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Research and concepts The strategic impact and implementation of TQM

Denis Leonard and Rodney McAdam

Introduction
The two key elements in this research are total quality management (TQM) and corporate strategy. The main aim of this paper is to conduct an inductive grounded theory study into the strategic impact of TQM. The main aim of the paper is to place corporate strategy and TQM in context. The paper seeks to inductively develop an understanding of the relationship between TQM and strategy, as opposed to testing existing theory. A brief strategic quality management (SQM) literature review is given, followed by a description of the grounded theory research methodology involving 19 grounded case studies. The grounded results are discussed in the context in which they were made, thus allowing the grounded picture to emerge (Eisenhardt, 1989, 1991). Finally, key conclusions based on the grounded theory analysis are given.

The author Denis Leonard is based at the University of Wisconsin, Wisconsin, USA. Rodney McAdam is Senior Lecturer, University of Ulster, Newtownabbey, UK. Keywords TQM, Strategy, Implementation, Grounded theory Abstract The aim of this paper is to conduct an inductive grounded theory study into the strategic impact of total quality management (TQM). The strategic importance of TQM has been argued for some considerable time (at least ten years or more). The resulting discourse has led to corporate strategy being considered as inherent in TQM. Despite an acknowledgement of the existence of this relationship, there is a paucity of research which seeks to investigate the key issues involved. A grounded theory research methodology was developed using 19 grounded case studies of organisations which were involved in TQM and which had well-developed strategic planning processes. First, it was found that there was an inconsistency in TQM terminology, especially in regard to TQM's integration with the strategic planning process. Second, TQM was only articulated as a means of achieving a target, which has been set at strategic level. Finally, the results indicated that TQM plays a key role in strategy implementation, as distinct from strategic formulation, within the organisations. Electronic access The research register for this journal is available at http://www.emeraldinsight.com/researchregisters The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at http://www.emeraldinsight.com/0954-478X.htm
The TQM Magazine Volume 14 . Number 1 . 2002 . pp. 5160 # MCB UP Limited . ISSN 0954-478X DOI 10.1108/09544780210413246

Strategic TQM
To establish the broad context of the discourse a brief summary of strategic TQM is given. This summary should not be interpreted as establishing existing theory. The term SQM was used as far back as 1988 in the TQM literature:
. . . strategic quality management . . . is the most radical departure of all, many have insisted that quality be viewed as an aggressive competitive weapon (Garvin, 1988, p. 21).

Garvin considered SQM as the fourth era of quality, following inspection, statistical quality control and quality assurance. The SQM approach considers the customer standpoint as the overall priority. Garvin identified the eight ``dimensions or categories'' of SQM as: (1) performance; (2) features; (3) reliability; (4) conformance; (5) durability; (6) serviceability; (7) aesthetics; and (8) perceived quality. SQM is seen as playing a key role in senior management decision making:
. . . the capstone of a trend that began more than a century ago . . . today it has entered the boardroom (Garvin, 1988, p. 36).

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The strategic impact and implementation of TQM

Denis Leonard and Rodney McAdam

The TQM Magazine Volume 14 . Number 1 . 2002 . 5160

Senge (1992) also speaks of the eras of quality, referring to improving work processes, thinking and working (especially managers) and learning as a way of life. Madu and Kuei (1993, p. 122) have developed a theory of SQM as an extension of TQM based on a total systems view of TQM:
. . . quality as the driving force for survivability and competitivenes.

competitiveness to quality improvement efforts with the aims of harnessing the human, material and information resources organisation-wide (Tummala and Tang, 1996, p. 11).

