Title TQM and business success Do all the TQM drivers have the same relevance? An empirical study in Spanish firms
Authors Carmona-Marquez, Francisco J., Leal-Millan, Antonio G., Vazquez-Sanchez, Adolfo E., LEAL RODRÍGUEZ, ANTONIO LUIS, Eldridge, Stephen, LEAL RODRÍGUEZ, ANTONIO LUIS
External publication No
Means Int. J. Qual. Reliab. Manage.
Scope Article
Nature Científica
SJR Quartile 2
SJR Impact 0.47600
Area International
Web https://www.scopus.com/inward/record.uri?eid=2-s2.0-84960453127&doi=10.1108%2fIJQRM-04-2014-0050&partnerID=40&md5=ca02deaf2e6445c684d94599ee27f2bf
Publication date 01/01/2016
ISI 000382538200004
Scopus Id 2-s2.0-84960453127
DOI 10.1108/IJQRM-04-2014-0050
Abstract Purpose - Prior studies by Salaheldin (2009) and Talib et al. (2011) have assessed the relationships between TQM critical success factors (CSF) and business results. The purpose of this paper is to build upon this research by considering the relationships between these CSFs and their sequencing during the implementation of TQM. Furthermore, the influence exerted by the maturity of TQM implementation on the link between instrumental drivers and performance is explored. Design/methodology/approach - The TQM drivers are clustered by means of three constructs: strategic enablers, tactical drivers and instrumental drivers and a model employed in which the strategic and tactical factors are treated as antecedents of the instrumental drivers. The direct effect of each cluster on business results and the indirect relationship of strategic and tactical factors via the mediating role of the instrumental drivers are assessed. These assessments use the partial least squares (PLS) approach which is a variance-based structural equation modeling technique using a sample of 113 Spanish organizations with experience of implementing a TQM program. Findings - The findings confirm the existing relationships among the CSFs and business performance identified by studies Salaheldin (2009) and Talib et al. (2011). However, the results reveal that instrumental drivers possess the highest variance explanation power over business performance outcomes and it is possible to identify a CSF implementation sequence that generates the greatest impact on business performance. Furthermore, the study was inconclusive with regard to the influence exerted by the number of years of TQM implementation on the link between the instrumental drivers and performance. Research limitations/implications - The first is related to organizational bias. It seems likely that those firms which are not satisfied with their TQM system performance would be less likely to be motivated to contribute to the development of this study. Therefore, the authors have included in the sample a higher proportion of "good" systems than is the case in the population at large. Second, although the authors provide evidence of causality, causality itself has not been proven. Third, this research relies mainly on perceptions and the authors only used a single method to elicit these perceptions. Finally, this research was carried out in a specific geographical setting (Spanish companies) and the authors must be cautious about generalizing these results in other contexts. Practical implications - This study offers a substantial number of practical implications. First firms' managers should emphasize that continuous improvement, benchmarking and zero-defects mentality is a never-ending process. Especially, they should understand that reliable product/service design is critical to exceed the customers' expectations, leading to improved business success. The results of this study should also lead managers to seeing a "return on investment" in their efforts to implement a TQM program by first, paying more attention on how to implement the instrumental factors, and second, avoiding the belief that the passage of time and experience-based learning will bring business performance enhancement and success on their own. Social implications - Although, the literature agrees that strategic factors are valuable assets and have a crucial role in the deployment of TQM systems, the study empirically validates this assertion. However, at the same time it shows that this impact on performance is stronger and much more significant by reconfiguring instrumental factors. This implies that strategic and tactical factors do have an effect on business success, but they do so indirectly, by reconfiguring and reinforcing instrumental factors that better fit the stakeholders' needs and expectations. Originality/value - The results suggest the need to consider whether all the CSFs are equally relevant on the basis of their contribution to business success. For example, strategic enablers are generally considered to be of primary importance with tactical and instrumental drivers assuming a secondary position. The study challenges this view and highlights the role of instrumental drivers over strategic and tactical factors with the clear implication that managers should focus strongly on daily implementation tasks such as benchmarking, zero-defects mentality and continuous improvement processes in order to achieve good business performance outcomes.
Keywords Critical success factors; Business success; Partial least squares; Structural equation modeling; TQM drivers
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