Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to identify the critical success factors of total quality management (TQM) in pharmaceutical wholesale distribution companies in Pakistan. The paper also seeks to contribute to reduce the existing lack of TQM studies in developing countries. Design/methodology/approach – A 29‐item survey questionnaire is sent to 90 pharmaceutical distributors. Response rate is 56.7 per cent. Confirmatory factor analysis deletes one item in the scale purification process. Findings – Data analysis reveal that “process design” (PD) is critical TQM success factor in pharmaceutical wholesale distribution companies in Pakistan. Like other studies in developing countries, top management in pharmaceutical wholesale distribution companies in Pakistan does not adequately support the TQM implementation. Research limitations/implications – The research is based in Pakistan only. Convenience sampling is done. The response size of the study is small ( n =51) though the response rate and significance are high. Small response size prevents more complex analysis such as structural equation modelling. Practical implications – Pharmaceutical wholesale distribution companies are more focused on “PD”. Increased top management support is required for proper TQM implementation. Originality/value – This research provides framework to researchers to build up more TQM critical success factor studies in similar sector and situations so that more concrete generalizations can be made.
International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing – Emerald Publishing
Published: Nov 20, 2009
Keywords: Pakistan; Pharmaceuticals industry; Wholesaling; Distribution operations; Critical success factors; Total quality management; Developing countries