Literature refers to the key factors of total quality management (TQM) based on studies carried out in individual countries. However, few studies focus on studying the TQM factors in service companies based on multinational data. The purpose of this paper is to empirically identify the key TQM factors and their impact on internal and external customer performance measures across different countries.
The research questions regarding the TQM factors and their effects were examined using a sample of service organisations from three countries (131 from Greece, 70 from Mexico and 151 from Spain). TQM factors and their impact on employee and customer satisfaction were analysed separately for each country. Exploratory factor analyses, coupled with multiple linear regression analyses, were conducted.
The key TQM factors identified are common among the three participating countries and can be summarised as follows: quality practices of top management, process management, employee quality management, customer focus, and employee knowledge and education. The adoption level of these five key factors of TQM varies across service organisations in different countries. The results also confirmed that some of the TQM elements are antecedents of customer- and employee-focused performance.
Multinational service organisations may use such an instrument to evaluate TQM implementation among worldwide operations and then benchmark their performance. In addition, an understanding of similarities and differences among countries would help managers around the world to address difficulties of TQM implementation related to the country culture.
Previous studies have compared key TQM factors across different countries in manufacturing, but overall, there has been a little attempt in the literature to analyse the adoption of TQM factors among service firms, as well the relationships between quality improvement and performance across different geographical regions.
Bouranta, N., Psomas, E., Suárez-Barraza, M. and Jaca, C. (2019), "The key factors of total quality management in the service sector: a cross-cultural study", Benchmarking: An International Journal, Vol. 26 No. 3, pp. 893-921. https://doi.org/10.1108/BIJ-09-2017-0240Download as .RIS
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