Empirical results are expected to show that there would be a marginal increase in performance over a 4-year and 6-year period, respectively, upon installing ISO and TQM programmes. This means that unless firms maintain and sustain the TQM drives continuously, there will be a decline in competitiveness.
One of its main objectives is to identify an implementation order concerning tools and techniques. Data from survey show there has been continuous decline in the number of new ISO 9000 registrations in the manufacturing industry since reaching its peak some 4-5 years (up to and including survey year, 1996) ago.
This study was conducted to investigate the effects of ISO 9000 and TQM either singly or in combination on the performance of companies. It also explores the order of implementation, which was not addressed previously. In the process, the relationship of practice and performance is investigated and the practices and performance of firms with or without TQM and ISO 9000 in the manufacturing industry is examined.
Saraph et al. (1989) were among the first to attempt to organize and coalesce the various TQM prescriptions. They identified eight critical factors of quality management: the role of management leadership and quality policy; the role of the quality department; training; product/service design; supplier quality management; process management; quality data and reporting; and employee relations. Operational measures of these factors were developed and were found to be reliable and valid. By using such measures, decision-makers can assess the level of quality management in their organization in order to devise strategies for further improvements.
Starting from a strategic perspective, the work by Flynn et al. (1994) identified and accentuated seven key dimensions of quality management that included top management support, quality information, process management, product design, workforce management and supplier and customer involvement. These dimensions were then tested for reliability and validity and, by doing so, described a clear framework for subsequent research and established a standard by which practitioners could evaluate the effectiveness of their quality management programmes.
Through a detailed analysis of the literature, Ahire et al. (1996a) identified 12 constructs of integrated quality management strategies, namely, top management commitment, customer focus, supplier quality management, design quality management, benchmarking, SPC, internal quality informatio