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Quality management framework for public management decision making

Billy T.W. Yu (School of Business, Macao Polytechnic Institute, Macao, The People's Republic of China)
W.M. To (School of Business, Macao Polytechnic Institute, Macao, The People's Republic of China)
Peter K.C. Lee (Department of Logistics and Maritime Studies, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, The People's Republic of China)

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747

Article publication date: 23 March 2012




This paper aims to explore the practice of quality management framework as a strategic tool for public management.


The paper starts with a basic process‐based model; it then enhances the model with the quality management principles for continuous improvement. With identification of concerned factors from the literature, it examines their usefulness in the quality management system.


An empirical analysis on the framework identifies eight factors: factual approach to decision making, use of quality tools, customer focus, leadership, involvement of people, process approach, mutually beneficial supplier partnership and internal results. The framework shows that leadership and customer focus are much more important than previously anticipated for successful implementation of quality management system.

Research limitations/implications

Managers in public organizations must realize that all high performance organizations, whether private or public, are by principle customer‐driven. In addition, it is imperative for them to enhance their leadership as it is essential for effective quality improvement.


While the effect of adopting a quality management system on organizational performance has been well documented, the underlying mechanism about how the system works has yet to be empirically identified. This paper contributes to the literature by addressing such a gap and presenting a causal model for quality management principles.



Yu, B.T.W., To, W.M. and Lee, P.K.C. (2012), "Quality management framework for public management decision making", Management Decision, Vol. 50 No. 3, pp. 420-438.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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