Total quality management performance in multinational companies

Daniel Jiménez-Jiménez (Departamento de Organización de Empresas y Finanzas, Universidad de Murcia, Murcia, Spain)
Micaela Martinez-Costa (Departamento de Organización de Empresas y Finanzas, Universidad de Murcia, Murcia, Spain)
Angel R. Martínez-Lorente (Departamento de Economía de la Empresa, Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena, Cartagena (Murcia), Spain)
Hammady Ahmed Dine Rabeh (Departamento de Organización de Empresas y Finanzas, Universidad de Murcia, Murcia, Spain)

The TQM Journal

ISSN: 1754-2731

Publication date: 13 April 2015



Multinational corporations face a more intense competence and a higher number of changes in the different countries they operate. In this regard, organizational learning and quality management are key elements that could help them to survive in the market. Convinced by the numerous benefits and competitive potential of total quality management (TQM) programmes, corporations have promoted its implementation. The purpose of this paper is to analyse the interaction between these programmes and organizational learning, more precisely with exploitation and exploration capabilities, in order to understand the way in which quality management programmes could help to develop learning in the companies.


Structural equation modelling was used to test the proposed model. The sample comprised 111 medium-sized Spanish companies, with four different responses each. Constructs are measured with Likert scales previously tested in the literature.


The results show that TQM is positively and strongly related to both exploitation and exploration and that the relationship between TQM and exploitation is higher. Concerning the effects of exploitation and exploration on firm performance; results of the analysis show that only exploration capability positively affects organizational performance. It is also confirmed a positive effect of a TQM system in performance.


This research covers a gap in the literature regarding the relationship between organizational learning and TQM, particularly with the concepts of exploitation and exploration in the context of multinational companies.



The authors acknowledge the funding received from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology (research project ECO2009-12825) to undertake this research.


Jiménez-Jiménez, D., Martinez-Costa, M., Martínez-Lorente, A. and Rabeh, H. (2015), "Total quality management performance in multinational companies", The TQM Journal, Vol. 27 No. 3, pp. 328-340.

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