Organizational Performance and Sustainability in Manufacturing and Service through TQM Implementation


Total Quality Management (TQM) has emerged in today’s business environment as a strategy for achieving competitive advantage, organizational performance, sustainability and excellence. TQM has originated from manufacturing sector and it believed to be applicable to all sectors, due to its logical conception of achieving organizational long-term goals through a systematic approach. From the growing expansion of manufacturing and service sector industries, TQM concept globally has become an important pillar for growth and development. Manufacturing and service organizations have similarities and differ in the way operations are carried out by them (Jiang, 2009), but both believe in the value of successful implementation of TQM. Successful implementation of TQM is claimed to be contingent on TQM practices and these practices may differ in manufacturing and service organizations. However, the authors believe that organizational excellence can be achieved if there is better management of TQM practices in manufacturing and service organizations. Identifying the key contributing TQM practices/factors remains a challenge, and therefore the purpose of the study was to examine current TQM Practices/factors that impact on organizational performance, excellence and develop a TQM Implementation model pathway for manufacturing and service organizations to adapt in helping achieving the desired outcome of TQM.

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Magd, H. and Karyamsetty, H. (2020) Organizational Performance and Sustainability in Manufacturing and Service through TQM Implementation. Open Journal of Business and Management, 8, 2775-2804. doi: 10.4236/ojbm.2020.86172.

1. Introduction

In today’s business environment, quality plays an important role in business success since it determines the superiority of a product, goods or service rendered by the industry to the consumers and customers. In order to thrive over competitors in the industrial sector, industries have to emphasize on maintaining quality in all stages of business operations and eventually this leads all business establishments to follow the concept of quality management system (QMS) which involves policies, processes and procedures for improving quality at every stage of operation. To maintain the competitiveness and assurance of product/service quality, different strategies were integrated to realize the importance of conceptualizing the total quality management system (TQM) in organizations (Magd & Curry, 2003).

Total quality management (TQM) is a management approach to organizational performance facilitating continual improvement by identifying and eliminating errors happening in production process and taking steps appropriately for streamlining the supply chain network and enhancing customer satisfaction. The concept of quality management is known to have originated in 1920s as management principles which evolved gradually over years by integrating quality control, quality assurance and quality improvement into structured and systematic approach leading to development of total quality management system (TQM) (Metaxas & Koulouriotis, 2014).

TQM principally aims to improve the quality of the products, goods and services and improving the organizational performance, and in turn leads to organizational excellence. The management system though known to have originated from manufacturing sector is widely applicable to all industries due to its logical conception of achieving organizational long-term goals through systematic change. Developing globalization and steady growth in industrial establishment over the past two decades has not only emphasized the TQM application to all industrial sectors but also proven to lay successful foundation for achieving organizational goals.

Currently, TQM has become a comprehensive approach in organizations that has wider scope of application considering all areas of the business operations to improve productivity, ensure business continuity and enhance customer satisfaction. Its success can be gauged from the commitment of senior management showing effective leadership at all levels of the organization (Dale & Cooper, 1994). Therefore, TQM in business is competitive factor to be established and implementation is imperative to every organization management to maintain sustainability and enhance performance of products, goods or services.

Considering this concept as reference, this paper attempts to provide an understanding of TQM as an approach and identify the various practices that would possibly influence and sustain organization performance especially in manufacturing and service sectors.

The research study includes introduction which highlights the background of TQM and its importance to the current business market scenario, followed by the thorough review of literature on the TQM concept, understanding and critically analyses on the significance of various TQM practices that influence organizational performance in both manufacturing and service sectors. Thereafter the barriers involved in TQM implementation in both the sectors specifically are identified and outlined together with the literature review. As an outcome of the study conceptual framework and working model for organisations to implement in order to improve their performance and achieve sustainability is developed and proposed. Finally, in the end the critical outcomes of the study are summarized which is presented in the conclusion.

