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Exploring Trends, Patterns and Characteristics of Quality Management Through Text Mining
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Quality Technology and Management, Mechanical Engineering and Mathematics. (Kvalitetsteknik)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8839-2816
2016 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

At frequent intervals, new reports and papers are published stressing the importance of high quality and quality improvement measures in the public and private sector if Sweden is to survive as a welfare state and industrial nation. The situation seems not to be unique for Sweden: similar opinions can be heard in other parts of the world as well. In the 21st century, consumers and citizens should be provided with continuously improved quality at a lower cost, otherwise businesses are likely to go bankrupt and politicians may lose the trust of the people. Quality is, thus, a word that is used persistently by people in power and the social commentators of today. From this perspective, it might seem fitting that quality, quality management (QM), total quality management (TQM) and other closely related terminologies are well defined, to make possible constructive dialogue that will culminate in effective action. This is often not the case, which is why vision statements, campaigns and other quality improvement measures risk falling short before they are even launched. With this background, the purpose of this thesis is to facilitate fruitful dialogue by examining QM-research and how trends, terminologies and research focus have shifted over time. By increasing the understanding of how QM-research has evolved it is also possible to create a coherent overview which hopefully can help to reduce confusion and polarisation amongst scholars and practitioners. In this way, it might be possible to increase the number of successful quality improvement measures as well as to lay the foundations for sustainable and system-wide quality improvement actions in society at large.

The thesis is based on three studies, of which the first is looking into conference proceedings from one of the globally most prominent scientific conferences on quality – the QMOD-ICQSS conference. The two subsequent studies use abstracts from three of the top ranked scientific journals dealing with quality - International Journal of Quality and Reliability Management, Total Quality Management Journal and Total Quality Management & Business Excellence. All studies have been conducted according to text mining methodology, which entails usage of statistical tools in the form of hard- and software for data collection, modelling and analysis. The approach is exploratory and previously not verified with this purpose, which is why the three studies offer unique perspectives on the research field, at the same time as new methodological tools and approaches are investigated and tested.

Through the studies it is possible to show occurrence of trends in research alignment as well as in publication design and popularity. The studies also identify central, perpetual, topics around which the research has been concentrated. These topics indicate that the research field, in spite of momentary trends and fashions, rests on a firm foundation regarding problem definition and approaches to solve them. Finally, a model is presented which summarizes the perspectives and outsets which distinguish QM and make it a research field in its own right.

Abstract [sv]

Regelbundet publiceras det nya rapporter och artiklar där vikten av hög kvalitet liksom kvalitetsförbättrande åtgärder inom offentlig och privat sektor lyfts fram som oumbärliga för att Sverige ska överleva som välfärds- och näringslivsnation. Situationen tycks inte vara unik för Sverige, likande tongångar hörs även i andra delar av världen. På 2000-talet ska konsumenter och medborgare tillhandahållas ständigt förbättrad kvalitet till lägre kostnad, annars går företag i konkurs och politiska företrädare förlorar folkets förtroende. Kvalitet är alltså ett ord som används flitigt av dagens makthavare och samhällsdebattörer. Utifrån detta perspektiv kan det anses angeläget att kvalitet, kvalitetsutveckling, kvalitetsarbete och andra närbesläktade ord är väl definierade för att möjliggöra konstruktiv dialog som mynnar ut i verkningsfulla insatser. Så är dock ofta inte fallet - varför visioner, kampanjer och andra kvalitetsförbättrande initiativ riskerar att faller till korta innan de ens hunnit lanseras. Med denna bakgrund, är syftet med avhandlingen att underlätta givande diskussioner genom att närmare belysa forskningsfältet kvalitetsteknik, eller Quality Management (QM), och hur trender, termer och forskningsfokus har växlat över tid. Genom att öka förståelsen för forskningens utveckling över tid kan även en sammanhängande översikt skapas, vilka tillsammans förhoppningsvis kan bidra till att minska den förvirring och polarisering som råder både inom akademi liksom praktik. Därigenom kanske det är möjligt att öka mängden lyckade kvalitetssatsningar liksom att lägga grunden för ett långsiktigt hållbart och systemövergripande kvalitetsarbete i samhället i överlag.

Avhandlingen baseras på tre studier, varav den första har tittat närmare på konferensbidrag från en av världens idag ledande forskningskonferenser om kvalitet – QMOD-ICQSS konferensen. De två senare studierna behandlar sammanfattningar från tre av de högst rankade forskningstidskrifterna med fokus på kvalitet – International Journal of Quality and Reliability Management, Total Quality Management Journal och Total Quality Management & Business Excellence. Samtliga studier har utformats enligt text-mining metodik, vilket medför att statistiska hjälpmedel i form av hård och mjukvara har använts för datainsamling, modellering och analys. Angreppssättet är explorativt och tidigare ej beprövat i ovanstående syfte varför de tre studierna erbjuder unika perspektiv på forskningsområdet samtidigt som nya metodologiska verktyg och arbetssätt utforskats och utvärderats.

