Evolution and future of total quality management: management control and organisational learning

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The competitive position achieved by the Japanese and Western industries during the 1970s to mid-1990s, and 1980s to mid-1990s, respectively, derived from understanding, implementing, and developing Total Quality Management (TQM) as a comprehensive management philosophy. Several research and/or company studies provided evidence of this development and its impact on leading companies’ efficiency and effectiveness. Despite that, research on TQM seemed on the surface, after a boom from about 1990–1995, to have declined. However, one recent detailed study from 2013 concluded that TQM is now at a more mature stage where focuses have shifted from being initially on TQM to the methods, tools, techniques and core values which are needed to implement TQM and to build a quality and BE (Business Excellence) culture. This study is an extension of the 2013 study, where we extend the previous study on TQM publications to 2017, and further analyse more detailed not only which methods, tools and techniques are used, but also at what organisational level they are used–strategical, tactical or the operational level. We collect data on research about TQM and its methods, tools and techniques, and we analyse further the shift of focus from TQM as a comprehensive management theory/ philosophy to a focus on the TQM methods, tools and techniques to be used at various management levels of a company. We use two of management’s basic functions–management control (MC) and organisational learning (OL)–to unveil the challenges faced by TQM and to help converting these challenges into new research opportunities to be jointly addressed by companies and research communities such as the Quality Management and Organisational Development (QMOD) Research Community. In light of the findings in this research, it became clear that MC and OL are two sides of the same coin. MC can never be effectively implemented without OL, and OL needs to be supported by a comprehensive MC system.


Enheter & grupper
Externa organisationer
  • Linköping University
  • Yuan Ze University

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Företagsekonomi


Sidor (från-till)S1-S16
TidskriftTotal Quality Management and Business Excellence
Utgåva nummersup1
StatusPublished - 2019 sep 27
Peer review utfördJa