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  International Journal of Management (IJM), ISSN 0976 – 6502(Print), ISSN 0976 –
  6510(Online), Volume 4, Issue 1, January- February (2013)
ISSN 0976-6502 (Print)
ISSN 0976-6510 (Online)
Volume 4, Issue 1, January- February (2013), pp. 266-275
Journal Impact Factor (2013): 6.9071 (Calculated by GISI)                 ©IAEME


                                        Ms. P. Rupha Rani
   Research Scholar (Full Time), Department of Management Studies school of Management,
                                   Pondicherry University


          This paper represents a review of the literature on critical success factors (CSFs) of
  Total Quality Management (TQM) and supported by various philosophies of TQM. Such
  factors are considered as conducive to the success of TQM implementation.
          Critical Success Factors (CSFs) are internal or external factors that can seriously
  affect the firm for better or worse. They provide an early warning system for management
  and a way to avoid surprises or missed opportunities. In the context of TQM, it is essential
  that the organizations identify a few key critical success factors, which should be given
  special attention for ensuring successful implementation of TQM program.
          The present study will guide the researchers in selecting the reliable set of CSFs for
  empirical studies. Industries can benefit by adopting the results of this study for effective
  implementation of TQM.

  Keywords: TQM; CSF; Implementation; Empirical.


          Today, quality management has become one of the important forces leading to
  organizational growth and a company’s success in national and international markets. To be
  successful in the marketplace, each part of the organization must work properly together
  towards the same goals, recognizing that each person and each activity affects and in turn is
  affected by others. To improve competitiveness, organizations are looking for a higher level
  of effectiveness across all functions and processes and are choosing TQM as a strategy to
  stay in business. The increased awareness of senior executives, who have recognized that
  quality is an important strategic issue, is reflected as an important focus for all levels of the

International Journal of Management (IJM), ISSN 0976 – 6502(Print), ISSN 0976 –
6510(Online), Volume 4, Issue 1, January- February (2013)

organization. This requires defining and implementing several factors (identified as critical
factors in this paper).
        Many companies are frustrated in their effort to improve quality through TQM
because these companies have exclusively focused on financial measures instead of quality
measures. Other studies, in the recent past also observed the failure of TQM. These failures
are due to the too much- too soon effort without proper foundation and focus. Manufacturing
firms, therefore, need to understand the TQM CSFs for the successful implementation of
TQM. Therefore, there is a pressing need to establish TQM CSFs for manufacturing firms.
This paper examines the TQM frameworks developed by scholars and businesses and
develops the TQM CSFs for manufacturing firms.

1.1 Understanding Total Quality Management (TQM)
        Total Quality Management has many definitions. Gurus of the total quality
management discipline like Deming, Juran, Crosby, Ishikawa and Feigenbaum defined the
concept in different ways but still the essence and spirit remained the same. According to
Deming, quality is a continuous quality improvement process towards predictable degree of
uniformity and dependability. Deming also identified 14 principles of quality management to
improve productivity and performance of the organization. Juran defined quality as “fitness
for use.” According to him, every person in the organization must be involved in the effort to
make products or services that are fit for use. Crosby defines quality as conformance to
requirements. His focus has been on zero defects and doing it right the first time. Ishikawa
also emphasized importance of total quality control to improve organizational performance.
        According to him quality does not only mean the quality of product, but also of after
sales service, quality of management, the company itself and the human life. Feigenbaum
defined total quality as a continuous work processes, starting with customer requirements and
ending with customer’s satisfaction.
        Definitions of quality have changed with the passage of time with changing
customer’s needs and requirements. But the essence has more or less been to develop an
approach to problem solving, conformation to standards for customer satisfaction. With
management functions getting complex, approaches to managing quality in functional areas
are becoming difficult. Organizations, which have successfully use TQM principles, have
customer and quality embedded in their corporate strategy. Any organization is a system of
interrelated units. For TQM to succeed, all of the components within the organization must be
collectively involved. Initially, organizations implemented TQM in the hope that
improvement in the shop-floor activities would solve all existing productivity and quality
        Later, they have realized that TQM is much more than just shop-floor improvements.
The definitions of quality incorporate factors like top management commitment, leadership,
team work, training and development, rewards and recognition, involvement and
empowerment of employees etc. These critical factors are the foundation for transformational
orientation to create a sustainable improvement culture for competitive advantage on a
continuous basis.
        According to Selladurai Raj, TQM interventions or activities must be guided by four
change principles, namely work processes, variability, analysis, and continuous improvement.
Product design and production processes must be improved; variance must be controlled to
ensure high quality; data must be systematically collected and analyzed in a problem-solving
cycle; and commitment made to continuous learning by the employees about their work.

