The Implementation of TQM in R&D Environments

Francesco Galati, Barbara Bigliardi


Research & development has been identified as a key element to achieve competitive advantage, particularly in contexts of change and especially for technology-based companies. Nowadays, organizations are aware that quality, and quality management as a consequence, represents an important strategic stimulus, thus assuming a fundamental role in the business strategies implementation. This article, aiming at outlining the practices that managers believe are critical for achieving quality management in applied research and development, examines the adoption of total quality management within R&D based organizations, and its impact in terms of performance. This is a qualitative research from a multicase study on eleven companies. Data were collected through open interviews, using a semi-structured script, with R&D managers and employees from each company. Our study supports the hypothesis that TQM practices positively impact the performance of an organization. Implications for managers and for academics can be derived from the study.


TQM; R&D; performance; multicase.

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