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Article
Publication date: 23 July 2020

Abuaraki Osman Ahmed and Abdalla Abdelrahim Idris

Soft total quality management (TQM) aspects are the facets of TQM that mainly concern with the management of human resource in a way to achieve the results of employees'…

Abstract

Purpose

Soft total quality management (TQM) aspects are the facets of TQM that mainly concern with the management of human resource in a way to achieve the results of employees' job satisfaction. Based on this approach, the objective of this research is to examine the relationship between the most popular five soft TQM aspects and employees' job satisfaction in “ISO 9001” certified Sudanese oil companies.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected through questionnaires from employees across a total of five Sudanese oil companies owned by the government, and adopting an ISO-9001 quality program. The total population of the study consists of 1,505 permanent employees, while the sample size was 253 employees, determined by adopting a stratified random sampling technique. The multiple regression model was adopted for data analysis.

Findings

The results showed that the construct of soft TQM aspects including “top management commitment”, “employee empowerment”, “teamwork”, “training and education” and “employee involvement” explain 74% in the variance of employees' job satisfaction. Results showed positive association between soft TQM aspects and employees' job satisfaction at the 5% significance level. It was also found that each individual variable of the five soft TQM aspects has a significant positive association with employees' job satisfaction. Meanwhile, the results indicated that the most important soft TQM aspect in explaining the variability of employees' job satisfaction was the “employee empowerment” with the highest correlation coefficient (β) of (0.189).

Practical implications

The study recommends that in order to achieve their primary goal of employees' satisfaction, HR practitioners within organizations adopting total quality programs should align their practice in such a way to enhance soft aspects of TQM. Policy makers and top management in order to gain long-term infrastructural benefits obtained from employees' job satisfaction should show a visible support to TQM programs and allocate necessary resources to train their staff in the quality management system that enhance their empowerment and involvement. The study also recommends that since soft aspects of TQM raise their job satisfaction, employees should support and conform to quality management systems within their organizations.

Originality/value

The paper focuses on soft TQM aspects’ practical implementation. The findings make a significant contribution by using ISO-certified governmental Sudanese oil companies and tested the hypothesized model entails the impact of soft TQM implementation and employees' job satisfaction.

Details

The TQM Journal, vol. 33 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2731

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2005

Ooi Keng Boon, V. Arumugam and Teo Seng Hwa

This study seeks to investigate the effects of soft total quality management (TQM) on employees’ attitudes within a large Malaysian semiconductor organization. Despite…

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4988

Abstract

Purpose

This study seeks to investigate the effects of soft total quality management (TQM) on employees’ attitudes within a large Malaysian semiconductor organization. Despite extensive research on “softTQM practices, there has not been much research this area. Therefore, the proposed model was developed with the intention of examining this relationship.

Design/methodology/approach

Original research using self‐completed questionnaires, distributed to all staff within this organization, is thoroughly reported. The study sample consisted of 230 employees, resulting in a response rate of 76.6 percent. Data were analyzed by the latest version of SPSS, employing correlation and multiple regression analysis.

Findings

The results revealed that employees' perceptions of soft TQM significantly relate to employees’ attitudes with those perceiving a greater degree of awareness of soft TQM exhibiting more positive reactions towards job involvement, career satisfaction and organizational commitment. It is also found that, where teamwork was a dominant soft TQM practice, strong associations with employees’ attitudes existed. This analysis gives new insight into “softTQM concepts and, furthermore, the results of the multiple regression analysis confirmed that all variables were significantly related to perceptions of soft TQM practices and thus implementing TQM does pay off. The results also support the proposed model based on the empirically validated soft TQM instruments, which are reliable and valid.

Originality/value

The significance of this study would enable top management to strategize their goal alignments, which would eventually help promote mutual understanding between the management and employees and thus yielding significant results on employees’ attitudes. The conclusions, limitations and implications of the study are also extensively discussed.

Details

The TQM Magazine, vol. 17 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0954-478X

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Article
Publication date: 28 October 2021

Rasha Zuhair Alkhaldi and Ayman Bahjat Abdallah

The present study conceptualizes total quality management (TQM) in terms of soft and hard aspects and examines their effects on quality performance and patient…

Abstract

Purpose

The present study conceptualizes total quality management (TQM) in terms of soft and hard aspects and examines their effects on quality performance and patient satisfaction. The indirect effects of soft and hard TQM on patient satisfaction through quality performance are also investigated.

Design/methodology/approach

A multi-item questionnaire was prepared to gather primary data from a sample of 312 medical employees in private hospitals in Jordan. The measurement model was evaluated for validity and reliability and determined to be acceptable. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was applied to test the research hypotheses.

Findings

The results revealed that soft TQM has a strong positive effect on quality performance and patient satisfaction. Hard TQM was found to positively affect quality performance but to a lesser extent compared to soft TQM. The effect of hard TQM on patient satisfaction, meanwhile, was not significant. Quality performance positively mediated the relationship between TQM – both soft and hard – and patient satisfaction.

Originality/value

This study is one of the first to conceptualize TQM in terms of soft and hard aspects in a health care context. It offers valuable insights for managers of private hospitals looking to enhance quality performance and patient satisfaction. The results reveal that soft TQM is the primary driver of quality performance and patient satisfaction in the health care context, which is in stark contrast to the manufacturing sector.

Details

Journal of Health Organization and Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7266

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Article
Publication date: 19 September 2019

Svetoslav Georgiev and Seiichi Ohtaki

The purpose of this paper is to address a perennial question regarding the importance of soft total quality management (TQM) as part of the TQM implementation process – a…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to address a perennial question regarding the importance of soft total quality management (TQM) as part of the TQM implementation process – a topic that has been significantly understudied. Specifically, the authors address previous calls in the literature for stressing the soft aspects of TQM and for drawing a critical success factor (CSF) list that is formulated on the basis of empirical research instead of theory.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a comparative qualitative case study of three manufacturing SMEs combining empirical data from in-depth, semi-structured interviews with a large variety of stakeholders – from top managers to shop-floor workers, site visits and observations.

Findings

The study identifies 12 soft CSFs, and while most of these factors have been well-documented in the literature (e.g. top management involvement and leadership), the authors show evidence for the existence of other soft constructs that have not been considered or have been given little importance previously (i.e. middle management involvement and support, reward and recognition, CSR focus).

Research limitations/implications

The study fills two major gaps in the (T)QM literature. First, it enriches the understanding of TQM implementation among Japanese SMEs. Second, it addresses the importance of soft TQM as part of the TQM implementation process.

Practical implications

This paper provides company owners and managers with valuable knowledge that may assist their organisations in the pursuit of business excellence including higher product quality and employee satisfaction.

Originality/value

To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first (international) study to investigate TQM implementation within the context of Japanese SMEs.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. 27 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

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Article
Publication date: 6 August 2018

Ahmad Musbah Albuhisi and Ayman Bahjat Abdallah

The purpose of this paper is to explore the effect of soft total quality management (TQM) on organizational performance in the Jordanian pharmaceutical manufacturing…

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1188

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the effect of soft total quality management (TQM) on organizational performance in the Jordanian pharmaceutical manufacturing sector using the balanced scorecard (BSC) perspective. It also examines the indirect effect of soft TQM on financial performance through BSC non-financial perspectives.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is based on survey data collected from 197 employees in managerial and non-managerial positions working in Jordanian pharmaceutical manufacturing companies. Validity and reliability analyses were performed, and the study hypotheses were tested using structural equation modeling.

Findings

The results indicated that soft TQM positively affected all BSC perspectives. Customer perspective positively affected financial performance while innovation and learning perspective and internal business process perspective did not. In addition, only customer perspective significantly mediated the relationship between soft TQM and financial performance.

Originality/value

This is one of the first papers to examine the effect of soft TQM on organizational performance in terms of BSC perspective in the pharmaceutical sector. In addition, this paper is the first to examine the mediating effects of the BSC non-financial perspectives on the relationship between soft TQM and financial performance.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 35 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2019

Mohammad Javad Ershadi, Nafiseh Najafi and Paria Soleimani

Total quality management (TQM) is a part of the total quality assurance perspective. This system, which is considered as a type of managerial philosophy, employs all…

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1384

Abstract

Purpose

Total quality management (TQM) is a part of the total quality assurance perspective. This system, which is considered as a type of managerial philosophy, employs all organizational levels to constantly ameliorate the quality of goods and service. The purpose of this paper is to measure the effect of hard and soft TQM factors on the behavior of customers based on the role of innovation and continuous improvement.

