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Assessing the Impact of Total Quality Management-Related Programs: A Singaporean Case

Summary: Total quality management (TQM) and other quality improvement programs have attracted a great deal of attention during the last few years. Although many managers have viewed such programs as promising for improving productivity and profit, the success rate has been rather low (Nohriam and Berkley 1994). Based on an interview questionnaire with 289 companies in Singapore, this article provides an assessment of the overall impact of such programs. A key finding is that progress on quality improvement is more clearly linked to reducing absenteeism and turnover than to increasing profits; and profits are negatively correlated with absenteeism. The results also suggest that lack of knowledge, employee resistance, and training were key factors affecting the introduction of quality-related ideas. These findings might lead one to question how such programs are introduced and to pursue approaches to TQM that are organic rather than mechanistic.

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  • Topics:
  • Keywords: Labor relations,Resistance,Quality improvement (QI)
  • Author: Cunningham, J. Barton; Ho, Janice
  • Journal: Quality Management Journal