SQM is again seen as the key to being competitive, however, the philosophy needs to emphasise integrity, environment issues and social responsibilities as key elements (Madu and Kuei, 1993, 1994). The influence of the philosophical aspect of TQM is emphasised time and again as the underpinning of success (Dale et al., 1998, p. 49). Extensive dimensions of SQM are listed in the literature. These include customer needs through organisational flexibility to organisational learning and sharing along with strategies that include management development, employee retention and leadership to disaster planning and crisis management training. However, these elements are only put forth as discussions, intended to offer guidelines to quality managers and concern the critical factors that will affect the successful implementation of STQM (Madu and Kuei, 1994). Calingo (1996) considered the integration of strategy formulation of TQM to follow a sequential evolutionary pattern. The stages involve annual budgeting, at this stage quality is simply conformance to specification and demand for the product or service high, the next is long range planning, here senior managers use TQM to focus on product improvement. The third step is strategic quality planning here the customer is considered closely so that impact actively influences the marketplace. This is followed by management by policy in which quality improvement is co-ordinated across the organisation and quality is seen as a strategic weapon. Finally, SQM is attained when strategic planning and quality planning have ``merged into one seamless process, owing to a free flow of information between strategic planners and quality planners'' (Calingo, 1996, p. 34). Further work on the area of SQM resulted in defining it as:
. . . a comprehensive and strategic framework linking profitability, business objectives and

The core concepts identified were customer focus, leadership, continuous improvement, strategic quality planning, design quality, speed and prevention, people participation and partnership, and finally, fact-based management. These core concepts parallel the European Quality Award and the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

The need for further research


In the discussions of SQM no empirical evidence was provided to test the validity and application of each theory, or indeed the extent of TQM's central role as a corporate issue. The inter-relationship of the complex issues involved in TQM and corporate strategy have not been examined empirically, the dynamics explored or the extent of application considered. Furthermore, the continual emphasis of TQM as a central corporate issue of competitive tool as first put forth by Garvin and Juran has not been studied before developing SQM further (Recardo, 1994). This has resulted in non-empirical, theoretical work still making statements echoing those of Garvin as though SQM was a new concept, and without developing knowledge on the area further. There is therefore a need for inductive grounded research to determine the relationship between TQM and strategy. While the comments of Garvin et al. cannot be used as theoretical constructs in the current grounded study, they are nonetheless useful in setting the broad context and priorities of the field (Strauss and Corbin, 1990).

Research methodology
One of the most developed inductive research methods is that of grounded theory (Glaser and Strauss, 1967). In this methodology (Figure 1) the researcher starts with minimalist a priori constructs, inquires deeply into organisational behaviour and events and gradually tests and forms theoretical constructs. It is important that the researcher avoids applying pre-conceived theories. 52

The strategic impact and implementation of TQM

Denis Leonard and Rodney McAdam

The TQM Magazine Volume 14 . Number 1 . 2002 . 5160

Figure 1 Generic grounded theory research methodology

The ``researcher being able to develop theory through comparative method . . . looking at the same event or process in different settings or situations'' (Easterby-Smith et al., 1993, p. 35). Sitter et al. (1997) state that grounded theory uses abstract concepts to describe and analyse a series of general phenomena, but based on practical experience. It is this intrinsic link to practical experience that makes the method attractive to theory forming within the practice of TQM. Ropo and Hunt (1995, 1994) emphasise the recursive processual nature of grounded theory (see loops in Figure 1) which leads to an interplay of organisational and individual characteristics across time and grounded in data. For the current study 19 organisations were selected for in-depth study. The organisations were all in the UK manufacturing sector. The number of employees was in the range 250-1,000. The markets were mainly UK and Europe. To provide a cross-section of views and to gain an understanding of TQM practices, interviews were held with the quality managers in 19 companies. All of the companies were involved, at least to some extent, in self-assessment using the business excellence model. Furthermore, 17 of the 19 organisations have entered national quality awards. A semi-structured format to the interview process was used in which the interview could be based on TQM and strategy. Over time, as more interviews were completed, the semi-structured interview agenda was amended and developed. Each organisation was visited several times. Around 53

these questions the interviewee was free to elaborate and discuss in depth the application of TQM within a corporate strategic context. All the interviews were taped, transcribed and coded using grounded theory principles (Strauss and Corbin, 1990). The key categories within the data emerged when ``saturation'' was reached on key headings (Strauss and Corbin, 1990) through multiple replication across the cases. The analysis is presented under the following main headings, which emerged from the data coding: . The importance of TQM within the organisational context. . Terminology. . TQM and the strategic decision making process. . The role of TQM in strategy implementation.

