This article is an attempt to clarify the links between quality management and business ethics in order to show what quality management can learn from insights out of the field of business ethics.
Based on research in the field of business ethics, methods and processes are explored for implementing quality management within organisations.
An important result of this study is that only by combining personal care with control of processes is it possible to achieve the highest levels of quality. The implications of these findings are discussed along with future directions for research on quality management.
In total quality management systems, attention is paid to social responsibility as far as the impact on society is recognised and implemented within the company. However, this paper puts forward the necessity for relational responsibility based on personal care as a crucial factor in the relationships between supervisors and employees, between salespeople and customers, et cetera. Therefore, the incorporation of relational responsibility into quality programmes seems an important next step in the development of quality management.
Responsibility in the sense of authority distribution within organisations is a central topic for quality management. This paper contributes to a broader view on responsibility based on moral values, personal care and its impact on stakeholder relationships.
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