mustapha, 1996 and Alhabshi, 1996),
consistent monitoring (Syed Azauddin, 2005; Khaliq, 2008) and consistent evaluation
(Khaliq, 2008; Sany et al., 2011).
Consistency is encouraged by the Prophet in a hadith; narrated by ‘Aishah, when the
Prophet was asked, "What deeds are loved most by Allah?" He said, "The most regular
constant deeds even though they may be few." He added, 'Don't take upon yourselves,
except the deeds which are within your ability" (Sahih Bukhari)8.
13. Thankfulness
Zulkifli (2007) elaborates that thankfulness is rooted from the concept of work as ibadah
(worship). Thankfulness can be conceptualize when employers and employees mutually
compensates each other as a symbol of appreciation. Employees are appreciated by
employers with a certain amount of wage and other privileges. On the other hand,
employees reciprocated by completion of tasks responsibly.
Being thankful is the right conduct when a person is being bestowed. Indeed, Allah
promises reward for the grateful, “and We shall reward the grateful” (Surah Ali ‘Imran,
3: 145).
The benefit of being thankful which returns to the thankful person, is being explained in a
verse “give thanks to Allah, and whoever give thanks, he gives thanks (the good of) for
himself, and whoever is unthankful, then verily, Allah is All-Rich, Worthy of all
praise.”(Surah Luqman: 12)
In accordance to the above verse, Tafsir Ibn Kathir elaborated that the motive of being
thankful is the person’s own benefit, as Allah the Provider is All-Rich and will never be
harmed by those who are unthankful.
The verse explains thankfulness to be directed to the Creator. However, in organizational
context, within relationship among men, reciprocal appreciation is encouraged. In the
literature, thankfulness is attributed to appreciation of staffs’ potentials (Nik Mustapha,
1996), and execution of employee’s formal reward system (Syed Azauddin, 2005), or
other privileges.
14. Compliance
Zulkifli (2007) denotes that compliance also originates from the concept of work as
‘ibadah (a worship). In order for a work to be counted as ‘ibadah, one needs to comply
with shariah requirements (Islamic principles); the job must be permissible, does not
violate religious obligation and being done with pure intention.
In quality management, compliance covers adherence to decisions, rules, contracts,
prescribed specifications and documentations made by people of the authority. This is
parallel with commandment of Allah;
“O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Apostle and those in authority
from among you; then if you quarrel about anything, refer it to Allah and the
Apostle, if you believe in Allah and the Last Day. That is better and more suitable
for final determination” (Surah al-Nisa’, 4:59).
In the literature, acts of compliance is indicated by compliance towards decision (Syed
Othman, 1996), specifications (Syed Azauddin, 2005 and Sany Sanuri et al., 2011) and
the consistency of documentations with practice (Syed Azauddin, 2005 and Khaliq, 2008).
Nevertheless, the most common indicator is compliance towards procedures, policies and
government’s rules (Nik Mustapha, 1996; Mazilan & Shaikh, 2005; Syed Azauddin, 2005;
Khaliq, 2008 and Sany et al. (2011). Only Syed Othman (1996), Syed Azauddin (2005)
and Sany et al. (2011) addresses commitment to meetings, schedules and plans.
15. Value of time
In conjunction to time management, Allah discourages procrastination in a verse; “Nor
say of anything, I shall be sure to do so and so tomorrow” (Surah al-Kahfi, 18: 23).
Indeed, time should be used wisely as understood from a verse; “By (the token of) time.
Verily man is in loss. Except such have faith, and do righteous deeds, and (join together)
in the mutual teaching of truth, and of patience and constancy” (Surah al-‘Asr, 103: 1-3).
In the literature, appreciation towards time is reflected by immediate response (al-Buraey,
2005; Syed Azauddin, 2005; Sany Sanuri et al., 2011) and punctuality in task submission
(Mazilan & Shaikh, 2005; Khaliq, 1996 and Mohamed & al-Buraey, 2011).
16. Accountable
As elaborated Barry (1979), responsibility is a bundle of obligation assigned with a job or
function. It refers to job description and function of a person, including various processes
and outcomes associated with the two. In differentiating accountability and responsibility,
accountability refers to being answerable to the authority, while responsibility is being
answerable for the assigned tasks.
However, in Islam, accountability before Allah is the utmost priority. Several evidences
may be found in the Quran and Prophetic traditions explaining on the matter. In a verse,
Allah mentions that He is The All-Knower, and man should be answerable before Him;
“and whether you disclose what is in yourselves or conceal it, Allah will call you to
account for it” (Surah al-Baqarah, 2:284); “So whosoever does good equal to the weight
of a speck of dust shall see it. And whosoever does evil equal to the weight of a speck of
dust shall see it” (Surah al-Zalzalah, 99: 7-8).
In another verse, Muslims are individually held accountable for each of their action; “No
bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another” (Surah al-An’am, 6: 164). Indeed,
similar verse appears several times in the Quran, reflecting emphasis and significance on
personal accountability. In parallel, the Prophet mentioned in a hadith; recorded from
‘Awf bin al-Harith bin al-Tufayl, that A’ishah told him that the Prophet SAW used to say,
“O A’ishah! Beware of the sins that are belittled, for indeed they will be taken account by
Allah” (Riwayah Ibn Majah9and al-Nasaie10).
