The Relationship Between Quality Management Practices and Learning Outcomes: In The Australian Retail Hardware Sector

2017-06-07T06:03:13Z (GMT) by Morrison, Michael Terziovski, Mile
In order to become more competitive in today's turbulent business environment, many organizations have embraced the practices and processes of Total Quality Management (TQM). A conceptual relationship between TQM and the Learning Organization has been implied by a number of different authors (Barrow, 1993; Luthans, Rubach and Marsnik, 1995; Lee, 1996; Senge, 1992; Shiba and Graham; 1995; Stata, 1989). However, there is very little if any empirical evidence to support this view and there are still many unanswered questions. The study surveyed an Australian retail hardware company across a diagonal slice of the organization structure, both at corporate and retail store level. The questionnaire focused on critical areas such as people management, customer focus, quality and improvement, policy and planning, culture and leadership, structure and communication and their relationship to learning outcomes. The data is currently being analysed which will enable several hypotheses to be tested. For example, the hypothesis that there is a significantly positive relationship between the TQM philosophy and learning outcomes. This paper builds on previous work by Sohal and Morrison (1995) and Terziovski, Howell, Sohal and Morrison (1996), which evaluated the link between TQM and Learning Organizations. This paper, using qualitative analysis, will validate the relationship between Quality Management Practices and Learning Outcomes and articulate propositions for future analysis.