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An empirical study of quality function deployment on company performance

Andreas Herrmann (Center for Business Metrics, University of St. Gallen, St. Gallen, Switzerland)
Frank Huber (University of Mainz, Mainz, Germany)
René Algesheime (University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland)
Torsten Tomczak (Center for Business Metrics, University of St. Gallen, St. Gallen, Switzerland)

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management

ISSN: 0265-671X

Article publication date: 1 April 2006




Quality function deployment (QFD) has had considerable success in terms of its implementation in companies. It has also been the subject of many studies in recent years. It seems, however, that there are some shortcomings in the research on this subject and in particular the lack of an adequate conceptual framework suitable for empirical research. The purpose of this paper is to address this issue.


This study proposes and elaborates a model which examines QFD in relation to three dimensions of performance: improvement of product quality, reduction in costs for R&D, shorter R&D time. The model is empirically tested on data gathered on a stratified random sample of manufacturing plants through the application of valid and reliable measures. The model is tested using structural equation modeling.


The results show three distinct paths of direct influence which lead, respectively, to superior economic performance. The empirical study has shown that the success of a QFD project is mainly influenced by motivated employees in the QFD project team. A comprehensive technical support for the QFD project is also a crucial key success factor. The strict organization of the QFD project is of minor, however still remarkable importance for the success.


This article specifically addresses the following four questions. What are the variables which affect QFD? What are the outcomes from using QFD? What relationships exist between QFD variables and outcomes? What guidelines may be offered for managers of QFD? By answering these questions the manager will get a clear understanding of the impact of QFD on corporate success.



Herrmann, A., Huber, F., Algesheime, R. and Tomczak, T. (2006), "An empirical study of quality function deployment on company performance", International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, Vol. 23 No. 4, pp. 345-366.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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