2. Literature Review

2.1. TQM: An Understanding

Over the years, business organizations have witnessed the evolution of quality through different stages ranging from inspection, quality control, quality assurance to total quality management (Figure 1). Inspection focuses on the examination, measurement, testing, and assessment of one or more characteristics of a product, service or activity and compared with certain standards to assess its conformity. Quality control focuses on the quality of the products, quality assurance tends to focus on products and process and total quality management focuses on the whole organization as one unit (Dale, 2003; Shouman & Othman, 2014). (Dale, Wiele, & Iwaardaen, 2013; Dahlgaard, Kristensen, & Kanji, 2007; Harris, Mccaffer, & Forwe, 2013) also supported and pointed to four main stages in the evolution of TQM and these were consistent with those identified by ( Dale 2003). Total quality management is being used widely in many organizations for some years as a tool to improve the performance of products and services rendered through business, which are very critical maintaining growth and sustenance in the market. This is consistent with the results of (Zaman & Anjalin, 2016) whom concluded that TQM is used as a strategy to achieve organizational excellence.

To understand TQM, we must offer a definition, but there is no specific standard definition of TQM that exists, various definitions explain the concept, for example, “Total Quality Management may be defined as managing the entire organization so that it excels in all dimensions of products and services that are important to the customerChase & Aquilano, 1992: pp. 186-187 cited in (Miller, 1996; Milakovich, 1990: p. 209) cited in (Psychogios & Priporas, 2007). It’s fair to highlight that TQM is a philospoy where everyone in the organization is involved to mutually produce quality and value for money products and services that meet and exceed the expectations and the needs of customers (Dale, 2003). It’s important to highlight the meaning and the significance of the items listed with the abbreviated term TQM to reflect a better understanding. (Al Najjar & Jawad, 2019: p. 87) defined the abbreviated term TQM, “Total: indicates that quality is the responsibility of all employees of the organization and the various

Figure 1. The four levels in the evolution of TQM. (Source: Dale, 2003: p. 21).

activities in it. Quality: refers to achieving and exceeding customer’s expectations. Management: refers to planning, organizing, leading, motivating and controlling resources with the aim of continuous improvement”.

It’s clear that TQM is a management philosophy and a set of guiding principles for managing quality and excellence in an organization to the benefit of all stakeholders (Dale, Wiele, & Iwaarden, 2013). (Dale, 2003: p. 27) indicated that there are eight principles guiding TQM and they are defined in BS EN ISO9000 (2000) as “Customer focus: Organizations depend on their customers and therefore should understand current and future customer needs, meet customer requirements and strive to exceed customer expectations. Leadership: Leaders establish unity of purpose and direction of the organization. They should create and maintain the internal environment in which people can become fully involved in achieving the organizations objectives. Involvement of people: People at all levels are the essence of an organization and their full involvement enables their abilities to be used for the organizations benefit. Process approach: A desired result is achieved more efficiently when activities and related resources are managed as a process. System approach to management: Identifying, understanding and managing interrelated processes as a system contributes to the organizations effectiveness and efficiency in achieving its objective. Continual improvement: Continual improvement of the organizations overall performance should be a permanent objective of the organization. Factual approach to decision-making: Effective decisions are based on the analysis of data and information. Mutually beneficial supplier relationships: An organization and its suppliers are interdependent and a mutually beneficial relationship enhances the ability of both to create value”.

Total quality management (TQM) is a management philosophy to organizational performance and excellence through facilitating continual improvement by identifying and eliminating errors happening in production process and taking steps appropriately for streamlining the supply chain network and enhancing and exceeding customer satisfaction by using a process, system approach, factual approach to decision making and the involvement of stakeholders (Luburic, 2015). In reflection of this, ( Doulatabadi & Yousof, 2015 cited in Magd, 2015) provided a simplification of total quality management concept in Table 1.