The importance of TQM within the organisational context


With regard to the strategic decision-making process the key areas revealed by the grounded theory were the role of the board of directors, the number of strategic reviews and the distribution of policies. Only eight of the 19, in describing these overarching issues, touched on the impact or influence of TQM. This lack of appreciation of the strategic impact of TQM was evident throughout the study. If TQM was of such strategic importance then surely it would have been more prominent within the context of the corporate strategic process?

The strategic impact and implementation of TQM

Denis Leonard and Rodney McAdam

The TQM Magazine Volume 14 . Number 1 . 2002 . 5160

When probed to elaborate further on TQM in a strategic context, typical responses were as follows:
Total quality management . . . is almost a tool that embraces all aspects. It does permeate to all levels of the organisation. It comes from the spirit, like, there is a commitment to quality and continuously improving things.

However, these sorts of comments in isolation do not provide a tangible realisation of TQM as a strategic driver in organisations. In this regard it seems like nothing more than sound bites related to TQM which have been experienced in previous research (Eccles and Nohria, 1992; Shapiro, 1996). Thus, the grounded research indicates that the organisations do not consider TQM to be a key strategic driver.

Terminology
A key factor in grounded theory is the terminology used by those involved in the study. The terminology used by the quality managers in referring to TQM results were as follows: . continuous improvement; . quality; . business excellence; . total quality; . TQM. Some of the companies used terms that were slight variations on the theme of TQM, for example, changing one of the words but keeping the same acronym. Some companies had specific company terms that were part of an internal campaign and programme. These ``top-down'' devised terms used in documentation are not those which are used within the company culture and an everyday environment. Instead, what is used is a term that is readily understandable and recognisable to both the employees and customers. It is interesting to note that this approach was evidently not the view of senior management, who created and imposed the new terms, but rather the creation of an image and a campaign to drive a new programme of improvement and change. With regard to the terms used, the most popular term was continuous improvement, which to many is their interpretation of their development from an original adoption of 54

TQM and the best way to describe what TQM and their programmes are striving to achieve on many levels, namely to continually improve. However, this term implies an operational, rather than strategic, focus for TQM. The next most important term was quality itself. This finding is quite unusual considering the plethora of terminology that exists. The word quality was found to be a basic description, replaced by TQM. The managers found quality to be a difficult word to define, being particularly subjective and so problematic it makes its choice all the more interesting as a topic of debate in the interview situation. However, as these companies have evidently found, it is often the most simple way of expressing what the organisation is seeking, doing and achieving. It is also the shortened version of TQM and its derivative, total quality. The other term used to a lesser extent was business excellence. One of these organisations is changing the term from business excellence to a company specific descriptor. The low number of companies using business excellence is interesting, considering that all of the interviewed organisations have had strong involvement with the business excellence model (BEM). This influence was evident in the responses from one manager:
We are moving away from the term quality and more towards business excellence. And we had this badge quality since 1988 and I think it's generally accepted now that business excellence is a better definition of really what it's all about.

One of the companies using the term business excellence uses it as a direct expression of TQM and quality:
The current picture would probably be more reflecting business excellence and achieving that through . . . a number of things including total quality management, customer support relationships, internal and external, that sort of broad description of what we mean by quality in the business.