Thus, based on the evidences, accountability may be depicted in two forms, towards
Allah and towards man. However, the former is the ultimate accountability for Muslims.
Once the former is fulfilled, the latter is actually included. Khaliq (1996) and Nik
Mustapha (1996) state that understanding of the concept work as a trust, inspires an
employee to bear accountability towards employers. Another author, Syed Azauddin
(2005) agreed with the concept, but he does not make any relation to the concept of work
as a trust.
17. Patience
Allah has commanded patience for the believers; “O you who believe! Seek help in
patience and prayer. Truly, Allah is with the patient ones” (Surah al-Baqarah, 2: 153). In
elaborating the verse, Tafsir Ibn Kathir has indicated patience as the best tool to ease or
solve difficulties. Thus, in management, patience is a necessity in handling differences,
conflicts and a source to remain calmness in facing hardship and difficulties.
In quality management, the value of patience is limitedly highlighted by Nik Mustapha
(1996) and Siti Arni et al. (2010). However, only Nik Mustapha (1996) indicates its
application in handling different personalities or situation, which is more related to
individual leadership traits rather than quality management.
18. Appropriate infrastructure
The appropriate infrastructure is only highlighted by Syed Azauddin (2005). It refers to
the proper positioning of tools, documents, signs, work instructions, including other
physical facilities. However, the new first revision of MS1900 (Shariah Based Quality
management System), published in 2014, establishes a clause named, ‘Infrastructure’,
which elaborates the organization’s responsibility to determine, provide and maintain
proper infrastructure (SIRIM Berhad, 2014). Among the infrastructures are the
workspace, prayer room and ablution facilities, which conforms the shariah principles
and facilitates the Muslims to fulfill their religious obligations (SIRIM Berhad, 2014). In
addition, the standard also suggests organizations to provide halal (permissible) premises
in the eateries.
The Analysis
A synthesis matrix is created to sort the attributes according to appropriate dimensions.
This is crucial as the method of writing presented by the authors differs. Some merely
suggest value dimensions, while others provided a list of attributes in the form of quality
management practice. Fortunately some authors enlist both dimensions and attributes. As
little effort has been done to segregate the dimensions and attributes, this study presents a
frequency analysis (Table 1), which may propose a general set of values practical to
quality management. Uniquely, these values are founded on Islamic sources.
The 18 value dimensions proposed are specifically correspond with quality management
practice. They are elaborated by several attributes discussed earlier in this paper.
The most frequent value are responsible and openness which have been agreed by 10 and
9 authors respectively. Four values; good intention, justice, brotherhood and cooperation
are equally emphasized by eight authors. This is followed by optimism, consistence,
innovativeness and value of time. These values are parallel with quality management
principles highlighted in ISO9001 (SIRIM Berhad, 2008). Thankfulness, patience and
accountable are limitedly highlighted by less than 30% in the literature. These values are
general and commonly found values and have a very wide scope. The least frequent
values are appropriate physical infrastructure which had only been suggested by one
author. The dimension had just been added to the revised version of MS1900 in 2014
(SIRIM Berhad, 2014).
Values
Author (year)
Knowledgeable
Honesty
Sincerity
Good intention
Responsible
Openness
Justice
Brotherhood
Optimistic
Co-operation
Consistence
Accountable
Thankfulness
Compliance
Innovative ness
Value of time
Patience
Appropriate
infrastructure
Abulhasan (1996)
Alhabshi (1996)
Nik Mustapha
(1996, 1998)
Khaliq (1996)
Al-Buraey (2005)
Mazilan (2005)
Syed Azauddin
(2005)
Khaliq (2008)
Siti Arni (2010)
Siddiq et.al (2010)
Sany et.al (2011)
Youssef & al-
Buraey (2011)
Conclusion
Itqan is the word for quality from Islamic perspectives, in a more comprehensive manner.
It describes quality work done to attain quality output, plus the spiritual element which
act as a firm enforcement. Hence, this article suggests that other relevant values are
subset of itqan.
Islamic values are universal. However, it is unique with its spiritual content; the relation
to oneness of Allah, extension of the next life, and the next life’s rewards and punishment
are among the spiritual contents embedded in Islamic values. The spiritual content serves
as an enforcement factor which attracts Muslims to abide to it. Though the concept is
firmly guided, future studies should venture into empirical modes which may provide
scientific data.
The analysis presented in this paper signifies a number of aspects. First, it provides
insights for a comprehensive list of values, underpinned by Islamic principles, which
applicable in quality management practice. It serves the dearth in studies related to
quality management from Islamic perspective. Second, the list of values removes
redundancy of value dimensions scattered in the literature. An important direction for
future research would be to refine and validate the values.
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An introductory book on management from an Islamic perspective. It's used as text for undergraduate course. The book is complete in terms of walk in to lecture room with power points and with all teaching aids. Question banks and other necessary model answers are available with request. many Malaysian and other institutions of higher learning elsewhere are using as prescribed text.
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