The current study probes the multi-dimensional link between total quality management (TQM) and knowledge management (KM) and investigates how different TQM's dimensions impacts KM processes and how this nexus impacts organizational performance (operational and financial performance) by considering KM as an intermediating variable between TQM and organizational performance.
Six TQM practices are taken from “Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award”, namely leadership, customer focus, strategic planning, human resource management, process management and information and analysis; KM processes include knowledge creation, acquisition, sharing and application and organizational performance comprises operational and financial performance. The researcher put together data from different sized services and manufacturing firms, from small, to medium and large firms located in the United Kingdom (UK).
The results suggested that a positive correlation existed between TQM, KM and organizational performance. KM is also shown to have quite a strong and positive influence on firm operational and financial performance and partially mediates the relationship between TQM and corporate performance. Dimensional analysis indicates that leadership, strategic planning, customer focus and HRM have a significant positive impact on all KM process, while mixed results have been found for process management and information and analysis. The contextual analysis indicates that except for knowledge creation, TQM plays an equally significant role for the majority of manufacturing establishments and services firms.
The present research makes a significant contribution to the scarce literature on the relationship between TQM and KM (mainly at dimensional level), particularly in the context of the UK, and provides a detailed understanding of the relations between different TQM and KM dimensions, and how their relationship impacts on the operational and financial performance of different sizes of manufacturing and services firms.
Total quality management (TQM) enhances firms' knowledge management (KM) capabilities
KM partially mediates the relationship between TQM and firms' performance
Leadership, customer focus and process management indicated insignificant impact on knowledge creation
TQM and KM are equally important for all sizes manufacturing and services firms
Abbas, J. and Kumari, K. (2021), "Examining the relationship between total quality management and knowledge management and their impact on organizational performance: a dimensional analysis", Journal of Economic and Administrative Sciences, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JEAS-03-2021-0046
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