There was a noted inconsistency with regard to terminology throughout the research responses. For example, those who state specific terms to refer to their particular corporate drive then proceed to use the phrase TQ, TQM or quality throughout the rest of the interview. There is even an inconsistency in what the managers state they are following. For example, despite stating:

The strategic impact and implementation of TQM

Denis Leonard and Rodney McAdam

The TQM Magazine Volume 14 . Number 1 . 2002 . 5160

. . . we started down the total quality road . . . we are still on that road.

of corporate strategic functioning with an emphasis on TQM. The bureaucratic approach The architecture of the strategic process relates to the character or nature of the strategic process, its hierarchy and degree of flexibility. The companies all had a simple ``text book'', top-down, bureaucratic, hierarchical and rigid strategic form. All of the organisations had their strategies created at corporate level by the CEOs, MDs, board of directors and in many cases the senior management team. In all but one case the strategic plan is then used to create strategic goals which are then presented to the next level, namely, divisional, strategic business unit (SBU) or departmental. There was little evidence of radical or dynamic structures to create a fast moving strategic process. No applications of academic ideals such as strategic learning, knowledge management, chaotic dynamics, innovation, learning organisation or reduced bureaucracy were evident. The majority of cases reflected the following company scenario:
. . . in a very simple sense take this strategic scorecard approach and then translate that and cascade down to our relevant functional areas where those components are relevant.

This manager later pointed out that:


. . . I do not like the words ``total quality'' because it assumes that everything you do is quality.

However, despite these views of TQM this manager still created and promotes a TQM image and programme. What emerges is a rather inconsistent picture of quality management at the most basic level, its title and description. Even those managers who were senior managers and who had control over the defining of their adoption of TQM and its strategic influence were inconsistent and unsure of the definition of TQM, the position it holds and its relation to other business issues. Considering that at the initial stage of these interviews, a number of the organisations did not mention the issue of TQM when describing their organisation and its strategic process, it creates an early impression of a lack of TQM influence or involvement at a strategic level. With regard to terminology itself, the most common phrase is ``continuous improvement'', which is a replacement and is considered interchangeable, for quality is still ``the'' defining way of expressing an organisation's philosophy or programme of initiatives for improvement.

TQM and the strategic decision-making process


The managers, when asked about the strategic decision-making process, described the process of disseminating and ``calculating'' the corporate strategic plans and goals. They did not discuss those that were involved at corporate level, the issues discussed, the key factors that influenced the formulation of the corporate strategy, the plans, nor those that made the key decisions and the information that was used to aid decision making. These issues were focused on later when the role of TQM within the strategic decision-making process was specifically raised in discussions. As before, this interviewee did not mention TQM specifically. It therefore did not direct the manager along a specifically TQM oriented avenue of discussion, or a discussion 55

Some of the companies referred to the fact that at divisional or unit level there was some flexibility in their own decision-making process:
We're fairly autonomous as a plant in our decision making process although we're following a basic strategy that there is developed by a corporate head office and disseminates down to plant . . . it's a map of where we are trying to go to with key objectives.

However, the flexibility and autonomy referred to is in deciding how to meet the targets and objectives. These have been set as part of an established strategy and so by definition there is no strategic decision making freedom beyond the ``options for targets'' and determination of ``improvement options'' mentioned above. The lack of employee feedback There was a notable lack of employees being able to provide an input and feedback to the corporate level and so impact upon the strategic process. When present, the input was limited:

The strategic impact and implementation of TQM

Denis Leonard and Rodney McAdam

The TQM Magazine Volume 14 . Number 1 . 2002 . 5160

So the strategy is set at board level with [this organisation] but then each employee within a team has an input into how they are going to implement that.

In another case with regard to input to corporate level:


We would be asked for our input and we just recently did our strategic plan . . . which is then incorporated in the entire group proposals for the next three years.

This was discussed as employee ``input''. The corporate strategy and the strategic goals have been determined and delegated at this point. What the employees have an input to is the decision-making process which determines how the targets and goals, already established, are placed upon the relevant unit and are to be achieved in operational terms:
We are divided into region . . . so there are a lot of regular meetings . . . communication is not a problem. Everybody is copied with memos, etc., and you can talk in both directions. I suppose essentially the main corporate decisions would be taken at that level . . . and we would be informed.