TQM is recognized as a management approach in achieving organizational excellence and sustainability by encouraging employee feedback and participation, satisfying customers’ needs and expectations, respecting social values and beliefs and compliance with governmental regulations (Charantimath, 2011). (Charantimath, 2011) argues that there are five key pillars of TQM (Figure 2), namely product, process, people, system and leadership. The five pillars of TQM adapt the philosophy of continuous improvement which involves all the stakeholders and ensures that customer satisfactions. In reviewing Figure 2, product and process are classified as hard aspects of TQM used to enhance effectiveness, while people and leadership are categorized as soft aspects of TQM used to enhance suitability. On the other hand, the system aspect, which is meant to enhance confluence, as it falls in between the hard and the soft aspects.

Figure 2. Five key pillars of TQM.

Table 1. Total quality management concept.

( Doulatabadi & Yousof, 2015 cited in Magd, 2015: p. 41).

Much of literature is available on the influence of TQM on organizational performance that is known to bring stability, improvement and business sustenance (Tena, 2004). (Talha, 2004) stated the implications of TQM on manufacturing industry where quality marks a critical component in design for the products to ensure they meet the standards. Large and small organizations irrespective of the business invariably are experiencing the importance to incorporate the TQM tool as part of the business entity, as assurance of maintaining quality and standards and to gain customer satisfaction. Conversely the other facet of TQM apart from its other pillars, includes building on employees’ orientation towards quality management through capacity development, training on skill development, coordination and teamwork, scope for knowledge sharing that gives companies an overall approach for continual improvement and sustainable (Hashmi, 2020).

2.2. Significance of TQM on Organizational Performance, Competitive Advantage and Excellence

The subject of TQM is widely studied by researchers in different organizations on the influence it has on organizational performance, (Powell, 1995) studied on 15 hypothetical analysis using differing variables revealed that the implementation of TQM in firms has shown success and competitive advantage over non TQM firms though growth and improvement in firms are always not characterized by adopting TQM, analogous to report by (Brah, Wong, & Rao, 2000). (Terziovski & Samson, 1999) reports from their hypothetical analysis that TQM and organizational performance are related showing positive effect on operational performance, customer and employee relations and satisfaction but is not uniform across all types of firms considered in their study confirming that adopting TQM facilitates organizations to build employee relations and customer satisfaction which is an indicator to business improvement.

Research findings by (Hassan & Kerr, 2003) suggested that organizational performance is independent of customer satisfaction and top management in firms where TQM is practiced like findings of (Shrivastava, Mohanty, & Lakhes, 2006) stating that linkage exists to considerably extent between factors that effects TQM and organizational performance. (Augusto, Lisboa, & Yasin, 2014) confirms that product and process innovation efforts must promoted by top management, which are essential factors that enhance organizational performance more prominently in smaller firms than larger firms. On the contrary, complex organizational structure and stringent administrative rules existing in firms tend to limit innovation efforts in organizations leading to their poor performance (Valmohammadi, 2012). (Joiner, 2007) affirms that organizational performance has positive correlation to the extent TQM practices are followed in firms which are dependent on organization and co-worker support from top management, confirming with ( Douglas & Judge, 2001 cited in Joiner, 2007). Similar studies by (Sweis et al., 2016) also confirm that TQM practices have a great affinity to enhance organizational performance bringing significant improvement in business operations, validating the findings of (Korankye, 2013) that TQM implementation in manufacturing and service organizations significantly presents a competitive advantage in the market.

The successful implementation of TQM in organizations results in achieving competitive advantages (Gharakhani et al., 2013), survival in the fierce business environment, and product/service improvement (Lee, 2004). When examining the relationship between TQM implementation and organizational performance, several studies (Rahman & Siddiqui, 2006; Joiner, 2007; Das, Paul, & Swierczek, 2008; Sila, 2007; Chin & Pun, 2002) concluded that there is strong positive correlation between TQM practices implementation and organizational performance. Moreover, other studies confirmed that there is a positive relationship between the effective implementation of TQM practices and operational performance (Tan, 2013; Shafiq, Lasrado, & Hafeez, 2019; Al-Serhan, 2019). Other documented benefits from TQM implementations are improved financial performance (Moballeghi & Moghaddam, 2011; Kristian & Panjaitan, 2014; Gharakhani et al., 2013; Ngambi & Nkemkiafu, 2015), customer satisfaction (Yazdani et al., 2013; Besterfield et al., 2012), and employee satisfaction (Peris-Ortiz, Garcia, & Armengot, 2015; Ismail Salaheldin, 2009; Chapman & Al-Khawaldeh, 2002); improved communication (Bubshait, 2007), and reduced waste and defects (Kaynak & Rogers, 2013). In support of the positive impact of TQM is supported further by the statement made by (Chin & Pun, 2002: p. 273) whom claimed that the implementation of TQM can generate improved products and services, reduced costs, more satisfied customers and employees, and improved bottom line financial performance.

