PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to confirm the existence of contradictions in total quality management (TQM) implementation among some Ghanaian companies and to provide a framework for balancing these contradictions.Design/methodology/approachClosed-ended questionnaires were used as a survey instrument. A sample of 80 managers from 40 Ghanaian multinational companies implementing TQM responded to the questionnaires.FindingsThe results showed that the implementation of TQM comes with inherent contradictions, which may hinder the success of TQM if not checked. Three pairs of contradictions were established in this study, namely “Standardization vs Innovation,” “Manipulation vs Empowerment,” and “Collectivism vs Individualism.” A framework was proposed to balance these contradictions in order to ensure TQM success.Research limitations/implicationsThe study used all the 40 ISO certified firms in Ghana, but this number is quite small relative to ISO certified firms worldwide. Further, the study was done in Ghana and, for these reasons, generalization to the rest of the world is limited.Practical implicationsThe proposed framework when applied by managers to balance the contradictions will achieve success in TQM implementation.Originality/valuePrevious studies have talked about the existence of the contradictions. This paper proposes a framework to balance the existing contradictions. This framework is new and has never been proposed in the literature to minimize the adverse effects of these contradictions on a firm’s profit generation.
The TQM Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 12, 2017
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