The quality of Quality Management

Achieving high performances in organizations is a continuous challenge that demands an adequate preparation, like a physical training. This preparation can rely on Quality Management practices.

As the “quality guru” Philip B.Crosby stated: “improving quality requires a culture change, not just a new diet” (1984). Quality Management principles, indeed, are not a set of restrictions that starves organizations in order to win the challenges: they can be rather seen as a “training table” that ensures a good performance.

But is there any profits for the organizations that choose the “physical training” of the Quality Management?


The challenge

To “win the race” and gain the profit, organizations need to perform the best they can.

Performance is composed of financial dimensions (market share growth, profitability, return on assets, etc.), operational dimensions (as inventory performance), product quality (conformance, design, reliability) and customer service.


Workout for performance

Nair (2006) conducted a meta-analysis of those articles that analyze the relationship between Quality Management practices and performance. He found that the use of these practices is positively correlated to a good aggregate firm performance.

He also studied how individual practices of the Quality Management “training table” improve the dimensions of performance, besides almost every individual practice influences the relationships between the others and performance dimensions:

1) Management Leadership is associated with Financial performance, Customer service and Product quality;

2) People Management is linked to good Financial performance and good Operational Performance;

3) Process Management correlates with Financial performance and Customer service;

4) Product design and management dimension relates with the dimension of Operational performance, even if it is the only one not directly correlated with firm performance;

5) Quality data analysis correlates with Customer service;

6) Supplier quality management is linked to Operational performance;

7) Customer focus is associated with each dimension of performance.


Take away for your practice

Like at the gym, it is recommendable to perform each exercise accurately and to adapt the training to organizational structures and contexts. Nevertheless, there are many attempts to elicit some practical application of the Quality Management principles in order to ensure a good performance. To encourage Leadership Management, for example, managers can foster change through continuous improvement and open communication.

The link between People management and firm performance underlines the importance of “quality-oriented” human resources management.

It is also required to realize customized improvements targeted at the supplier and carry out a quality data analysis using information tools, such as statistical process control and cost of quality measures. To guarantee customer satisfaction and to ensure a better design of products and processes, can be convenient to invest in customer complaints evaluation and expectation monitoring systems.

These advantages prompt practitioners to keep on adopting Quality Management practices in their organizations, but what about you? Are you ready for staying in shape?

You can tell us some useful practices in the comment section below.


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Crosby, P. (1984). Quality Without Tears. New York: McGraw Hill.

You can find the original book here!

Nair, A. (2006). Meta-analysis of the relationship between quality management practices and firm performance, implications for quality management theory development. Journal of Operations Management, 24(6), 948-975.

You can find the original article here!

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