International Journal of Management (IJM), ISSN 0976 – 6502(Print), ISSN 0976 –
6510(Online), Volume 4, Issue 1, January- February (2013)


        An extensive literature survey has been carried out to select TQM frameworks for this
study. The relevant literature has revealed that different countries have adopted similar TQM
frameworks in the form of quality awards with a different title. Today, there are more than a
hundred quality awards existing in different countries. However, all these quality awards are
basically derived from three basic and prestigious awards: the Malcolm Baldrige National
Quality Award (MBNQA), the European Quality Award (EQA) and the Deming Prize. This
study, therefore, includes only these three basic awards as TQM frameworks along with other
frameworks developed by scholars. Furthermore, through the study of TQM literature, eleven
TQM frameworks developed by researchers have been selected. In total, fourteen important
TQM frameworks viz. Deming prize, MBNQA, EQA, Saraph et al., Oakland, Flynn et al.,
Babbar and Aspelin, Ahire et al., Black and Porter, Pheng and Teo, Ang et al., Zhang et al.,
Nwabueze and Thiagarajan et al., were chosen from the TQM literature for the purpose of
establishing TQM CSFs for the construction industry. A detailed analysis of the frameworks
with respect to CSFs is carried out and presented in Table 1 Based on the frequency analysis,
the CSFs are prioritised as shown in Table 2.

Table 1: List of CSFs as recommended by various authors
Source: Wali, Deshmukh and Gupta, 2003

                                   Table 1: Analysis of TQM Frameworks
       Juran   Ishikawa   Crosby   Feigen-   Deming   Garvin    Saraph      Lu     &    Porter   Motwani    Powel   Black    Total
       1974      1976      1979     Baum      1986     1987      et. al.   Sohal       &Parker    et. al.   1995      &
                                    1983                         1989      1993         1993                        Porter

  1     x         x         x        x         x        x          x        x            x          x         x       x       12

  2     x                   x        x         x                   x        x            x          x         x       x       10

  3     x                   x        x         x        x          x        x            x          x         x               10

  4     x         x         x                  x        x          x        x                       x         x       x       10

  5     x         x         x        x         x                   x        x            x          x         x               10

  6     x         x         x                  x        x                                x          x         x               8

  7     x                                      x        x          x                                x         x       x       7

  8     x                   x        x                  x          x                                x                 x       7

  9     x         x         x                  x                   x                                x         x               7

  10                                                                        x            x                    x       x       4

  11                                                                        x                                 x       x       3

  12                                                                        x            x                            x       3

  13                                                                                     x                    x       x       3

  14                                                                        x                                 x               2

  15                        x                                                                                                 1

  16                                                                                     x                                    1

International Journal of Management (IJM), ISSN 0976 – 6502(Print), ISSN 0976 –
6510(Online), Volume 4, Issue 1, January- February (2013)

 *Note: 1 - Top management commitment; 2 - Strategic quality management;
 3 - Process quality management; 4 management; 5 - Education and Training;
 6 - Supplier quality management; 7 - Customer satisfaction; 8 - Emplo and involvement;
 9 - Business results; 10 - Information and Analysis; 11 - Benchmarking;
 12 - Resources; 13 - I environment; 14 - Statistical process control; 15 - Culture.

Table 2: Most commonly extracted factors across the 76 studies and the 23 countries
Source: Sila and Ebrahimpour, 2003
Prioritisation of CSFs

            Sr.     Critical Success Factors      No. of studies    No. of country
            No.                                   in which the       categories in
                                                   factor was         which the
                                                                   factor is present

             1     Top management                      67                 23
                   commitment and
             2     Customer focus                      53                 21
             3     Information and analysis            53                 17
             4     Training                            50                 19
             5     Supplier management                 47                 17
             6     Strategic Planning                  38                 16
             7     Employee Involvement                32                 18
             8     Human                               26                 16
             9     Process management                  26                 13
            10     Teamwork                            22                 9
            11     Product                             21                 11
            12     Process Control                     21                 8
            13     Benchmarking                        16                 12
            14     Continuous improvement              16                 10
            15     Employee empowerment                16                 6
            16     Quality assurance                   15                 12
            17     Social responsibility               10                 9
            18     Employee satisfaction               9                  6

