Total quality management and the learning organization: A dialogue for change in construction

Peter E.D. Love, Heng Li, Zahir Irani, Olusegun Faniran

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

146 Citations (Scopus)


Many construction organizations have misunderstood the reality that total quality management (TQM) based on continuous improvement requires a commitment to learning and that essentially it is the means to a learning organization. The paper argues that if the construction industry is to improve its performance and competitiveness, then there needs to be a cultural and behavioural shift in the mind-set of practitioners, academics and the professional institutions. Their focus should be on re-thinking their approaches to TQM so that learning becomes the norm. It is demonstrated that a relationship exists between the constructs of TQM, organizational learning, and the learning organization. Based on a review of existing literature, a conceptual model for a learning organization in construction is presented and discussed. The paper proposes some refinements to the concept of the learning organization, directed at clearly positioning the critical focus of learning at the organizational level in construction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-331
Number of pages11
JournalConstruction Management and Economics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2000


  • Change
  • Learning organization
  • Organizational learning
  • Total quality management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Building and Construction
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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