Genom studierna går det att påvisa förekomsten av trender i forskningsinriktningar liksom i publikationernas utformning och popularitet. Studierna identifierar även centrala, återkommande teman kring vilka forskningen koncentrerats. Dessa teman indikerar att forskningsområdet, trots tillfälliga trender och moden, vilar på en stadigvarande grund gällande problemformuleringar och ansatser att lösa dessa. Slutligen presenteras en modell som sammanfattar de perspektiv och utgångspunkter som utmärker kvalitetstekniken (QM) och som gör det till ett forskningsområde i sin egen rätt.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sundsvall: Mid Sweden University , 2016. , 213 p.
Series
Mid Sweden University licentiate thesis, ISSN 1652-8948 ; 126
Keyword [en]
Quality Management, Total Quality Management, TQM, Quality Movement, Quality Revolution, Business Excellence, Text Mining, Systems Thinking
Keyword [sv]
Kvalitetsteknik, Offensiv Kvalitetsutveckling, Systematiskt Kvalitetsarbete, Quality Management, Total Quality Management, TQM, Text Mining
National Category
Reliability and Maintenance
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-27765ISBN: 978-91-88025-75-3 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-27765DiVA: diva2:930715
Presentation
2016-06-17, Q221, Akademigatan 1, Östersund, 10:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

Vid tidpunkten för framläggandet av avhandlingen var följande delarbeten opublicerade: delarbete B accepterat för publicering och delarbete C inskickat.

At the time of the licentiate defence the following papers were unpublished: paper B accepted for publication and paper C submitted.

Available from: 2016-05-25 Created: 2016-05-25 Last updated: 2017-10-18Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Exploration of text mining methodology through investigation of QMOD-ICQSS proceedings
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Exploration of text mining methodology through investigation of QMOD-ICQSS proceedings
2014 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Purpose

The purpose of the study is to explore if and how text mining methodology can be applied to investigate and analyze large amounts of academic papers. Methodology / Approach The study uses probabilistic topic modeling as method to perform exploratory data analysis on QMOD-ICQSS proceedings.

Findings

The findings give reason for further exploration of text mining and probabilistic topic modeling as a relevant method to extract information from large amounts of academic papers. The generated topic models serve as a foundation for other researchers to conduct more detailed analysis of the QMOD-ICQSS proceedings depending on the specific area of interest. Research Limitations The study was limited to the use of one software and modeling technique, a multi-track approach would have strengthened the results.

Originality

There seems not to exist any other text mining study that has been conducted on conferenced proceedings in general nor on QMOD-ICQSS proceedings specifically. Keywords Text Mining, Probabilistic Topic Modeling, Quality Movement, Total Quality Management, QMOD-ICQSS

Paper type

Research paper

Keyword
Text Mining, Probabilistic Topic Modeling, Quality Movement, Total Quality Management, QMOD-ICQSS
National Category
Reliability and Maintenance
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-24316 (URN)
Conference
QMOD-ICQSS Prague, Czech Republic, 2014 (Sep. 3-5)
Available from: 2015-02-05 Created: 2015-02-05 Last updated: 2016-05-25Bibliographically approved
2. Exploring research on quality and reliability management through text mining methodology
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Exploring research on quality and reliability management through text mining methodology
2017 (English)In: International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, ISSN 0265-671X, E-ISSN 1758-6682, Vol. 34, no 7, 975-1014 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to explore and describe research presented in the International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management (IJQRM), thereby creating an increased understanding of how the areas of research have evolved through the years. An additional purpose is to show how text mining methodology can be used as a tool for exploration and description of research publications.

Design/methodology/approach - The study applies text mining methodologies to explore and describe the digital library of IJQRM from 1984 up to 2014. To structure and condense the data, k-means clustering and probabilistic topic modeling with latent Dirichlet allocation is applied. The data set consists of research paper abstracts.

Findings - The results support the suggestion of the occurrence of trends, fads and fashion in research publications. Research on quality function deployment (QFD) and reliability management are noted to be on the downturn whereas research on Six Sigma with a focus on lean, innovation, performance and improvement on the rise. Furthermore, the study confirms IJQRM as a scientific journal with quality and reliability management as primary areas of coverage, accompanied by specific topics such as total quality management, service quality, process management, ISO, QFD and Six Sigma. The study also gives an insight into how text mining can be used as a way to efficiently explore and describe large quantities of research paper abstracts.

Research limitations/implications - The study focuses on abstracts of research papers, thus topics and categories that could be identified via other journal publications, such as book reviews; general reviews; secondary articles; editorials; guest editorials; awards for excellence (notifications); introductions or summaries from conferences; notes from the publisher; and articles without an abstract, are excluded.

Originality/value - There do not seem to be any prior text mining studies that apply cluster modeling and probabilistic topic modeling to research article abstracts in the IJQRM. This study therefore offers a unique perspective on the journal's content.

Keyword
TQM, Quality management, Cluster modelling, Management fashion, Probabilistic topic modelling, Reliability management
National Category
Reliability and Maintenance
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-27768 (URN)10.1108/IJQRM-03-2015-0033 (DOI)000407638800005 ()2-s2.0-85027337496 (Scopus ID)
Note

Delarbete 2 med titel Exploring research on quality and reliability management through text mining i Carneruds avhandling EXPLORING TRENDS, PATTERNS AND CHARACTERISTICS OFQUALITY MANAGEMENT THROUGH TEXT MINING

Available from: 2016-05-25 Created: 2016-05-25 Last updated: 2017-11-29Bibliographically approved
3. 25 years of quality management research – Outlines and Trends
Open this publication in new window or tab >>25 years of quality management research – Outlines and Trends
(English)Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
National Category
Reliability and Maintenance
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-27769 (URN)
Available from: 2016-05-25 Created: 2016-05-25 Last updated: 2016-05-25Bibliographically approved

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