International Journal of Management (IJM), ISSN 0976 – 6502(Print), ISSN 0976 –
6510(Online), Volume 4, Issue 1, January- February (2013)

Table 3: Broad categories for the Deming Application Prize
Source: Total Quality: Management, Organization & Strategy (1999), Evans & Dean

The basic concerns & issues for the Deming Prize is given in Table 3 as below:

               1. Policy
               2. Organization and its Management
               3. Education and Dissemination
               4. Collection, Dissemination and use of Information on Quality
               5. Analysis of Data
               6. Standardization
               7. Control
               8. Quality assurance
               9. Results
               10. Planning for the future

       In an attempt to establish empirically validated factors that influence successful
implementation of TQM, Black and Porter (1996) have identified ten factors which affect
successful implementation of TQM. They are:

(i) Corporate quality culture

(ii) Strategic quality management

(iii) Quality improvement measurement system

(iv) People and customer management

(v) Operational quality planning

(vi) External interface management

(vii) Supplier’s partnerships
(viii) Teamwork structures

(ix) Customer satisfaction orientation

(x)   Communication of improvement information

        An early exploratory attempt to arrive at CSF in the Indian context was made by
Motwani, Mahmoud and Rice (1994) wherein they arrived at nine critical factors for effective
management of quality in Indian manufacturing industry. As the TQM literature in India
moved from introductory level discussion on TQM (Lakhe & Mohanty 1994) to more robust
research work, the emphasis also shifted from a mere duplicating of western models of
quality to trying to develop indigenous models. Wali, Deshmukh and Gupta (2003) made a
review of various critical success factors which different authors including the founding

International Journal of Management (IJM), ISSN 0976 – 6502(Print), ISSN 0976 –
6510(Online), Volume 4, Issue 1, January- February (2013)

fathers of TQM like Deming, Juran, Ishikawa, Crosby, Feigenbaum, and Garvin had
recommended. Wali, Deshmukh and Gupta started from the early work of identification of
the critical success factors (CSF) by Saraph, Benson and Schroeder (1989) to the more recent
one by Ahire, Golhar and Waller (1996). From there, they attempted to identify the critical
success factors (CSF) for adoption of TQM in the Indian context. Their study claims that
these, CSFs are derived based on actual practices followed by Indian organizations and it was
based on a statistically validated instrument and factor analysis. It was not based on
constructing a priori set of pre-defined CSFs and then matching it with actual practice
(Wali, Deshmukh & Gupta 2003, p. 12). The study by Wali, Deshmukh and Gupta (2003) is
perhaps the first comprehensive empirical study of quality practices in the Indian context.
Thus it is worthwhile to look in detail at the twelve factors identified by them. They are listed
below in decreasing order of importance.


        The frequency analysis shown in Tables 1. and 2. revealed that 13 out of the 14
frameworks have three CSFs in common: process management, education and training, and
customer satisfaction. The analysis further revealed that 11 out of the 14 frameworks have
four CSFs in common, viz., top management commitment, supplier quality management,
employee empowerment and involvement and information and analysis. The strategic quality
management and design quality management CSFs have their presence in nine and eight
frameworks respectively. Quality culture, CSF, however, occurs only in the Black and Porter
framework (Black and Porter, 1996). However there is ample evidence from the literature on
the culture and success of quality initiatives. For instance, these researchers, Ahire and
Ravichandran (2001), Ambroz (2004), Butch and Rivers (2001), Chan and Tse (2003),
Jabnoun and Anwar (2002), Jenner et al. (1998), Laszlo (1998), Lewis (1996), Manley
(1998), Perry (1997), Roney (1997), Sinclair and Collins (1994), Waldman and
Gopalakrishnan (1996), and Youssef and Zairi (1995) have all emphasised the importance of
organizational culture for the implementation of quality initiatives in their studies. Culture is
more powerful than anything else in the organization. Culture, ``how we do things around
here in order to succeed,'' is an organization's way of behaving, identity, pattern of dynamic
relationships, ``reality,'' or genetic code (Schneider, 1994). It has everything to do with
implementation and how success is actually achieved. No management idea, no matter how
good, will work in practice if it does not fit the culture. Therefore, quality culture is
considered as one of the important CSFs of TQM.
        Thus, the examination of TQM frameworks has revealed that not all the frameworks
are comprehensive, but in many respects these frameworks complement one another.
Therefore, a blending salient feature of these frameworks is the best approach for the
establishment of critical factors for construction quality management.

Therefore, the following ten CSFs have emerged out of the above analysis:

1. Top management commitment
2. Quality culture
3. Strategic quality management

International Journal of Management (IJM), ISSN 0976 – 6502(Print), ISSN 0976 –
6510(Online), Volume 4, Issue 1, January- February (2013)

4. Design quality management
5. Process management
6. Supplier quality management
7. Education and training
8. Empowerment and involvement
9. Information and analysis
10. Customer satisfaction.

(i) Leadership, Creativity and quality strategy: Successful quality performance requires that
the leadership is dedicated to quality. It must also provide initiative and resource support. It
must enable creativity to be nurtured and accordingly chalk out the strategy. Given the
importance of leadership, it is not surprising to find that, in all quality awards, leadership
issues are placed at the top of the list of criteria. Such leadership will drive quality strategy in
an organisation and nurture creativity.

(ii) Worker – Manager interaction: This means that healthy interaction between worker and
manager is important from quality point of view. The manager provides the direction for
improvement and accordingly, workers are motivated to take initiative. In case of any
difficulty, the worker interacts with the manager to improve the situation.

(iii) Results and Recognition: Crosby (1979) considers recognition as one of the most
important steps of the quality improvement process. The organisation should reward their
employees for their contribution to quality. There should be a quick recognition system for
outstanding performance by the employees. These rewards may not be purely financial.

(iv) Work culture: The work culture must be very conducive. There should be an active
interaction amongst the peers and support from supervisors. The critical importance of the
employee’s involvement in the quality process of an organisation should be based on the
belief that the best process innovation idea comes from the people actually doing the job.

(v) Information and Data management: Information is the critical enabler of TQM. This
factor emphasises that the key processes are regulary measured and quantified. There should
be focus on benchmarking which provides a stimilus for improvement. The facts and
information should be made available to all. This is mainly relevant for managing quality
(vi) Customer Focus: Quality should be customer driven. …. Employees should be well
aware of the concept of internal and external customers. They should care about meeting and
exceeding the customer expectations. There must be a focus on customer feedback and
accordingly the process should be driven.

(vii) Value and ethics: It is important for the people in an organisation to live up to the
highest ethical standards. There should be perception of fair treatment to all. The organization
must be guided by the value and ethical standards.

International Journal of Management (IJM), ISSN 0976 – 6502(Print), ISSN 0976 –
6510(Online), Volume 4, Issue 1, January- February (2013)

(viii) Communication across the organization: Effective communication channels must
exist in the organization between various work units. With the help of information
technology, communication can be made effective. Effective communication is vital in
aligning the workforce towards corporate expectations.

(ix) Team working: According to Crosby (1979), team work is a critical element of TQM.
Teamwork delivers synergistic enhancement of quality efforts. Employees must demonstrate
cooperative behaviour and positive attitude towards working in a team.

(x) Congenial inter – personal relations: The atmposphere in the organisation must be highly
congenial to promote active interaction. There must be mutual respect and faith among

(xi) Delegation and empowerment: In a TQM setting, both delegation and empowerment are
required. People must share responsibility for the success or failure of their work.

(xii) Process improvement: Employees must identify opportunities for continuous
improvement. If employee involvement is key to the attainment of customer satisfaction,
managing the process is key to engaging an organisation’s employees to take responsibilities
for what they are doing in relation to satisfying the customers.


        The analysis of fourteen of the most prominent TQM frameworks has revealed that
out of fifteen CSFs, nine CSFs, are common in most of the frameworks. The analysis further
pointed out that none of the frameworks are comprehensive. Apart from the Black and Porter
framework, quality culture CSF does not exist in other frameworks even though there is
ample evidence in the literature on the culture and success of quality initiatives. Using the
nine common CSFs and the quality culture CSF, ten TQM CSFs are proposed for
construction firms, namely, top management commitment, quality culture, strategic quality
management, design quality management, process management, supplier quality
management, education and training, empowerment and involvement, information and
analysis, and customer satisfaction. These CSFs presented act as a guide for construction
organizations contemplating a TQM initiative.


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