2.3. TQM Practices and Performance: Manufacturing and Service Organisations

Manufacturing and service organizations are the two largest global industrial sectors with the former holding operations involving production through preparation of products from raw materials, processing and marketing of the finished product to the consumer in the market and the latter having operations providing end user services to customers (Talib & Rahman, 2012). Manufacturing and service organizations have similarities and differ in the way business operations are carried out by them (Jiang, 2009). Manufacturing and service organizations have taken a hypothetical shift towards sustainable practices in business production to overcome prevailing challenges. (Eslami et al., 2019) studied on achieving sustainability through a three-dimensional approach in manufacturing industries to understand the contribution of each dimension on sustainable ways of production. Literature studies described by Hassan & Kerr, 2003 concludes that quality practices implemented in service organizations are known to improve organizational performance bringing in productivity, increasing financial outputs, customer satisfaction by proper scheduling of deliveries in service sector industries, results confirming to studies by (Prajogo & Brown, 2006; Lakhal, Passin, & Limam, 2006; Duarte et al., 2011).

(Prajogo & Sohal, 2003) conclusions are worth mentioning in conjunction to the findings of other researchers on TQM practices, they highlighted that these quality management practices in manufacturing firms have positive effect on organization performance principally improvising product quality, process and product innovation. These results are consistent to reports of ( Deming, 1982; Juran, 1988 cited in O’Neill, Sohal, & Teng, 2016) besides coinciding with the studies of (O’Neill, Sohal, & Teng, 2016). Analyzing the previous studies of researchers, it is impressive to comprehend that majority of manufacturing and service organizations currently are emphasizing efforts to incorporate TQM practices at every stage of business operation for achieving better performance through maintaining quality in product and services. In this context, organizations are imperative to consistently evaluate and measure their business success with reference to maintaining competitive stature in the market agreeing to studies by (Rahman & Bullock, 2005) who conducted studies applying different dimensional approach using soft and hard TQM elements to measure organizational performance in manufacturing firms, whose results point to soft and hard TQM elements to different degrees showing the positive relationship with organizational performance likewise confirming with other studies of (Powell, 1995; Dow, Samson, & Ford, 1999).

Maintaining product quality and efficiency in service provision are focal to these organizations to register progressive growth in business performance and sustain competition in the market, which can be succeeded by implementing TQM in manufacturing and service firms (Jancikova & Brychta, 2009). However, studies by ( Beamount et al., 1997 cited in (Prajogo, 2005) concluded that the level of TQM implementation is lower in service organisations than manufacturing firms similar to the findings reported by (Woon, 2000) while this validation instrument is tested in manufacturing sector extensively by (Ahire, Golhar, & Waller, 1996; Dow, Samson, & Ford, 1999; Flynn, Schroeder, & Sakakibara, 1994; Samson & Terziovski, 1999) indicating a strong implementation of quality elements in manufacturing firms against service organizations. Further studies by (Huq & Stolen, 1998) substantiates to the previous observations and concluding that TQM elements in service sectors are partially enforced unlike manufacturing firms that apply full range of TQM practices, thus experience higher performance over service sectors, which contradict to the findings of (Talib & Rahman, 2012) indicating that the level of TQM practices in manufacturing and service sectors have no significant difference except in three practice elements implying that the extent of TQM practices remains balanced in both the organizations.

