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“Quality lives on”: quality initiatives and practices in Australia and Britain

Peter G. Burcher (Aston Business School, Birmingham, UK)
Gloria L. Lee (Aston Business School, Birmingham, UK)
Dianne Waddell (Deakin University, Burwood, Australia)

The TQM Journal

ISSN: 1754-2731

Article publication date: 24 August 2010




The purpose of this research is to explore the incidence of innovative approaches to quality in both Australia and Britain, the reasons behind their implementation, the ways in which they were undertaken and the success factors and the pitfalls encountered along the way.


A structured postal questionnaire was sent to 1,000 quality managers in both Australia and Britain. A response was received from 129 Australian and 175 British companies, who reported on why they did or did not introduce a new quality initiative within the past five years.


A comparative analysis shows trends, similarities and differences, and future directions of quality in both countries. The paper concludes by identifying important lessons for senior management needing to make changes in this important aspect of any business. A high proportion of organisations in both countries are actively undertaking new quality initiatives. The impetus to change and the barriers to successful implementation were common to both countries. The type of initiative differed between the two countries, with a preponderance of ISO 9000 in Australia amongst a much wider choice of approaches than in Britain. There is a low take‐up of Six Sigma in both countries, particularly in Australia.


The paper offers a recent insight into quality approaches undertaken in both countries and identifies important lessons for senior management.



Burcher, P.G., Lee, G.L. and Waddell, D. (2010), "“Quality lives on”: quality initiatives and practices in Australia and Britain", The TQM Journal, Vol. 22 No. 5, pp. 487-498.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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