Design/methodology/approach

The research model was extracted from TQM variables in hard and soft parts, customer behavior, innovation and continuous improvement by reviewing the literature and research background. Based on this, a questionnaire was prepared and then, distributed among the statistical population including 374 project managers, quality assurance managers as well as quality control managers by using simple random sampling. All sub-criteria of questionnaire were determined using Delphi technique, to test the research model. Having gathered the questionnaire, the hypotheses were analyzed by using structural equation modeling and AMOS software.

Findings

According to the statistical analyses, TQM has a significant effect on customer behavior through continuous improvement of the quality and innovation. Also, regarding the obtained results, the highest effect was related to the effect of hard TQM factors on customer behavior through innovation as 0.62. Furtheremore, TQM soft factors such as human resource management have significant effect on customer behavior through quality improvement and innovation. Moreover, TQM hard factors are effective on customer behavior through quality improvement and innovation.

Research limitations/implications

The questionnaire was designed and distributed in order to evaluate the hypotheses in this study. One of the primary rationales behind utilizing this method instead of other methods such as interview was high geographical distribution of organizations. Using other moderator variables such as knowledge management, customer knowledge management and customer emotions can be conducted in the future in this area.

Practical implications

Changing the organizational relationships from task orientation to the process orientation, and controlling the organizational performance by measuring process innovations and improvements, while paying attention to the customer satisfaction system are suggested in this paper. These implications should be implemented in construction projects by department of project management office. Furtheremore, providing different communication for receiving the opinions of the customer and imposing them in the product and service, paying attention to the response system and customer complaint, implementation of this process in the organization, and having a process approach for presenting and developing services are the main subjects in this regard.

Originality/value

Unlike previous studies on this subject, a structural equation model is used for assessing unobservable latent constructs and their related interrelationship in measuring the impact of TQM factors. Focusing on customer behavior which is a broader domain than customer satisfation through continuous improvement of the quality and innovation is another value of this research.

Details

The TQM Journal, vol. 31 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2731

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Article
Publication date: 21 June 2013

Manal Yunis, Joo Jung and Shouming Chen

The purpose is to examine the role of TQM in a strategy‐TQM‐performance model. More specifically, it seeks to investigate whether TQM has a driving role in the formation…

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6648

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose is to examine the role of TQM in a strategy‐TQM‐performance model. More specifically, it seeks to investigate whether TQM has a driving role in the formation of strategy or has a mediating effect in the strategy‐performance relationship.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey was used to collect data. The instrument was assessed for its validity and reliability. Structural equation modelling was employed.

Findings

TQM influences strategy formulation process and it is a dynamic resource that contributes to the achievement of a sustainable competitive advantage. In addition, soft TQM has a higher impact than hard TQM on competitive strategy formulation and on performance.

Research limitations/implications

The model developed and tested can be enriching to the TQM, strategic management, and quality management fields. Future research is recommended to use methods other than self‐report questionnaires and to account for certain behavioral factors that can influence the relationships investigated in the study.

Practical implications

The findings provide insights to the need to integrate TQM with the various stages of the strategy formulation process, with an emphasis on the soft elements of TQM, including customer satisfaction, management and leadership, and employee relations.

Originality/value

Despite the remarkable contributions of existent research, there is a lack of substantive research that examines the relationship between the hard and soft components of TQM on one hand and the two types of competitive strategy – differentiation and cost leadership – on the other. This gap is filled by this study.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 30 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

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Article
Publication date: 5 August 2014

Evangelos Psomas, Fotis Vouzas and Dimitrios Kafetzopoulos

The purpose of the paper is to examine the binary character of total quality management (TQM) in food companies and to determine the impact of the two aspects of TQM – the…

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4284

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the paper is to examine the binary character of total quality management (TQM) in food companies and to determine the impact of the two aspects of TQM – the “soft” and “hard” – on the quality management benefits.

