Quality management in Malaysian organizations : the relevance of values to improvement process
This study examines the improvement effort and issues of Malaysian organizations. A total of nine organizations, involved in different types of business activities, became the sample cases of this study. There were two phases of fieldwork conducted in this study: A three month period (May - July 1993) trip to Malaysia was undertaken in order to allow the researcher to gain a close 'first hand' knowledge with regard to quality issues in Malaysian organizations. A series of interviews were conducted with quality and senior managers of the organizations involved in the study. 2. The second fieldwork trip also covered a three month period (December 1994 - February 1995). This trip focused on the administration of the questionnaire survey to members in organizations. Five organizations (UTEL, UTEN, OPET, OSEDC and SLUTH), with a total of 210 respondents, participated in this survey. Some interviews with senior officials of these organizations were also carried out during this period. The analysis of data obtained in this study was conducted in two stages: (i) an overall qualitative analysis of the quality and improvement issues in organizations, and (ii) an analysis of the survey data obtained in the above five organizations. The main findings of this study are as follows: In the Malaysian context, the nation's social and economic objectives seemed to exert significant influence over the emphasized aspects of improvement to organizations. Specifically, it was found that the organizations in this study were particularly concerned with the 'improvement' process which would reduce the imbalance of racial participation in economic activities. 2. A stress on values, especially those related to ethics and human relationship, was found to be instrumental in shaping the 'quality' culture of organizations. They include the values of honesty, responsibility, friendship, politeness, courage, love and helpfulness. 3. Quality and improvement issues in organizations are intricately complex. They evolve and are influenced by internal and external contextual factors.