TQM Sustainability: What it means and how to make it viable

International Journal of Applied Strategic Management (ISSN: 1742-8204) Volume 2 Issue 2

A Viewpoint


Professor Mohamed Zairi
Juran Chair in TQM
Director of The ECTQM
University of Bradford

The literature review indicates that in order to achieve ‘world-class’ status, each MBNQA and EQA winner had to closely examine its entire operations, processes and its customers, so as to compare itself with the best in class. Self-assessment, which is one of the fastest growing methods, is used by these organizations to measure their standards and performance in their attempts to achieve world class rating. Both the MBNQA and EQA models provide the ideal framework against which this can be done. Their TQM implementation evolved against a background of economic and business pressures that derived an increased focus on the continuous benchmarking of their performance with the world’s best, adapting new best practice and innovating to become world-class. A world-class organization is one that has the production and/or service capability that is competitive in the dynamic global economy.

A synthesized review of the literature on the 1988 and 1999 MBNQA winners, also the 1992 and 1999 winners of the EQA examined the history and evolution of their TQM path and the findings reflect four paradigm shifts ( Table 1):

Table 1

The aforementioned analysis was undertaken by Zairi & Liburd (2001) and they concluded that essentially TQM sustainability is alrgely dependent on the following:

  1. A series of transformational change paradigms, through an evolutionary path reflecting a product, service, customer and market orientations.;
  2. The existence of a number of critical factors which impinge greatly on TQM successful implementation and which enable superior performance;
  3. The creation of a culture of continuous improvement, learning and innovation so as to have in place a sustainableclimate of growth;
  4. An emphasis on measurement using a balanced perspective

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