Design/methodology/approach

A research project was carried out in 90 Greek food companies, using the questionnaire method. Two measurement models have been formulated. The first model includes the TQM philosophical elements and quality tools/techniques, while the second model includes the quality management benefits. Exploratory factor analyses are applied to extract the latent factors. The factors that significantly influence the quality management benefits are determined through multiple linear regression analyses.

Findings

The analysis of the models confirms the binary character of TQM (the “soft” and “hard” TQM elements) in food companies and the existence of internal and external quality management benefits. The “softTQM elements have a significant direct impact on quality improvement, employee benefits and customer satisfaction. However, the impact of the “hard” TQM elements on the above quality management benefits is not direct but indirect, through their significant correlation with the “softTQM elements. Finally, quality improvement is also a significant factor that directly influences employee benefits, customer satisfaction and business performance.

Research limitations/implications

The small size of the sample of the responding food companies, the diversity of these companies and the subjective character of the data collected are limitations that suggest future research recommendations.

Practical implications

Food companies should realize the leading role of the “soft” aspect of TQM and the supporting role of the “hard” aspect in maximizing the quality management benefits and as a consequence in withstanding the current economic downturn.

Originality/value

Focusing on “quality-oriented” food companies that have ample experience in quality and food safety management systems, the present study reveals a significant direct impact of the “softTQM elements and an indirect impact of the “hard” TQM elements on the quality management benefits.

Details

The TQM Journal, vol. 26 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2731

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Article
Publication date: 25 May 2021

Niki Glaveli, Fotios Vouzas and Myrsine Roumeliotou

The current study provides insights on the application of critical soft TQM practices in primary and secondary education and their impact on teachers' job satisfaction (TJS).

Abstract

Purpose

The current study provides insights on the application of critical soft TQM practices in primary and secondary education and their impact on teachers' job satisfaction (TJS).

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a review of the literature related to TQM application in primary and secondary education, six soft TQM elements were traced as critical to the success of TQM implementation in the school environment: participation/involvement in continuous improvement, teamwork, empowerment, appraisal systems/recognition and reward for quality, training and development (T&D) and leadership (vision/commitment to quality culture). Moreover, their relationship to JS was theoretically founded and empirically tested. An online questionnaire was used as the research instrument. The participants were 200 primary and secondary public school teachers working in urban, semi urban and rural regions of Greece. After assessing the validity and reliability of the measurement scales, multiple regression analysis was applied to test the hypothesized relationships.

Findings

The research findings revealed that leadership and empowerment are the most highly implemented TQM practices in primary and secondary education. Moreover, participation/involvement, appraisal systems/recognition and rewards and leadership were the TQM elements that had a positive association with TJS.

Practical implications

The outcomes of the study are of help to school principals and policy-makers in order to design and implement TQM policies that advance the quality of teaching and the effectiveness of processes in the primary and secondary education system, as well as to satisfy and motivate teachers for continuous improvement.

Originality/value

This was, to the best of our knowledge, the first study that has explored the impact of soft TQM elements on TJS.

Details

The TQM Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2731

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2001

H.C. Lau and M.A. Idris

The literature review concludes that TQM is a proven systematic approach to the improvements of the organisation’s overall business process, including quality of products…

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5109

Abstract

The literature review concludes that TQM is a proven systematic approach to the improvements of the organisation’s overall business process, including quality of products and services. Organisational lack of information and data on the critical success factors are an obstacle in implementing TQM effectively and successfully. This study has developed a TQM soft model which is fit for application. It has considered the needs and limitation of Malaysian industries and facilitates TQM activities. The study has examined the relationship between the soft elements of critical success factors on TQM tangible effects, influences by soft elements activities such as culture, trust, teamwork, employment continuity, education and training, top management leadership for quality and continuous improvement, employee involvement and customer satisfaction/ involvement. Three main research methods were adopted in developing the TQM soft model: a postal questionnaire survey, a structured interview and the practical implementation of the model at a manufacturing company. Multiple regression analysis and binomial testing are used to analyse the data.

Details

The TQM Magazine, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0954-478X

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