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Relationship between TQM and innovation: an empirical study

Prakash J. Singh (Lecturer in Operations Management, Department of Management at The University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia)
Alan J.R. Smith (Senior Lecturer, Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, at The University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia)

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management

ISSN: 1741-038X

Article publication date: 1 July 2004



It is generally acknowledged that organisations need to be innovative in order to survive and prosper. Some advocates of total quality management (TQM) have suggested that it provides the necessary platform for inculcating innovation in organisations. Intuitively, TQM components involving sound and effective practices on leadership, customer focus, relations with suppliers, employee inter‐relationships, information/communication systems and management of processes and products do appear to enable organisations develop culture of innovation. A robust TQM‐innovation relationship appears to be conceptually plausible, but little empirical evidence has so far been offered to support this proposition. In this paper, this relationship is explored. Empirical data were taken from a survey of 418 Australian manufacturing organisations. Structural equation modelling technique was used for statistical analysis. Results show that there is insufficient statistical evidence to suggest that TQM is related to innovation. There could well be a more complex relationship between these concepts.



Singh, P.J. and Smith, A.J.R. (2004), "Relationship between TQM and innovation: an empirical study", Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, Vol. 15 No. 5, pp. 394-401.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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