Notes the spread of organizational efforts at continuous improvement using a total quality management (TQM) strategy throughout the global marketplace, and that the factors and practices which lead to quality improvement are indeed well documented. Points out that, while most organizations which start TQM efforts are motivated to succeed, they are frequently exposed to the factors which may cause their TQM efforts to struggle or even fail. Details research in which 137 managers from practising TQM organizations were asked to assess their perceptions of TQM on a host of critical issues associated with long‐term continuous improvement, and were asked to identify specific reasons why quality problems still existed in their organizations. Finds that these managers believe that TQM efforts improve quality, yet they also described a host of problems which can plague organizations well advanced in the TQM process. Maintains that an understanding of these problems can provide needed help for companies involved in long‐term continuous improvement efforts.
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