A Methodology to Link Strategic Quality Requirements to Operational Activities in Manufacturing

  • Gill Cooke

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    Organisations can deploy Total Quality Management (TQM) through company quality programmes in order to achieve improved business performance. A review and analysis of TQM literature found that the areas of strategic quality management, quality practices and quality activities (tools and techniques) have evolved largely independently without relationships being established. Employee involvement (EI) is a key element of TQM yet the involvement of individuals in specific quality activities is an under-researched topic. The aim of this research is to propose a framework which links these areas and provides a methodology for manufacturing organisations to use to link quality activities to strategic quality requirements and therefore facilitate the management of their quality programme.

    Exploratory case study research has underpinned the research methods adopted. Information about the deployment of TQM through quality programmes via quality practices and quality activities was gathered through interviews, documentation and surveys. Specific details regarding the actual quality activities engaged in by individuals were obtained by participant observation. The data was evaluated both within case and cross case using a selection of methods.

    Findings have resulted in the creation of two unique frameworks. The first, the Quality Programme, Quality Activities and Performance (QPQAP) framework, provides a structure to link strategic quality requirements to quality activities via performance measures and includes a feedback process to facilitate continuous improvement and sustain the quality programme. Quality Function Deployment (QFD) has been adapted to deploy the QPQAP Framework and an analysis process developed. The second framework describes an Activity Classification System (ACS) that can be used to categorise and analyse an individual’s day-to-day quality activities and judge the application and effectiveness of these activities. Combined, these frameworks provide a Quality Programme Management Framework which enables organisations to make decisions about the application of quality activities and adjustments necessary to improve performance and fulfil strategic quality requirements.

    Theoretical testing of the QPQAP Framework has found that it can be used to identify the quality activities needing interventions in order to fulfil the desired strategic quality requirements. The ACS appears suitable for categorising quality activities though requires validation in different manufacturing environments. This exploratory research has identified hypotheses and research questions for each of the frameworks to guide further research. In particular, longitudinal case studies are proposed to study the application of the models independently and combined as the Quality Programme Management Framework. Finally these Frameworks are an original contribution to the TQM literature through the use of QFD to manage quality programmes and a system for evaluating the quality activities deployed by shop floor employees.
    Date of Award2010
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Coventry University
    SupervisorJane Goodyer (Supervisor) & Raymond Jones (Supervisor)

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