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Strategies for business excellence under an economic crisis

Evangelos P. Afthonidis (University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Greece)
George D. Tsiotras (University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Greece)

The TQM Journal

ISSN: 1754-2731

Article publication date: 7 October 2014




The purpose of this paper is to reveal the appropriate course of actions of any executive toward attaining business excellence, under the limitations and particular conditions that arise in an economic crisis environment.


This paper takes the approach of an extended literature review.


Business excellence is an ideal path for any enterprise which seeks the attainment of a strong competitive advantage in times of economic crisis. This path, through the implementation of the principles of Total Quality Management, leads to a strategic plan that helps the enterprise not only to survive but also to strengthen its position while exploiting opportunities that arise during the recession. The basic elements of such a plan are the satisfaction of all customers and stakeholders, the quest for innovation and the implementation of an aggressive policy in marketing and investments. Toward this target, the most crucial elements are the involvement of the management and, second, the commitment and efforts of all human resources.

Practical implications

The business community and specifically the higher management of any company could reformulate its strategic plan according to the findings of this survey, in order to gain a sustainable competitive advantage over competition.


On the basis of extended literature review, there has been no research work to connect the strategic thinking of enterprises and their management with business excellence in times of economic crisis, which is attempted in this paper. The added value of attaining this goal during harsh times should be a beacon for the higher management in its quest for sustainable competitiveness.



P. Afthonidis, E. and D. Tsiotras, G. (2014), "Strategies for business excellence under an economic crisis", The TQM Journal, Vol. 26 No. 6, pp. 610-624.



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Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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