The Implementation of TQM in R&D Environments


  • Francesco Galati Department of Industrial Engineering. University of Parma. Parma (ITALY)
  • Barbara Bigliardi Department of Industrial Engineering University of Parma. Parma (ITALY).



TQM, R&D, performance, multicase.


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.


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Author Biographies

Francesco Galati, Department of Industrial Engineering. University of Parma. Parma (ITALY)

Francesco GALATI graduated (with distinction) in 2009 in Industrial Engineering and Management at the University of Parma. He is attending a Ph.D. course in Industrial Engineering at the University of Parma. His research activities mainly concern innovation management, project management and technology transfer.

Barbara Bigliardi, Department of Industrial Engineering University of Parma. Parma (ITALY).

Barbara Bigliardi graduated (with distinction) in Industrial Engineering and Management at the University of Parma and holds a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from the same University in 2008, with a thesis on the technological innovation management in the food machinery industry. Since 2005 she has been researcher at the Department of Industrial Engineering of the same University. She is currently teaching “Business administration” at the degree courses in Industrial Engineering and Management and Mechanical Engineering, and “Economics and Corporate Organizations A” at the degree courses in Information Engineering (Computer Engineering, Electronic Engineering, and Communication Engineering) at University of Parma. She is also strongly involved in Executive Education running seminars for public and private organisations. Barbara Bigliardi’s primary research interests focus around innovation, family business, human resources management, performance management systems, knowledge asset & intellectual capital management. She has authored or co-authored more than 60 papers published on international journal, as well as on national and international conferences proceedings. She acts as referee for more than 50 international scientific journals and conferences. She is also member of the editorial board of three international journals and Associate Editor of two international journals.


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How to Cite

Galati, F., & Bigliardi, B. (2014). The Implementation of TQM in R&D Environments. Journal of Technology Management & Innovation, 9(2), 157–171.



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