Another company reflects this:


It's all the different regions reviewing their strategic plans and feeding them into the corporate people and then consolidating that and producing the big picture that we're all going to work to.

This again has a limited input to the strategic process. As one manager pointed out about such feedback, its value and impact is often not known by those giving it:
The top three tiers of management who are actively involved in the strategic planning. Although you may be asked to contribute. There is . . . there is no great form of feedback . . . This is the strat plan, what do you think? What are your opinions?

In the one case since the organisation is part of a wider group, it has therefore almost by default (the lack of expertise at the corporate level of the parent organisation) retained autonomy in regard to the creation of its strategic plan. The parent company therefore only sets certain performance standards on the company:
We are not the core business, we are the only company inside any of the group that actually do what we do here. So therefore they don't set strategy for us.

It was found that this manager was reflecting his unease at the value of the feedback given and the degree to which it is acted on at strategic level. There is certainly in all of the other companies an absence or limited use of employee feedback to the strategic process. Review of departmental/SBU/divisional plans at corporate level Some of the companies had a culture and infrastructure in place where sub-unit business plans were reviewed at corporate level and used constructively to influence corporate thinking, leading to impacts on the corporate strategic plan by the sub unit view. The review of sub unit plans in these cases is as follows. The following organisation is part of a multi-national and so has a series of:
. . . boards to . . . get to the final decisions guys. But, you know, you all have your own, we have our own business plans, we're responsible for our own profit and loss, our budgets and targets and so on . . . we put together an annual business plan. It goes to the various boards which approves it.

The company works to set performance measures from the parent company but the parent company does not impose any strategic direction upon the company. Therefore, it is the parent company that needs to take into consideration its subsidiary when ``it'' is creating its corporate strategy. Customer impact during the strategic process Only one company mentioned the customer during the discussion of the strategic decision making process. Talking about the parent company's corporate plan the manager stated that:
. . . they set the global big picture. As they then talk with the key customers, to make sure that the products and stuff that we're going to be providing match their requirements. And then it's our job to fulfil them.

Within the context of the strategic decisionmaking process, in this case the customer is an important element in determining how the organisation should move forward. The role of TQM in strategy implementation A background or organisational context in which to consider TQM for the grounded theory research has now been established. Now the role of TQM within these organisations in regard to strategy 56

The strategic impact and implementation of TQM

Denis Leonard and Rodney McAdam

The TQM Magazine Volume 14 . Number 1 . 2002 . 5160

implementation can be examined more clearly. The grounded analysis relating to the issue of TQM's role within organisations in essentially all cases did not result in clear and concise answers. Rather the managers tended to drift off onto other subject matter in the attempt to answer the question, resulting in a rather insubstantial answer. This was surprising in corporate environments where, due to these company's recognition as quality companies, market leaders or award winners, they were regular hosts to other companies, auditors, assessors, peers such as fellow quality managers, students and other researchers. Therefore, the peer response was surprising. A number of the companies described TQM in their discussion as having an operationally focussed role. This parallels strongly with the operational strategic divide that became apparent during the analysis. Operational focus One company who stated that quality raised the operational role of TQM:
. . . would have to support operations in terms of, say for example, ensuring that we have the right resource to be able to manage that.

an automatic improvement in the quality of the output.

One company continually referred to the customer. The role of TQM in this case was in changing culture:
. . . the fact that they do treat customers as individuals . . . we did a survey on our telephone service.

In this case the role of TQM in satisfying the customer was in relation to direct customer interaction:
. . . I suppose our main aim is to . . . provide our customers . . . with a very good service so they are satisfied . . . we make sure they [employees] are trained in their job and they're accurate in their work . . . we have put a lot of focus into training.

