The influence of top management support on TQM indicators of defect reduction and profitability

by Maddox, Johnny E., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2009, 190 pages; 3342214


Organizations and researchers are always in the process of trying to understand what can help make a company produce at a low defect and high profitability rate. During the tough economic conditions faced in 2008 in the United States, many organizations made difficult decisions on whether they should close factories, layoff employees, or restructure. In challenging economic times, it is necessary for management to define plans of action to help organizations survive. Total Quality Management (TQM) is a philosophy organizations can use during good and difficult times to make improvements.

The purpose of this research was to determine the commitment level required by top management in order to achieve lower defect and higher profitability rates. Top management can have an enormous influence on an organization. This dissertation concludes that top management commitment is required in an organization, and it has a positive influence on TQM indicators.

This study was conducted through a survey that used a Likert-scale. There were 222 respondents to the survey; all were members of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) from the Southeastern United States. All respondents were anonymous, and they responded to the survey via Survey Monkey through the Internet.

Results of this research show that an organization that has a strong top management commitment to TQM results in lower defects and higher profits. This study identifies 24 points that can be used to determine the support of top management in the TQM environment. There are seven points that are recommended for organizations to use immediately with their TQM effort. The seven points are as follows: top management being visible, top management stresses that quality is everyone's job, top management sets clear goals, top management provides appropriate resources, top management acts as a coach, top management stresses teamwork and do not have work groups competing with each other, and top management is involved with quality. An organization should provide these seven points for their TQM effort, and once these seven points are stable, the organization should start applying the additional 17 points. Top management commitment to these items will lead an organization towards success.

AdviserRaj Singh
Source TypeDissertation
Publication Number3342214

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