To read this content please select one of the options below:

Overcoming resistance against quality control – a philosophical-empirical approach

Henk J. de Vries (Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, the Netherlands)
Andries Haverkamp (Interface Europe Manufacturing, Scherpenzeel, the Netherlands)

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management

ISSN: 0265-671X

Article publication date: 5 January 2015




The purpose of this paper is to explore the added value of philosophy in understanding and overcoming resistance to quality control.


The paper describes a case in which the philosophy of Herman Dooyeweerd was applied to give advice on a standardisation project within a company. The authors evaluate the project and resistance to it after six years, using the same philosophical approach.


Economic goals of quality control were achieved without any substantial employee resistance by addressing non-economic aspects. Apparently, social needs are not necessarily detrimental to economic goals. On the contrary, it is difficult to achieve economic goals if the social aspects are not being addressed.

Research limitations/implications

Though based on one case study only, the findings suggest that a multi-aspect approach to quality management is very promising.

Practical implications

The approach is not just a TQM tool but rather a way of addressing various aspects in a systematic and balanced way. Familiarising managers with this approach should help them to balance financial and other aspects without making those other aspects instrumental to achieving financial targets.


The paper presents a new multi-aspect approach to quality management, based on philosophy in business research. It seems that the value of this approach reaches beyond the area of quality management and can be important to organisation studies in general.



de Vries, H.J. and Haverkamp, A. (2015), "Overcoming resistance against quality control – a philosophical-empirical approach", International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, Vol. 32 No. 1, pp. 18-41.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles