Creating excellence in construction companies: UK contractors’ experiences of quality initiatives

Steven McCabe (Senior Lecturer in Construction Management and Director of Research, School of Building and Building Surveying, University of Central England, Birmingham, UK)

The TQM Magazine

ISSN: 0954-478X

Publication date: 1 December 1996


Describes research being carried out into the effects of introducing quality initiatives such as ISO 9000 (formerly BS 5750) and TQM (total quality management) in large contracting firms. Suggests that the context in which they operate is confrontational and adversarial. This makes the introduction of quality doubly difficult where time and money are at a premium. The central theme is that contrary to the belief that “We can’t afford to improve”; construction firms, like those operating in any market, “Cannot afford not to”. Analyses the effectiveness of these initiatives on the main constituent of the firms ‐ people. Provides an insight into the difficulties that practitioners face, particularly quality managers, most especially in construction, in introducing and maintaining such initiatives.



McCabe, S. (1996), "Creating excellence in construction companies: UK contractors’ experiences of quality initiatives", The TQM Magazine, Vol. 8 No. 6, pp. 14-19.

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Copyright © 1996, MCB UP Limited

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