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Creating a Quality Management Culture: Focusing on Values and Leadership
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Quality Technology and Management, Mechanical Engineering and Mathematics.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5610-2944
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

When applied successfully, the QM initiatives TQM and Lean enhance an organization´s ability to meet and exceed the expectations of the customers as well as co-workers and other stakeholders. There are however also QM initiatives that fail and one reason for this is the organization’s inability to create a supportive culture, a culture that rests on a number of values which aim at improving the quality and thereby customer satisfaction. Even though this is known by both practitioners and researchers, little has been written on how to achieve a QM culture in practice and there are not many methodologies and tools designed directly with purpose of creating this culture. In addition, the measurements used for monitoring organizational success focus mainly on ‘hard’ process or financial measures such as lead-time reduction and operating income.  

The purpose of this thesis has been to ‘examine how a strong organizational culture can be created and to contribute with knowledge about how to create and measure a QM culture’. To fulfill this purpose, a number of case studies have been carried out and a questionnaire has been developed in order to measure the presence and importance of a number of QM values.

The research presented in this thesis reinforces the fact that culture is an important factor to take into account when applying QM initiatives. A structured way of working with culture and the development of a strategy on how the culture in the organization will be changed is needed. This in combination with methodologies and tools aiming directly at enhancing a QM culture. The research also shows that the relationship between organizational culture, values and behaviors needs to be considered when working to create a strong QM culture. Most of the methodologies and tools found in the case studies aim directly at reinforcing the ‘right’ behaviors in the organization, hence enhancing the underlying values. For instance, the way an organization works with selection, e.g. recruitment and promotion, based on behaviors rather than documented merits is one methodology found in the research. The leadership was found to be important when it came to building or strengthening the culture. Managers are considered key players and need to act as role models, displaying the desired behaviors themselves. The managers need to be present among their co-workers and aware of how their own actions affect the possibility to build a strong QM culture.

Another conclusion drawn is the need to measure the ‘softer’ side of QM. One starting point when applying a QM initiative should be the assessment of the existing culture in the organization as a complement to the ‘harder’ measures. The research presented in this thesis suggests that the questionnaire that has been developed could be an appropriate tool for this purpose. If the existing culture in an organization does not support the values within QM, the behaviors of managers and co-workers that are needed to improve quality and thereby customer satisfaction could be hard to achieve.

Abstract [sv]

Framgångsrikt tillämpade kan kvalitetsledningsinitiativ (QM initiativ) som TQM och Lean förbättra organisationers förmåga att möta och överträffa kundernas likväl som medarbetarnas och andra intressenters förväntningar. Det finns dock QM initiativ som misslyckas och en av anledningarna är oförmågan att skapa en stödjande kultur. En kultur som vilar på ett antal värderingar med syfte att förbättra kvaliteten och därmed kundtillfredsställelsen. Även om detta är känt av både praktiker och forskare så finns det inte mycket skrivet om hur man uppnår denna kultur i praktiken. Dessutom finns få utvecklade metoder och verktyg som syftar direkt till att skapa en QM kultur. Förutom detta så är de flesta mätningar som används för att följa organisationers utveckling främst av det hårda slaget, dvs. finansiella eller processorienterade mätningar t.ex. ledtidsreducering och rörelsekapital.

Syftet med den här avhandlingen har varit att "undersöka hur en stark organisationskultur kan skapas och att bidra med kunskap om hur man kan skapa och mäta en kvalitetsledningskultur". För att uppfylla detta syfte har ett antal fallstudier genomförts och en enkät har utvecklats för att mäta förekomsten och betydelsen av ett antal QM värderingar.

Den forskning som presenteras avhandlingen stärker det faktum att kulturen är en viktig faktor att ta hänsyn till vid tillämpningen av QM initiativ. Det finns ett behov av ett strukturerat arbetssätt för att påverka kulturen samt att utveckla en strategi för hur kulturen i organisationen ska kunna skapas. I kombination med detta så finns även att behov av metoder och verktyg som syftar direkt till att stärka QM kulturen. Forskningen visar också att sambandet mellan organisationskultur, värderingar och beteenden måste tas i beaktning när man arbetar för att skapa en stark kultur. De flesta metoder och verktyg som påträffats i fallstudierna syftar direkt till att stärka "rätt" beteenden i organisationen, och därigenom förstärka de underliggande värderingarna. Även ledarskapet är viktigt när det gäller att skapa eller stärka kulturen. Chefer är nyckelaktörer och måste agera som förebilder och själva uppvisa önskade beteenden. Hur organisationer arbetar med urval, dvs. rekrytering och befordran, baserat på beteenden snarare än dokumenterade meriter är en metod som påträffats i forskningen. En annan metod funnen är ”storytelling” som kan användas för att återberätta historier från organisationen som visar på beteenden som stärker önskade värderingar.

