Taking an innovative approach to quality practices: Exploring the importance of a companys innovativeness on the success of TQM practices

Frank Wiengarten, Brian Fynes, Edwin Tai Chiu Cheng, Roberto Chavez

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Quality management practices such as total quality management (TQM) are continuously applied to improve firm performance. However, recent quality researchers have found contradictory performance evidence highlighting that the success of TQM might depend on various contextual factors. Specifically, researchers and practitioners have recognised similarities and considerable overlap between TQM and innovative practices, which suggests that innovativeness plays a contextual role. However, this putative relationship remains unexplored. The purpose of this study is to assess the importance of innovativeness to the success of TQM practices through applying contingency theory. Using data collected through a large-scale survey, we carry out an empirical study and produce robust results that strongly confirm such a contextual role of innovativeness. Specifically, we identify that the seven practices closely related to TQM, namely visionary leadership, internal and external cooperation, learning, process management, continuous improvement, employee fulfilment, and customer satisfaction, have a significantly stronger impact on operational performance in companies characterised by a high level of innovativeness.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3055-3074
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Production Research
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2013


  • Innovativeness
  • Operational performance
  • Total quality management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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