The principles of Quality management can be traced back to the mid 20th
century. Its aims for continuous improvement of every facet of an organisation,
with meeting or exceeding customer requirements the goal, now inhabit the
manufacturing, services and healthcare sectors.
Quality management (QM) is an integrated approach for firm-wide management
that encompasses human resource management. Previous research has shown that
employee performance mediates the link between QM practices and firm
performance. However other studies have reported insignficant or even negative
correlations between QM and performance. Therefore the relationships between
QM, firm performance and the effects on employees require further
Accordingly this research investigates the associations between human
resource and operation management practices that have been linked to QM, and
the relationship with job contentment, productivity and service quality. The
Workplace Employment Relations Survey of
2004, an economy-wide sample of 2295 British workplaces, was
It investigated the human aspects of quality management through a wide range
of HRM practices as well as employee-level data on job-related contentment.
There was no evidence of an integrated quality management. The average
workforce was content with their jobs, but happy workplaces were not associated
with high performance, and high involvement management was linked to job
Yet job enrichment, which was rare in the average workplace, appeared to be
crucial to labour productivity. Good job design it seems is a source of
competitive advantage, something which managers should bear in mind.
This study adds economy-wide evidence to an ongoing debate about the
relationship between operations and human resource management practices that
underlie quality management and performance.
The full draft research paper can be downloaded at the link below.