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Title: Total quality management : a framework for quality improvement in Arab manufacturing companies
Author: Zwet, Aisha
ISNI:       0000 0004 7227 8095
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2017
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Total Quality Management (TQM), has been accepted globally as a management philosophy and practice to improve quality. However, only limited empirical studies have been carried out in manufacturing SMEs in the Gulf countries. The primary concern for the manufacturing SME s in the Middle East who want to compete in the global market is that many competitors have been involved in quality improvement programs for decades which initially give them a competitive edge. These companies have already developed the top management commitment, infrastructure and other resources needed to sustain continuous improvement (CI) practices. Manufacturing companies in the Middle East, on the other hand, have until recently often lacked the knowledge and skills essential to develop and implement a total quality program, hence struggle to improve the quality management system in comparison to the manufacturing companies in the west. There are many reasons for this wide gap. The causes include education, amount of time and capital spent on research on total quality management (TQM) and other quality management models, limited use of variety quality control lean tools and techniques, limited access to information and communication technology, low labour productivity and a variety of other social cultural issues that impede productivity and efficiency. This research investigates the actual causes of difficulties in implementing and adopting TQM and CI practices that challenge the manufacturing SMEs in the Gulf region in terms of quality management. The research was designed to identify the current level of TQM implementation in manufacturing SMEs in the Gulf States and investigate the TQM and CI Parameters that affect the performance of the companies and to identify barriers that stop them from implementing TQM in their company. The main objectives were to determine the influencing factors and response to TQM implementation within manufacturing SMEs. A first stage empirical analysis was carried out to establish the current state of quality initiatives and identify the current level of knowledge regarding TQM and critical success factors in manufacturing SMEs . in the Middle East . The main findings of the research include the impact of TQM practice on manufacturing SMEs in the Middle East , identification of critical success factors to implement TQM effectively, establishing the impact of demographic characteristics on TQM and significant and positive effect on relationships such as education and training, employee participation , customer satisfaction and management commitment. Based on the empirical findings a TQM framework was developed that is more suitable for Arab SMEs to improve the quality management and business performance. The contribution to knowledge in this research is the development of a framework to combine selected CI tools that suit the Arab manufacturing SMEs and that will improve the productivity, lead time, customer satisfaction, low cost, quality product and employee skills. The proposed TQM model was validated through a second stage empirical analysis.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral