Involvement is a topic of long‐standing interest to management scholars and practitioners, as evidenced by the proliferation of concepts (job involvement, organisational involvement, employee involvement, total involvement) designed to operationalise the construct. Involvement is also of crucial importance to total quality management as a vital means to achieve customer satisfaction, delight and commitment through continuous quality improvement. Yet, involvement in total quality is different from traditional involvement – being a holistic, multi‐faceted construct; based on distinctive TQM principles; and aiming at different objectives. Furthermore, a number of team involvement mechanisms (i.e. quality circles, quality improvement teams and/or quality project teams) have been used interchangeably in the TQM literature, indicating that these concepts are theoretically redundant. The analysis undertaken in this paper reveals that, although closely related, these constructs are not identical since they fulfil differentiated functions. Suggestions for advancing the study of total involvement in quality management are rendered.
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