This paper investigates the pattern or trajectory of implementing ISO 9000 standards versus TQM in Western Europe from a longitudinal perspective, using empirical data. The research is based on three large‐scale surveys conducted in 1992‐1993, 1996‐1997 and 2001‐2002 respectively, in 13 Western European countries. The results of the surveys show that European companies have put considerable effort into ISO 9000 certification. However, the results also reveal that, around 1996‐1997, European companies had also planned to implement TQM. However, the result of the planned “go beyond ISO to TQM” fell short of the anticipated extent, indicating that the adoption of TQM in Europe was slower than expected. Early in the twenty‐first century, European companies are still very keen on implementing TQM, indicating an obvious intention to shift from ISO 9000 to TQM. To ensure that the shift will occur this time however, the two approaches must be integrated properly. Although both ISO 9000 standards and the TQM/EFQM model have been recently updated or modified, how to best incorporate the two systems remains one of the major tasks of quality management in the future.
International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Feb 1, 2004
Keywords: ISO 9000 series; Total quality management; Surveys
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