Values and Practices of Quality Management - Health implications and organisational differences
Abstract: This thesis has two main aims which are developed in seven papers. The first aim is to explore the knowledge and use of actual values and practices of quality management in different organisational settings. A mail survey covering 500 Swedish quality professionals was carried out. The results show that there is a strong correlation between adoption of the values grown from the quality movement, which are often considered as the basis of quality management, and successful quality management. Further, the connection between quality management and different organisational structures based on Mintzberg?s framework is examined. A contingency approach based on his five configurations is proposed as a way to facilitate understanding for managers when assessing quality initiatives and measuring their effects. Differences between manufacturing, private service and public service organisations in the management of quality, have also been identified. Since the values were found to be particularly vital, it became interesting to consider and examine related concepts like trust. Therefore, a conceptual paper with this purpose was written. The concept of trust is elaborated and compared to the traditional values of quality management. Moreover, a tentative framework based on previous research is proposed. The second aim is to provide empirical investigations into the connection between quality management and employee health, especially the relationship between the employees? perception of values grown from the quality movement and their health. Starting with an explorative case study at Fresh Ltd, an industrial manufacturing company in Sweden, the relationship is further examined and related to a case study at the emergency clinic at South Stockholm General Hospital. Statistical correlation between how the employees perceive some of the values and how they perceive their health was found. Having indications that the values of ?leadership commitment? and ?participation of everybody? are important for the employees? health, the last study aims at verifying these relationships and probing deeper into the mechanisms of these values. This study is carried out in a Swedish production plant, which is part of a leading manufacturing company. Dimensions of importance for the leadership commitment and participation of everybody were identified and described in models. Thus, a focus on more subtle levels of quality management, like the stated values, has been shown to be fruitful as a foundation both for well-functioning of companies? quality systems and for the employees? health.
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