The development of quality management in Thailand
This thesis presents the results of an investigation into the development of quality management in Thailand. The research was conducted in order to draw up an overall picture of quality progress in Thai industry, to provide useful insights for Thai companies and policy-makers, as well as to compare Thailand with other developing countries. This research has adopted an integrated approach to research methodology comprising both survey and case study methods. Four linked empirical research projects were conducted to obtain an insight into quality management, particularly the ISO 9000 series of quality systems standards, Total Quality Management (TQM), and a 'foundation level' quality system, within Thai industry. The in-depth study of ISO 9000 implementation identifies the driving forces encouraging Thai industry to pursue ISO 9000; four types of ISO 9000 implementation process; implementation factors and obstacles; the impact of implementation process and future plans after a company has achieved ISO 9000 registration. The study of TQM implementation in companies located in Thailand reveals that the companies studied have each adopted different, but successful, approaches to TQM implementation. The Thai Foundation Quality System Standard (TFQSS) has been proved to be suitable for Thai SMEs. Findings from the four individual research project together provide some new insights into the development and implementation of quality management in a Thai perspective. As a result of the study, a TQM framework was developed. The framework identifies three broad dimensions of quality management in a Thai organisation, which are: - Three aspects of quality management; Five stages of development; and Four implementation paradigms. An organisation that wishes to embark on a quality journey can examine its status against the framework in order to start, or to improve a particular aspect that is found to be unsatisfactory. After identifying some criteria for the assessment of national quality development, a simple model of quality management in developing countries is proposed to depict comparative characteristics of quality management within these countries. It is concluded that, among developing countries in South and East Asian region, Thailand is in the middle of the spectrum of development.