En slutstats som dras är att det finns ett behov av att mäta de ”mjukare” sidorna av QM. Utgångsläget vad gäller den befintliga kulturen när man ska tillämpar QM initiativ bör mätas för att komplettera de ”hårdare” mätetalen. Forskningen som presenteras i avhandlingen visar att den enkät som utvecklats skulle kunna användas som ett verktyg för att göra dessa mätningar. Antingen för att mäta utgångsläget innan man börjar tillämpa Lean eller TQM eller som ett sätt att kontinuerligt följa upp och behålla fokuset på värderingar och kulturen i en organisation. Om kulturen som råder i en organisation inte stödjer QM värderingar kan det vara svårt att få de beteenden från chefer och medarbetare som krävs för att förbättra kvaliteten och därmed kundnöjdheten.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sundsvall: Mid Sweden University , 2013. , 87 p.
Series
Mid Sweden University doctoral thesis, ISSN 1652-893X ; 141
Keyword [en]
Quality Management, Organizational culture, values, leadership, Lean, TQM
Keyword [sv]
Kvalitetsledning, organisationskultur, värderingar, ledarskap, Lean, TQM
National Category
Reliability and Maintenance
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-18315ISBN: 978-91-87103-58-2 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-18315DiVA: diva2:592550
Public defence
2013-02-14, Q 221, Akademigatan 1, Östersund, 10:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2013-01-23 Created: 2013-01-21 Last updated: 2016-12-02Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Commercial experiences from a customer perspective elaborated, defined and distinguished
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Commercial experiences from a customer perspective elaborated, defined and distinguished
2010 (English)In: The TQM Journal, ISSN 1754-2731, E-ISSN 1754-274X, Vol. 22, no 3, 285-292 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose - A new type of business offering is currently gaining much attention, a type which in some aspects appears to be distinct from goods and services. These offerings are usually denoted as commercial experiences and are claimed to provide higher customer value than other types of offerings as they, for example, engage customers in an inherently memorable way. The understanding of what constitutes commercial experiences is however still scant. The purpose of this paper is to take a closer look at the commercial experience concept from a customer perspective. The paper aims specifically at elaborating and defining commercial experiences as well as distinguishing them from goods and services. Design/methodology/approach - The paper is based on literature studies. Findings - The authors identify memorable as the fundamental distinctive characteristic for commercial experiences. Memorable events are then shown to be strongly emotional events. Finally the two-factor structure of affect is used to show that the factor "strong engagement" is a critical driver of commercial experiences. As a result of the elaboration the authors also propose a new definition of commercial experiences and distinguish commercial experiences from goods and services in three ways. Originality/value - The paper increases the currently scant understanding of commercial experiences.

Keyword
Business enterprise; Corporate strategy; Customer orientation; Innovation; Value chain
National Category
Other Mechanical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-11700 (URN)10.1108/17542731011035523 (DOI)2-s2.0-77951872260 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2010-06-14 Created: 2010-06-14 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
2. Learning from others to adapt Quality Management to the future
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Learning from others to adapt Quality Management to the future
2011 (English)In: Total Quality Management and Business Excellence, ISSN 1478-3363, E-ISSN 1478-3371, Vol. 22, no 2, 187-196 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this paper is to compare leadership behaviours from two different approaches with the leadership behaviours within Quality Management in order to find possible areas for developing leadership within Quality Management. A case study has been carried out at a Swedish award-winning organisation in order to study leadership behaviours. In-depth interviews have been carried out with the intention to explore how the manager has worked to become one of Sweden’s best workplaces. Leadership behaviours from three different approaches are summarised in ‘The Core Leadership Behaviours’. The analysis of the leadership methodologies and behaviours used by the leaders and the ‘Core Leadership Behaviours’ from the three different approaches has been summarized for each approach. The comparison indicates that there are interesting leadership behaviours in Change Oriented Leadership as well as in KaosPilots that are not established within Quality Management. The leadership behaviours could complement Quality Management to meet new and challenging demands from customers and co-workers

Keyword
Quality Management; Change Oriented Management; Leadership Behaviours; KaosPilots; Creativity; TQM, Kvalitetsteknik, Ledarskapsbeteenden, Kaos Piloterna, Kreativitet, TQM
National Category
Other Mechanical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-8654 (URN)10.1080/14783363.2010.530800 (DOI)000287487700005 ()2-s2.0-79951825434 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2009-02-24 Created: 2009-02-24 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
3. Can selecting the right values help TQM implementation?: A case study about organisational homogeneity at the Walt Disney Company
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Can selecting the right values help TQM implementation?: A case study about organisational homogeneity at the Walt Disney Company
2012 (English)In: Total Quality Management and Business Excellence, ISSN 1478-3363, E-ISSN 1478-3371, Vol. 23, no 1, 1-11 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Total Quality Management, TQM, is often referred to as a value based management philosophy, built on a set of core values. These TQM values should ideally be conformed to by all employees in order to achieve a thriving organisation. A strong organisational culture with shared core values can therefore be identified as of importance for a successful TQM implementation. This paper discusses how organisations need to act in order to achieve shared values among co-workers. In the theory two strategies appear: to select people who appear to possess the desired values in the first place and to socialize employees once hired. When working with TQM, several examples of socialization can be found in described techniques and tools, however the selection strategy seems to be both unapplied and underestimated. In order to find empirical examples a case study was conducted at an organisation which is renowned for the way in which they work with values. A conclusion of this paper is that, as a complement to the use of socialization, a selection strategy is proposed in order to achieve shared values in order to facilitate TQM implementation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2012
Keyword
Values, Total Quality Management; Socialization; Selection; Organizational Culture; Recruitment; Disney, Quality Technology and Management, TQM, Quality control, Kvalitetsteknik, Kvalitet
National Category
Other Mechanical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-8773 (URN)10.1080/14783363.2011.637801 (DOI)000302474300001 ()2-s2.0-84859887794 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2009-04-06 Created: 2009-04-06 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
4. Creating Customer Value in Commercial Experiences: from the leaders perspective
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Creating Customer Value in Commercial Experiences: from the leaders perspective
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Keyword
Leadership, Customer Value, Commercial Experience, Organizational Culture, Co-create, Attractive Quality, Gaps Model.
National Category
Other Mechanical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-10597 (URN)
Available from: 2009-12-09 Created: 2009-12-09 Last updated: 2016-12-09Bibliographically approved
5. Measuring the soft sides of TQM and Lean
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Measuring the soft sides of TQM and Lean
2010 (English)In: 13th QMOD Conference, 31 Aug – 1 Sept 2010 Cottbus, Germany, 2010Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