2.4. TQM and Organizational Sustainability Relationship

TQM practices in organizations are becoming benchmarks for business sustenance and success is reciprocated in the strength of relationship and the extent of quality management practices in every organization. Extensive studies in this area reveal that TQM practices tend to facilitate organizations in maintaining consistent growth in business through improved quality of products and services, comparable to studies from (Al Harbi, Al Matari, & Yusoff 2016) that TQM implementation in organizations have affinity to result in sustainable growth and the two constructs share positive relationship. However, (Robson, Prabhu, & Mitchell, 2002) argued total quality enablers identified specific to each organization will guide how these enablers influence achieving sustainability in organizations realistically. On the other hand, (Isaksson, 2006) reviewed various models in conjunction with their previous literature (Isaksson & Garvare, 2003) on TQM and sustainability, justifying that organizations can realize success through focus on process development in organizations.

Conversely (Sebastianelli & Tamini, 2003) identified through their study set of obstacles that often hinder TQM success in organizations and those obstacles serve as potential barriers laterally for sustainable growth and business success. Despite these claims, success cannot translate or drive organizations totally into being sustainable where both these constructs are timebound and spatially related, analogous to study supplemented by (Aquilani, Silvestri, & Ruffiwei, 2016); who has reviewed papers of (Karuppusami & Gandhinathan, 2006; Yusof & Aspinwall, 1999; Wali, Deshmukh, & Gupta, 2003; Claver, Tari, & Molina, 2003; Seetharaman, Srinivasan, & Boon, 2006; Ismail Salaheldin, 2009) on critical success factors (CSF) testifying these factors have significant role in propelling TQM implementation and effective adoption of TQM practices would eventually facilitate organizations achieve success. Further reports on TQM influence on organizational sustainability were studied by (Lee, McLee, & Huang, 2011; Dóci & Hofmans, 2015) that transformational leadership has larger influence on sustainable competitive advantage in organizations while (Chen, Lee, & Wang, 2020) projected IPO (input-process-output) model to translate TQM in organizations for improving performance.

2.5. TQM Implementation Barriers

TQM implementation has been challenged in developed and developing countries due to different barriers which hinder the effective implementation of TQM. It’s essential to understand TQM implementation barriers where effective strategies can be developed for the successful implementation of TQM (Jacobsen, 2008) in the manufacturing and service sector. Having an insight into TQM barriers would enable managers to take a proactive role in preventing the rise of such barriers and help in the effective TQM implementation. In view of this, the authors will offer several studies on TQM implementation barriers in different countries.

(Rad, 2006) determined TQM implementation barriers in Iran which included lack of teamwork, poor management control, inadequate response to customer requirements, resistance to cultural change and environmental changes. In Pakistan, (Awan et al., 2009) found that lack of top management support and commitment was a major barrier for TQM Implementation. Another study from Pakistan by (Khan, 2011) indicated that resistance to change, lack of employee training, lack of resources, and lack of empowerment were the most significant barriers to TQM implementation. A study by (Amar & Zain, 2001) conducted on the ineffectiveness of TQM implementation in Indonesia, and determined that management attitudes, training and education, organizational culture, human resources and inter functional relationships were the major barriers for ineffective TQM implementation.

In Malaysia, (Shaari, 2010) determined the TQM implementation barriers to be lack of management commitment, implementation costs, lack of understanding the TQM concept. While in UK and Australia the barriers were poor communication, inadequate resources, and lack of commitment. In the USA, (Sebastianelli & Tamimi, 2003) indicated that lack of customer focus, weak leadership and commitment, inadequate human resources, and inadequate organizational infrastructure were the prominent barriers. While (Jun, Cai, & Peterson, 2004) added that lack of employee training, lack of compensation and employee resistance were additional barriers identified in the USA.

TQM Implementation barriers in Turkey were identified by (Polat, Damci, & Tatar, 2011) as poor leadership, and lack of top management commitment. Within the same context, (Sadikoglu & Olcay, 2014) revealed that lack of resources, lack of employee participation, lack of awareness and understanding of TQM philosophy. This is supported further by a study performed in India by (Bhat & Rajashekhar, 2009; Johnson, 2013). A comprehensive study conducted by (Mosadeghrad, 2014) analyzing 54 TQM empirical studies in 23 countries on TQM implementation and the study revealed the most significant barriers were lack of top management commitment, lack of financial resources, lack of training and education, lack of communication, lack of employee participation, resistance to change, poor delegation, and poor quality culture. In the same vein, (Berrouiguet, 2013) identified four major barriers in Algeria and they lack top management support, lack of employee knowledge and skills, cultural change and lack of financial support. In Egypt, (Ismail Salaheldin, 2003) found that employee resistance, poor training, insufficient infrastructure and lack of employees’ knowledge and skills. (Alsughayir, 2014) examined TQM barriers in Saudi Arabia and indicated that lack of understanding of TQM, lack of motivation, and high turnover were the barriers for TQM implementation. Another study was conducted in Yemen, where the barriers were inadequate support for TQM, lack of managerial experience with TQM, and cultural challenges (Al Zamany, Hoodle, & Savage, 2002). (Twaissi, Rollins, & Worsdale, 2008) investigated TQM implementation in Jordanian information and communications technology sector and revealed that weak quality organizational culture, lack of continuous improvement and lack employee empowerment were barriers to TQM implementation. In support of the above studies, the authors compiled the most common TQM barriers reported in the literature review (Table 2) which prevent effective implementation of TQM.

3. Discussion

TQM in organizations has become an identity for success in many firms irrespective of the nature, type and locations, nevertheless largely the results shows no significant discrimination of benefits accrued by TQM firms from those of non-TQM firms. However, TQM practices possibly create economic value to the firm but that again depends on certain specific factors effecting in improving performance in manufacturing and service sectors differently (Powell, 1995).

Analyzing the results from various research studies where TQM shows a distinctive advantage in general to firms though not necessarily providing superior quality and profitability of business but on the contrary gives better product services through ensuring customer satisfaction. Studies done in manufacturing firms shows, TQM known to have an indirect effect on organizational performance from prevailing supportive environment provided by organization and co-workers would eventually enhance the performance inferring that business growth is embedded to the entities within an organization.

Table 2. Common TQM barriers.

Globally both large and small firms continually strive for improving organizational performance to gain excellence in this competitive market, should necessarily focus on product and process innovation in all the business operations, however innovation to product and process involves top management commitment to determine the innovative mechanism are effective towards enhancing organizational performance. Contrary to this belief, organizational performance in both sectors are dependent to the extent the TQM practices are implemented within each organization addition to the other inputs elements for business operation. Moreover, effective implementation of TQM is depended on the identification of potential barriers where the management team can take a proactive approach in preventing the existence of such barriers or obstacles and help in the effective TQM implementation.

In fact, organization performance and sustainable business growth irrespective of nature of firm are not always characteristic influences of TQM practices, nonetheless varied entities with each organization should be augmented to achieve an overall business sustenance. While it is worth noting to infer that top management is the critical key factor for driving the TQM practices in every organization and the concurrent success depends on the organization culture and management commitment to support business growth. While evidence from research studies proved that performance in organizations is directly proportional to the extent of TQM practiced in organizations this is not universally the trend observed in all the organizations, with lesser levels of implementation in service organizations than manufacturing firms which is due to the reason that every organization is characterized by its type of business entities, volume of operations carried out and the nature of work.

From the considerable development organizations are making towards improving quality and sustain business continuity, ironically without sustainability as core value, the TQM initiatives might prove unsuccessful in improving organizational performance though significant empirical studies advocates that TQM will improve organizations performance (Zakuan et al., 2010). In conclusion, improved performance, business sustainability in organizations can be achieved if there is better management of TQM practices.