Again, the role of TQM is most certainly at the operational end of the spectrum and so used by middle to low level managers to implement improvements on ``the top floor''. The link to a strategic plan and the impact of such improvements has yet to be evaluated. Even for companies that were using TQM from a cultural change perspective, TQM was still being used as a purely production oriented issue:
. . . I think it provides a basic framework, it has provided the basic framework on culture, helped to drive the culture into direction and that of where we are is not good enough we cannot stand still . . . it provided a mechanism for getting people trained with certain tools and techniques.

However, this manager pointed out that this particular company does not:
. . . really have a recognised total quality programme or business improvement programme. It is a quality organisation, we are quality assurance that is my role is more around production quality and quality systems and facilities. TQM and strategy have fallen by the wayside.

Another company who followed award models and promotes itself as a TQ company also gave an operational perspective:
I know it is not really what some people would define as TQ, but it lies in our procedures and systems. I think the role of quality on a day to day basis is in the strength of our systems.

As well as showing the strength of feelings toward TQM, which can undermine it from the beginning, this statement shows that in this award winning organisation TQM is only yet at the stage of expanding its continuous improvement advantages on a wider operational basis. The customer Interestingly, few companies spent time focused on the issue of the customer from a TQM perspective. One manager stated that the company's:
. . . end objective is getting profit for shareholders/stakeholders without then missing the link of building quality in.

This was a recurring style of response when discussing the role of TQM and its impact. This does, however, show the problem that TQM poses to many companies and managers in articulating TQM's role and impact. For example, one manager, when trying to explain the role of TQM beyond the use of a quality management system, stated:
. . . people through teamwork start to take pride in their work and because they are taking ownership and have that responsibility, you get

The basis of this was that by focusing on what the customer needed and ensuring that those needs were met then sales would increase and therefore profit levels. In another case a manager states that TQ must improve the 57

The strategic impact and implementation of TQM

Denis Leonard and Rodney McAdam

The TQM Magazine Volume 14 . Number 1 . 2002 . 5160

product, but beyond that it is the issue of the customer that is critical:
We are starting to instil in the people on the floor who are making the product that they need to make a good, quality product first of all we don't want a whole lot of rework and I think as that develops it just becomes standard that we are going to make something good for the customer . . . customer focus.

This company places a greater emphasis on TQM at a level beyond product, and although senior level involvement was mentioned at this stage there was not enough evidence to determine the strategic impact of TQM. The evidence seemed to imply that in this case the focus is still operational. For example:
. . . the next was to try to take the culture like total quality management . . . well apart from using a range of tools and techniques that you can either buy off the shelf but give everyone an exposure to the ethos and say right we are on a continuous improvement journey.

It must also be noted that this manager considered the quality of the product offered essentially not to be the competitive edge but rather the norm. As one manager put it:
. . . today product quality is not a marketing issue.

The competitive edge needs to be sought elsewhere. TQM must impact on the bottom line in terms of product or service through operational issues and levels of the organisation. People: the employees The organisations placed emphasis on their employees and, therefore, the focus of TQM upon the people within the organisation. In the case of one company who has used TQM for operational improvements and are now:
. . . in process improvement where again we are focusing on departmental process but on the key processes in an organisation like marketing.

Another company strongly linked the criteria of the BEM to TQM implementation, however, comments such as TQM ``to some extent washes over the whole thing'' did not help to clarify the issue, nor did the statement that ``strategy is the custodianship of business excellence''. Such unclear descriptions resulted in a significant amount of non-directional probing to make the issue more clear. However, the manager considered business excellence to be:
. . . one of the key, the key drivers if you like I mean, I would say one of our most widely communicated goals.

They are putting particular emphasis on the ``people'' role of TQ:


People were confusing quality system which in my mind is the boring part of it, it is the procedures, its all the calibration and all that boring record keeping type of thing, and I don't know whether I like this even the phrase quality management, because to me it is about managing people.

The issue of ``key drivers'' which emerged in the grounded research was focused on during the interviews and became an important element in opening up the relationship between TQM and corporate strategy in this research.

