Graduate School of Business


Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)


Godson K. Mensah


Quality, Sustainability, Management, System, Manufacturing, Business




The purpose of this research is to understand the sustainability issue of total quality management (TQM) and its effects in the manufacturing industry. Having exploratory and descriptive objectives, this research used a flexible design single case study on a water treatment company in the southeastern United States to facilitate the examination of the phenomenon using real‐life, present‐day context, and multiple perspectives from participants. The single bounded case study collected and integrated many forms of qualitative data ranging from interviews, observations, and quality‐related archived documents to answer the research questions. The results revealed that failure in sustaining the quality system in place resulted in high product defects, leading to excessive reject costs and loss in productivity. The analysis of the data showed that the firmness of TQM methodology, orientation of the organization culture, type of leadership style, and highly competitive strategies and operational targets affected the sustainment of TQM in the site. The single case study is limited to the understanding of TQM sustainability challenges in the manufacturing industry and the findings will not be generalizable to other business groups or sectors in the same context. The future study could focus on a broader field of prevailing conflicts between opposing objectives, logics, interests, and missions within one multinational organization or within its line companies. This research aims to contribute to the understanding of establishing alignment and coherence of TQM practices to the organizational strategic goals and objectives to improve overall performance with significant value for customer focus and continuous improvement.

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