Proposed Model of TQM Practices for Sustaining Organization Performance in Manufacturing and Service Sectors

TQM practices are widely studied by various researchers in both manufacturing and service sectors and those studies reveals that TQM practices will enhance organization performance that will subsequently build business sustenance and growth over time (Fuentes, Montes, & Fernandez, 2006; Martínez-Costa et al., 2009; Idris & Zairi, 2006; Rahman & Bullock, 2005; Lin et al., 2005; McAdam & Bannister, 2001; Sila, 2007; Temtime & Solomon, 2002). Extensive review of studies by various researchers on TQM only reveals, there are no specific studies conducted to find the specific TQM constructs or dimensions that indicate organizational performance in manufacturing and service sectors except partial studies related to TQM practices on organizational performances. Therefore, the authors have worked to identify the TQM constructs referring to different studies done by various researchers on manufacturing and service sectors to the extent these practices are effective approaches to enhance the organization performance. There is dearth of standard pathways and conceptual framework for manufacturing and service organizations currently to adopt, which can guide practitioners, managers and decision makers to use these models for sustaining organization performance. Empirical studies show that TQM practices have positive correlation with organizational performance resulting in significant improvement in business operations. Different researchers (Oza & Shiroya, 2015; Sureshchandar et al., 2002; Talib & Rahman, 2012; Rad, 2005; Karuppusami & Gandhinathan, 2006; Bartley, Gomibuchy,& Mann, 2007; Chowdhury, Paul, & Das, 2007; Abdullah, Uli, & Tari, 2008) have identified variable number of TQM constructs that were known to be implemented largely in manufacturing and service sectors (Table3 and Table4). Organizations to experience sustainable growth in performance must identify certain key TQM elements that are critical for improvement in organizations and adopting those practices in organizations will show better performance from those that do not (Powell, 1995). To this effect, identifying the key contributing TQM factors for organization performance remains a challenge in view of limited studies done and published by researchers, however only few published empirical studies have indicated specific TQM constructs that have significant effect on improving organization performance, that are identified in this study and presented in Table5. Further to understand the key TQM elements leading to organization performance published by various researchers are compared in TableA1 and the frequency of key TQM elements occurring in various reported studies are captured that are significant to organizations performance and is graphically represented in Figure 3.

Performance measurement in organizations are result of adopting both hard and soft TQM Performance measurement in organizations are result of adopting both hard and soft TQM elements that produce tangible and intangible results to business, quality, operation and sustenance. Various researchers from their analysis on TQM indicate that soft TQM elements tend to affect hard TQM elements, while each of them invariably have significant correlation with organizational performance, based on this hypothetical approach a conceptual framework considering the soft and hard TQM elements that leads to organization performance is described in Figure 4. Further to the studies published by various authors shows some of the soft and hard TQM elements are observed to be common to manufacturing and service sectors conceived through this study are presented in Figure 5.

From the analysis of literature on the various studies published on TQM practices, the authors have developed a model pathway (Figure 6) that can be adopted by practitioners and managers in manufacturing and service sectors as an approach to achieve organizations performance. Performance is a dependable variable and function of quality, business, sustainability and operation activities that are linked to the outcomes of TQM practices which are independent variables (Hassan et al., 2012).

Table 3. Analysis of literature on TQM practices in manufacturing sector.

Table 4. Analysis of literature on TQM practices in service sector.

Table 5. Research studies on TQM and organizational performance reported in literature.

All firms to improve their performance successfully and achieve business sustainability must go through four phases in the model pathway like the process of PDCA followed in management system implementation.

Figure 3. Frequency of occurrence of key TQM practices significant to organizational performance.

Figure 4. TQM practices common in manufacturing and service organizations reported by various authors. Source: Talib and Rahman, 2012.

Figure 5. Conceptual framework of TQM practice approach towards sustaining organizational performance. Source: Saleh et al., 2018. L = leadership, SM = supplier management; EMI = employee management & involvement; CF = customer focus; PM = process management; CI = continuous improvement; I&A = information & analysis; K&E = knowledge & education; TU = technology utilization; CBT = computer-based technologies; JIT = just in time; CI = continuous improvement.

Figure 6. Proposed TQM model pathway for organizational performance and sustainability in manufacturing and service sectors.