Conclusions
The main aim of this paper has been to conduct an inductive grounded theory study into the strategic impact of TQM. The objective was not to rely on existing theory but to research the key issues involved inductively. The use of grounded theory was found to be a useful methodology for using current case study analysis to determine a picture of TQM and its strategic influence. The deep, rich, data that emerge from this approach give deeper insights than many other methodologies. Throughout the research the data coding analysis revealed a series key issues in regard to TQM and strategy. First, there was an inconsistency relating to TQM terminology in the organisations which were researched. This variability in taxonomy led to the ``body of knowledge'' known as TQM having a diverse 58

This attitude is directly reflected by another company whose manager stated:


. . . if your people did not have an understanding as to what the customer wants we could not be in the business that we are in. So we only achieve that through our people. The machines themselves will prove inaccurate if you have not got the people with the skills to manage them. It is the people that deliver at the end of the day.

A business-wide tool: drivers Some of the companies took a high level or business-wide approach to TQM. One manager considered TQ to be:
. . . a tool a technique that allows us to achieve our business goals and in itself it is not a just an ethos for the sake of it. Total quality is a cultural approach to enhancing all aspects of our competitiveness.

The strategic impact and implementation of TQM

Denis Leonard and Rodney McAdam

The TQM Magazine Volume 14 . Number 1 . 2002 . 5160

impact on corporate strategy, rather than a coherent effect. This lack of specific terminology led, in some cases, to ``fashion conscious'' definitions rather than coherent research based statements, which could cogently and systematically be incorporated within TQM. Thus there is need to integrate the language and terminology of TQM and strategy within organisations and academia if meaningful progress is to be made in achieving synergy between these fields. Second, there was a lack of evidence that TQM is a key driver during the strategic decision making process, where TQM was mentioned, it was in a general sense, such as stating that a quality policy exists. TQM was found to be a means of achieving strategic level targets. Thus, there is little evidence of a close, intertwining of corporate strategy and TQM. Key TQM tenets such as employee involvement and feedback and customer impact due to the strategic decision making process were not directly attributed to TQM. Thus, while there is potential for TQM to be a strategic driver, organisations are failing to achieve this. There is a need for much more work in this area, from models to tools and techniques. Third, TQM was found to be a key driver in the implementation of corporate strategy, if not in its formulation. In this case the philosophy tools and techniques could be directed at business improvement issues associated with the implementation of corporate strategy. However, this approach is tantamount to accepting second best from a TQM perspective. It is an acknowledgement that managers and organisations are failing to address the challenge of TQM as a strategic driver. Finally, the results indicate an overall need for TQM to import corporate strategy planning by clarifying terminology so that the existing confusion is minimised. The use of TQM in its widest sense to assist corporate strategy implementation is encouraging and should help to create an upstream influence on corporate strategy formulation.

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The strategic impact and implementation of TQM

Denis Leonard and Rodney McAdam

The TQM Magazine Volume 14 . Number 1 . 2002 . 5160

Further reading
European Foundation for Quality Management (2001), The Business Excellence Model, European Foundation for Quality Management, Brussels. Leonard, D. and McAdam, R. (2001), ``Grounded theory methodology and practitioner reflexivity in TQM research'', International Journal of Quality & Reliability, Vol. 18 No. 2, pp. 180-94. Perry, C. and Coote, L. (1994), ``Processes of a case study research methodology: tool for management development?'', Australian and New Zealand Association for Management (ANZAM), 1994

Conference, December, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington. Terziovski, M., Sohal, A. and Samson, D. (1996), ``Best practice implementation of total quality management: multiple cross-case analysis of manufacturing and service organisations'', Total Quality Management, Vol. 7 No. 5, pp. 459-81. Wolfgramm, S., Boal, K. and Hunt, J. (1998), ``Organisational adaption to institutional change: a comparative study of first-order change in prospector and defender banks'', Administrative Science Quarterly, March, Vol. 43 No. 1, pp. 87-127.

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