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Quality management benefits through the “soft” and “hard” aspect of TQM in food companies

Quality management benefits through the “soft” and “hard” aspect of TQM in food companies Purpose – The purpose of the paper is to examine the binary character of total quality management (TQM) in food companies and to determine the impact of the two aspects of TQM – the “soft” and “hard” – on the quality management benefits. Design/methodology/approach – A research project was carried out in 90 Greek food companies, using the questionnaire method. Two measurement models have been formulated. The first model includes the TQM philosophical elements and quality tools/techniques, while the second model includes the quality management benefits. Exploratory factor analyses are applied to extract the latent factors. The factors that significantly influence the quality management benefits are determined through multiple linear regression analyses. Findings – The analysis of the models confirms the binary character of TQM (the “soft” and “hard” TQM elements) in food companies and the existence of internal and external quality management benefits. The “soft” TQM elements have a significant direct impact on quality improvement, employee benefits and customer satisfaction. However, the impact of the “hard” TQM elements on the above quality management benefits is not direct but indirect, through their significant correlation with the “soft” TQM elements. Finally, quality improvement is also a significant factor that directly influences employee benefits, customer satisfaction and business performance. Research limitations/implications – The small size of the sample of the responding food companies, the diversity of these companies and the subjective character of the data collected are limitations that suggest future research recommendations. Practical implications – Food companies should realize the leading role of the “soft” aspect of TQM and the supporting role of the “hard” aspect in maximizing the quality management benefits and as a consequence in withstanding the current economic downturn. Originality/value – Focusing on “quality‐oriented” food companies that have ample experience in quality and food safety management systems, the present study reveals a significant direct impact of the “soft” TQM elements and an indirect impact of the “hard” TQM elements on the quality management benefits. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The TQM Journal Emerald Publishing

Quality management benefits through the “soft” and “hard” aspect of TQM in food companies

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2014 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1754-2731
DOI
10.1108/TQM-02-2013-0017
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of the paper is to examine the binary character of total quality management (TQM) in food companies and to determine the impact of the two aspects of TQM – the “soft” and “hard” – on the quality management benefits. Design/methodology/approach – A research project was carried out in 90 Greek food companies, using the questionnaire method. Two measurement models have been formulated. The first model includes the TQM philosophical elements and quality tools/techniques, while the second model includes the quality management benefits. Exploratory factor analyses are applied to extract the latent factors. The factors that significantly influence the quality management benefits are determined through multiple linear regression analyses. Findings – The analysis of the models confirms the binary character of TQM (the “soft” and “hard” TQM elements) in food companies and the existence of internal and external quality management benefits. The “soft” TQM elements have a significant direct impact on quality improvement, employee benefits and customer satisfaction. However, the impact of the “hard” TQM elements on the above quality management benefits is not direct but indirect, through their significant correlation with the “soft” TQM elements. Finally, quality improvement is also a significant factor that directly influences employee benefits, customer satisfaction and business performance. Research limitations/implications – The small size of the sample of the responding food companies, the diversity of these companies and the subjective character of the data collected are limitations that suggest future research recommendations. Practical implications – Food companies should realize the leading role of the “soft” aspect of TQM and the supporting role of the “hard” aspect in maximizing the quality management benefits and as a consequence in withstanding the current economic downturn. Originality/value – Focusing on “quality‐oriented” food companies that have ample experience in quality and food safety management systems, the present study reveals a significant direct impact of the “soft” TQM elements and an indirect impact of the “hard” TQM elements on the quality management benefits.

Journal

The TQM JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Aug 5, 2014

Keywords: Food companies; Quality management benefits; Soft and hard TQM elements

References