Effect of TQM principles on performance of Indian SMEs: the case of automotive supply chain

Neena Sinha ( GGS Indraprastha University New Delhi India )
Ajay K. Garg ( Fairleigh Dickinson University Vancouver Canada )
Neelam Dhall ( Jagan Institute of Management Studies New Delhi India )

The TQM Journal

ISSN: 1754-2731

Publication date: 3 March 2016



The purpose of the paper is to investigate the effect of TQM principles on organisational performance in Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Indian Auto Component Sector.


The paper is based on survey data collected from quality heads of 120 Auto component SMEs in India and uses correlation and regression analysis to test the relationships between quality management principles and organizational performance.


The study provides evidence that application of TQM principles such as ‘Process Approach’, ‘Mutually Beneficial Supplier Relationship’ and ‘Factual Approach to Decision-Making’ has a positive influence on the performance of Indian Auto component SMEs.

Practical implications

This study presents a number of managerial implications, specifically for quality managers in Indian Auto component SMEs. The focus of these organizations should be on strengthening the supply chain and operations. The quality managers need to align processes and resources based on factual approach to decision making for achieving higher organizational performance. Management of the organizations should also analyse why the soft aspects of TQM namely, Involvement of People, Customer Focus and Leadership are not contributing to the organizational performance in Indian Auto component SMEs.


This paper identifies the key quality management principles that can influence organizational performance in SMEs in the Indian Auto component sector whereas most existing studies have focussed only on Tier-1 organization in this sector. Unlike previous studies on this subject, the present study highlights the significant impact of predominantly hard factors of TQM such as ‘Process Approach’ and ‘Factual Approach to Decision-Making’ with only one soft factor of TQM namely, ‘Mutually Beneficial Supplier Relationship’ being significant.


Sinha, N., Garg, A. and Dhall, N. (2016), "Effect of TQM principles on performance of Indian SMEs: the case of automotive supply chain", The TQM Journal, Vol. 28 No. 3. https://doi.org/10.1108/TQM-10-2014-0086

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