The Quality of Quality Management: a workout recipe for firm performance

Key Points:

  1. Quality management components of leadership, people management, process management, product design and management, quality data analysis, supplier quality management and customer all relates higher various organizational performance areas.


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.

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

Workout for performance

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


Takeaways for your practice

Like at the gym, it is recommended 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 give you a few examples:

For better Leadership, managers can foster change through continuous improvement and open communication. To enhance the effectiveness of these efforts, leaders should also prioritize employee development, providing them with the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in their roles. Additionally, creating a culture that values and rewards innovation can further stimulate employee engagement and creativity. By aligning these strategies with the organization’s overarching goals and values, leaders can cultivate a dynamic and forward-thinking environment that drives continuous improvement and sustainable growth.

The link between People management and firm performance underlines the importance of “quality-oriented” human resources management. By implementing effective, true and tested HRM, organizations can reach operational excellence that nurtures talent with a culture that enables organizational learning where talent is continuously developed and empowered. This approach not only enhances individual performance but also contributes to the overall success of the organization. Employees are encouraged to innovate, collaborate, and contribute their best efforts, knowing that their work is valued and recognized. This culture of excellence and continuous improvement not only attracts top talent but also retains it, creating a virtuous cycle of high performance and organizational success that helps the bottomline.

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.

We aim to provide you only the best available scientific evidence to inform your decisions.

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

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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