The evolving path of TQM: towards business excellence and stakeholder value

Cristina Mele (Business Economics Department, University of Naples “Federico II”, Napoli, Italy)
Maria Colurcio (Business Economics Department, University of Naples “Federico II”, Napoli, Italy)

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management

ISSN: 0265-671X

Publication date: 1 June 2006



The purpose of this article is to analyze the present level of the adoption of TQM in firms, and to outline an evaluation of its evolving path.


A qualitative method was chosen to analyze the “state‐of‐the‐art” of TQM. A total of 21 firms were investigated, using the case study method, in detailed multiple case studies.


In most of the investigated firms, TQM was characterized by stronger and stronger cultural and behavioural features. The co‐ordinated and systematic development of TQM basic factors helps the priming and feeding of innovative processes favouring the course towards business excellence.

Research limitations/implications

The research is based on a sample of firms and it is necessary to amplify the research process including other enterprises and to outline some forms of categories (with cultural and behavioural aspects).

Practical implications

If TQM is appropriately managed, it supports the organization in achieving excellence, the real source of stakeholder value's continuous creation. In order to achieve business excellence and stakeholder value, TQM importance can be found in two main levels: developing a strategic dimension and the organizational dimension of synergies among TQM, business excellence and stakeholder value.


This paper provides an important contribution in the understanding of the evolution of TQM, stressing theoretical and practical implications in a new perspective. This is a composite perspective based on three elements: innovation, excellence, and value.



Mele, C. and Colurcio, M. (2006), "The evolving path of TQM: towards business excellence and stakeholder value", International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, Vol. 23 No. 5, pp. 464-489.

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Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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