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An Empirical Study of the Topical Differences Between Total Quality Management and Quality Management

Summary: Imagefile:The differences between total quality management (TQM) and quality management (QM) have not been clearly defined. The purpose of this research is to show these differences using an empirical analysis of the two literatures. Abstracts, titles, and subject listings of 538 TQM and 592 QM articles are content analyzed for evidence of 86 business topics. The results show that the TQM and QM literatures place distinctly different emphases on many of the topics.It is shown that when the term total quality occurs in an article, the likelihood that it includes a discussion of implementation, philosophy, teamwork, empowerment, and continuous improvement more than doubles, and the difference is highly statistically significant. On the other hand, the specific business functions of finance, marketing, research, and sales show statistically significant decreases in occurrence frequency in the TQM literature. Certain other topics, even those that are emphasized by leaders in the field, show little change. For example, the topics of fear, barriers, coercion, and threats, which are strongly associated with the teachings of Deming, do not show statistically significant occurrence rate differences between the two literatures. Thus, even though TQM is called Deming-style management in some texts, it appears that TQM embodies a set of topical priorities that are independent of some of Deming's teachings.

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  • Topics: Total Quality Management, Quality Management
  • Keywords: Total Quality Management (TQM),Quality management (QM)
  • Author: Heady, Ronald B.; Smith, Mark
  • Journal: Quality Management Journal