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Total quality management in SMEs


  • Ghobadian, A.
  • Gallear, D. N.


Small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) are the life blood of modern economies. That they should remain competitive and produce high quality outputs is of importance not only at the macro level but also to larger organizations, because SMEs are often suppliers of goods and services to larger organizations and lack of product quality would adversely affect the competitive ability of the larger organizations. Total Quality Management (TQM) is considered an important quality improvement tool. Compared with large organizations, SMEs have been slow to adopt TQM. This paper initially examines the differences between the characteristics of SMEs and large organizations; the relationship between the size of organization and inherent characteristics of TQM; and the effect of organization size on the implementation of TQM using deductive research. These issues are further examined through inductive research. For this purpose the development of TQM was studied in four small-medium size organizations.

Suggested Citation

  • Ghobadian, A. & Gallear, D. N., 1996. "Total quality management in SMEs," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 83-106, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jomega:v:24:y:1996:i:1:p:83-106

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. National Research Council & Institute of Medicine Panel to review the National Children's Study Research Plan of which Allen Schirm is a member, "undated". "Small-Area Estimates of School-Age Children in Poverty: Interim Report 2, Evaluation of Revised 1993 County Estimates for Title I Allocations," Mathematica Policy Research Reports ea76dc09961d429593186b567, Mathematica Policy Research.
    2. Johnson, P S & Cathcart, D G, 1979. "The Founders of New Manufacturing Firms: A Note on the Size of Their 'Incubator' Plants," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(2), pages 219-224, December.
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    4. Taylor, Frederick Winslow, 1911. "The Principles of Scientific Management," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number taylor1911.
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    Cited by:

    1. Yi-Chan Chung, 2016. "Study on Total Quality Management Activities in Taiwan Tourism Factories," International Journal of Business and Social Research, MIR Center for Socio-Economic Research, vol. 6(8), pages 1-14, August.
    2. Jyoti Prakas Majumdar & B. Murali Manohar, 2016. "Why Indian manufacturing SMEs are still reluctant in adopting total quality management," International Journal of Productivity and Quality Management, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 17(1), pages 16-35.
    3. repec:pal:jorsoc:v:59:y:2008:i:4:d:10.1057_palgrave.jors.2602437 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Abdulrahman Alsughayir, 2014. "Barriers to TQM Implementation within a Private Medical Services Organizations in Saudi Arabia," International Journal of Business Administration, International Journal of Business Administration, Sciedu Press, vol. 5(3), pages 117-121, May.
    5. repec:wsi:ijimxx:v:21:y:2017:i:02:n:s1363919617500207 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Ullah, Barkat & Wei, Zuobao & Xie, Feixue, 2014. "ISO certification, financial constraints, and firm performance in Latin American and Caribbean countries," Global Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 203-228.
    7. Sylvain Delisle & Josée St-Pierre, 2004. "Decision Support for SME Owners-Managers: A Performance Evaluation Benchmarking Tool," Post-Print hal-01704921, HAL.
    8. Taylor, W. Andrew, 1998. "TQM implementation: organisation practices and information infrastructures," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 715-727, December.
    9. Che Mohd Zulkifli Che Omar Author_Email: & Osman Jusoh, 2011. "Involvement Of Malaysian Smes In Logistics: Potential And Prospects," 2nd International Conference on Business and Economic Research (2nd ICBER 2011) Proceeding 2011-328, Conference Master Resources.
    10. Kayhan Tajeddini, 2016. "Financial Orientation, Product Innovation and Firm Performance — An Empirical Study in the Japanese SMEs," International Journal of Innovation and Technology Management (IJITM), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 13(03), pages 1-30, June.
    11. Adams, Mike, 1999. "Determinants of ISO accreditation in the New Zealand manufacturing sector," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 285-292, April.
    12. Álvarez García, José & De la Cruz del Río Rama, María & Vila Alonso, Mercedes & Fraiz Brea, José Antonio, 2014. "Relação de dependência entre os fatores críticos de qualidade e impacto social," RAE - Revista de Administração de Empresas, FGV-EAESP Escola de Administração de Empresas de São Paulo (Brazil), vol. 54(6), November.
    13. repec:rss:jnljbs:v2i4p4 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Taylor, W. A., 1997. "Leadership challenges for smaller organisations: Self-perceptions of TQM implementation," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 567-579, October.
    15. Albena Iossiofova, 2010. "Profile of Organizations in Bulgaria with Adopted ISO 9001," Economic Studies journal, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences - Economic Research Institute, issue 4, pages 154-171.
    16. Colgate, Mark & Lang, Bodo, 2005. "Positive and negative consequences of a relationship manager strategy: New Zealand banks and their small business customers," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 195-204, February.
    17. repec:rom:rampas:v:2016:y:2016:i:26:p:78-96 is not listed on IDEAS


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