Leadership performance in TQM: a contingency approach

Göran Svensson (School of Business and Engineering, Halmstad University, Halmstad, Sweden)

The TQM Magazine

ISSN: 0954-478X

Publication date: 1 December 2005



The objective is to describe and conceptualize leadership performance in total quality management (TQM).


A contingency approach to leadership performance in TQM is undertaken.


Contingency models of leadership performance in TQM are introduced. Principal parameters in these models are timely contextual accuracies – as well as they contain foresight versus improvidence accuracies – of TQM. A contingency process of leadership performance accuracy in TQM is also introduced. The accuracy parameters are linked by a process accuracy zone. It serves as a descriptive tool of leadership performance. Finally, a typology of leadership performances in TQM is conceptualised.

Research limitations/implications

Generally, this paper is restricted to the core values of TQM, in which a set of core values unites the descriptions of TQM. In particular, this paper is limited to the core value of leadership/management commitment. An important area of further research is to examine the actual accuracy of leadership performance across contexts and over time, as well as foresight versus improvidence accuracy in TQM.

Practical implications

The models, process and typology introduced may be applicable to examine and describe corporate leadership performance in TQM. They may also be used for teaching and training purposes, and in particular as an eye‐opener to the leadership itself, as well as to the employees, the shareholders and other stakeholders (e.g. analysts) in the marketplace. Furthermore, they may be used to position an organisation's specific leadership performance and to compare it with the leadership performance of others (e.g. competitors, suppliers and customers).


The contributions of this paper are: two linked contingency models of leadership performance in TQM, a contingency process, and a typology, both of which are of interest to both practitioners and scholars.



Svensson, G. (2005), "Leadership performance in TQM: a contingency approach", The TQM Magazine, Vol. 17 No. 6, pp. 527-536. https://doi.org/10.1108/09544780510627624

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