First Phase—Planning Phase: organizations have to assess its internal capability, and its available resources in order to be developed and allocated such as development of quality policy, identification or organizational structure to support TQM, dynamic leadership as stated in hard and soft TQM factors. Additionally, organizations should initiate and build awareness among organizational internal stakeholders of TQM as a strategy for organizational performance. The management team identify potential TQM barriers that may hinder the implementation of TQM and prevent such barriers from occurring in support of TQM implementation. Moreover, organizations must identify TQM practices combining hard and soft factors/constructs that enable the organization to achieve superior performance as depicted in Table 3.

Second Phase—Execution/implementation phase: in this phase, organization initiate the execution phase regarding the specific TQM factors/constructs considering the management support and feasibility to organization culture to support the effective implementation of TQM. For example, training programs to prepare employees for the implementation of TQM.

Third Phase—Sustainability Phase through Evaluation and Review: in the phase of evaluation, organization must consider the evaluation of those TQM dimensions to assess the quality and innovation in process and product.

Fourth Phase—Review: Finally, in the evaluation phase which involves a review of the effect of TQM practices on the quality, business and operation to measure their organizational performance and sustainability.

During the execution of different phases of the model pathway, firms need to focus more specifically on key TQM dimensions that have more frequency of occurrence significant to organizational performance.

4. Conclusion

Total quality management has gained more importance and prominence in almost every business today. With the growing business competition among different industrial sectors, there is every need that organizations must maintain sustainability and improve their performance with increasing industrialization especially expansion of manufacturing and service sectors in the modern world. To thrive over the global competitive market, TQM is perceived to show significant impact on the business continuity, sustainability and organization performance and in order to achieve the benefits of TQM, establishments specifically manufacturing, and service sectors have to thoroughly understand the concepts underlying to implement the management system.

However, to achieve the targets, there are certain barriers that are inherent to every business which prevents the implementation of TQM practices in organizations. Some of them lack of top management commitment, resistance to change, lack of customer focus, poor organizational culture, lack of proper human resource management etc. which ultimately does not permit establishment to achieve their full potential in terms of performance, improvement and sustainability. While most of the organizations currently have involved TQM system and successfully implemented the concepts in their business operations, yet there are set of critical TQM practices known to significantly influence organization performance with reference to manufacturing and service sector establishments, including customer focus and involvement, employee involvement and workforce commitment and process management which are very critical for achieving organization performance and sustainability in business. Addressing these practices will not effectively overcome the TQM barriers organizations have but implementing the key TQM dimensions and factors specific to each type of industry will overcome the challenges and leads establishments to achieve sustainability and improves performance.

Further, the proposed conceptual framework and TQM model pathway developed through the study provides directional guidance to mangers, decision makers and managements of manufacturing and service sector establishments to achieve sustainability and improving organization performance from implementing TQM approach through the four phased process. Within this model, approach establishments should also strive to emphasize on the specific TQM dimensions that are characteristic to their nature of business and scale of operation that varies from organization to organization.

Limitations and Future Scope

The study is comprehensive in nature, but we believe that one of the major limitations in the current study is mainly the focus on secondary data collection and no primary data was considered in verifying the proposed model; thus, this study offers several future avenues for research. Future studies may focus on validating and empirically testing the proposed model for achieving organizational performance and sustainability in manufacturing and service sectors. Additionally, other studies may focus on testing the model in different contexts (countries and regions) and sectors (either service or manufacturing or both).


The authors would like to thank Modern College of Business and Science management and particularly thank the Dean, Dr. Khalfan Al Asmi for encouraging to pursue the research work.


Table A1. Review from studies on key TQM constructs identified from literature leading to organizational performance in manufacturing and service sectors.

Dimensions: 1 = top management commitment; 2 = leadership; 3 = customer focus/involvement; 4 = HRM; 5 = product/process design; 6; supplier management; 7 = process quality; 8 = strategic quality planning; 9 = information & analysis; 10 = continuous improvement; 11 = employee empowerment; 12 = employee involvement/workforce commitment; 13 = benchmarking; 14 = training; 15 = shared vision; 16 = process management.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest regarding the publication of this paper.


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