PurposeThe purpose of this paper was to examine TQM and Lean in regards to values and principles, implementation problems and measurements for success. The purpose was also to present an approach to measure organizational culture and values as a part of the implementation strategy for TQM and Lean.

Methodology/ApproachLiterature studies were conducted to examine TQM and Lean regarding values and principles, implementation problems and measurements of success. With the literature study as a base a questionnaire with statements about the main principles of Lean was developed to further evolve an existing survey used to measure the values ‘Leadership commitment’ and ‘Participation of everybody’.

FindingsThe literature study showed similar problems when implementing Lean and TQM but even though they are said to originate from the same roots it was found that there are some areas within Lean that are not quite so apparent in TQM. Based on the findings the already exciting measurement was extended with these principles with the purpose to create an approach to measure organizational culture.

Value of PaperA measurement approach can help managers to measure to what extent the values and principles of TQM and Lean are present within an organization, a prerequisite for achieving world-class quality.

Keyword
Lean, TQM, values, organizational culture, measurement approach, soft measurements
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-12333 (URN)
Available from: 2010-11-30 Created: 2010-11-30 Last updated: 2016-12-02Bibliographically approved
6. Focusing on culture when applying Quality Management
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Focusing on culture when applying Quality Management
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The need to focus on organizational culture when applying QM initiatives is often pointed out as a critical factor for success. The culture in an organization is said to consist of the shared values of the members of that organization and QM initiatives are often spoken of as being based on a number of QM values. The need to establish a strong organizational culture based on those values is consequently a challenge that needs to be addressed. In this paper a model to achieve focus on QM cultural change when applying QM in an organization is presented as well as a proposed way to measure both the presence and importance of QM values in an organization via a questionnaire. A conclusion of this paper is that a structured way of working with the culture can help focus on the softer sides of applying QM and the measurement approach can give the baseline from where you start as well as provide help in monitoring if the organization is on the right track.

Keyword
Organizational culture, Values, Quality Management, TQM, Lean
National Category
Reliability and Maintenance
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-18313 (URN)
Available from: 2013-01-21 Created: 2013-01-21 Last updated: 2016-12-09Bibliographically approved
7. Measuring the importance and practices of Lean values
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Measuring the importance and practices of Lean values
2014 (English)In: The TQM Journal, ISSN 1754-2731, E-ISSN 1754-274X, Vol. 26, no 5, 463-474 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to present the result from a study carried out at an organization, which has recently started applying Lean, to examine changes in the importance and presence of Lean values within the organization in relation to when different parts of the organization started to apply Lean.

Design/methodology/approach – A questionnaire was used at three different groups at a dental care provider. ANOVA was used to detect any differences in regards to the importance and practice of five Lean values in relation to time since the clinics started to apply Lean.

Findings – The study showed no difference between the three groups in relation to the stated importance of the values, something that could indicate that there is a commonly shared value base in the organization. The only difference that was statistically significant was with regard to the presence of the values ‘Continuous improvement’ and ‘Supportive leadership’ between Groups 1 (pilot, 18 month since starting to apply Lean) and 3 (not yet started to apply Lean).

Research limitation/implications – The research was conducted as one single study in one organization and further research should be done in other organizations and types of businesses.

Practical implications – The questionnaire can be used in organizations to put focus on cultural change when applying Lean both when it comes to practice as well as importance.

Originality/value – Traditional measures mainly focus on hard measurements when measuring the progress in applying quality initiatives such as Lean. This questionnaire can complement these traditional measurements and create a greater focus on the cultural changes in the organization.

Keyword
Lean, Organizational culture, Leadership, Values, Soft measurements
National Category
Reliability and Maintenance
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-18314 (URN)10.1108/TQM-07-2012-0047 (DOI)2-s2.0-84927511909 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2013-01-21 Created: 2013-01-21 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved

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