Problems of implementation force Cowie to change its quality system

Stephen C. Willoughby (Stephen C. Willoughby is a Research Assistant at the University of Sunderland Business School)
D.K. Wilson (D.K. Wilson is Cowie Professor of Quality and Management Development at the University of Sunderland)

Managing Service Quality: An International Journal

ISSN: 0960-4529

Publication date: 1 August 1997


Discusses the results of a pilot evaluation of the use of computer software to support the quality management system at one motor dealership in the Cowie Group. This focused particularly on its effectiveness at analysing quality non‐compliances logged by staff. This survey highlighted cultural problems, in particular staff resentment towards the quality system, the inadequacies of the software to provide management with the required information, and how the non‐compliance system encouraged hostile relationships between departments. All of these factors hindered the implementation process and meant that no one was willing to use the software. Describes how Cowie Group management sought to overcome these problems and make staff aware of the importance of following the quality system by redefining it in language which it believed staff would more readily understand ‐ that of how much quality non‐compliances cost the Cowie Group in lost profit and the staff in lost potential bonus payments. Looks briefly at attempts made by others to analyse complaints effectively and relates this experience to the Cowie Group situation. Concludes by proposing further research to investigate development of an appropriate quality cost model for the Cowie Group and whether or not this results in the desired improvement in staff attitude.



Willoughby, S. and Wilson, D. (1997), "Problems of implementation force Cowie to change its quality system", Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, Vol. 7 No. 4, pp. 185-193.

Download as .RIS




Copyright © 1997, MCB UP Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.