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Redefining quality in terms of value, risk and cost: a literature review

Nigel P. Grigg (Department of Operations and Engineering Innovation, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand)

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management

ISSN: 0265-671X

Article publication date: 29 September 2020

Issue publication date: 6 April 2021




The purpose of this paper is to present a literature review demonstrating that quality and its management are increasingly definable as a balancing act between value, risk and cost throughout the value stream, from product/service design to production and delivery, and purchaser decision-making. An original framework is presented showing this interplay across the value stream, referred to as the QVRC framework.


Content analysis is combined with bibliometric analytics, displayed via temporal graphs and citation networks. Reviewed literature is transdisciplinary, encompassing marketing, operations/quality and psychology sources. Core quality management methodologies are positioned on the framework illustrating their relative contribution to value, risk and cost management.


The QVRC framework is developed, and used as a basis for classifying models and methodologies associated with quality management. A set of propositions are developed, which, together with the framework, set an agenda for further research.

Research limitations/implications

No literature review can capture the richness of discourses on terms as pervasive as value, risk and cost. This paper aims to present a systematic and reliable sampling of such literature.

Practical implications

The resulting model can be applied to management tools, and to products and services.


Researchers, particularly in marketing, have developed models of value, risk and cost in terms of products and services. However, delivering products that provide the appropriate value, risk and cost trade-off is an operations management problem. This is the first paper to combine value, risk and cost across the value stream showing how this interplay extends beyond product.



Grigg, N.P. (2021), "Redefining quality in terms of value, risk and cost: a literature review", International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, Vol. 38 No. 5, pp. 1065-1089.



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