Selecting quality management and improvement initiatives: case studies of industries in Thailand

Thawesaengskulthai, Natcha (2007) Selecting quality management and improvement initiatives: case studies of industries in Thailand. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Many organisations invest a considerable amount of capital and resources, implementing new techniques to improve their operating performance. Many approaches and techniques are available. New fashionable methods tend to displace older approaches, which may still have value. An effective strategy for selecting and implementing improvement initiatives is an important issue to ensure stakeholder satisfaction. This research aims to investigate quality management and continuous improvement practices, study and analyse several approaches leading to continuous improvement (CI), then construct a framework to assist senior management teams, by providing a decision aid for selecting improvement initiatives. Six key improvement approaches including Total Quality Management (TQM), Six Sigma, ISO9001, Business Process Reengineer (BPR), Lean production (Lean), Business Excellence framework (BE) were selected as the focus in this study.

The research was carried out in three phases. Phase One established a conceptual background for the adoption of CI initiatives based on qualitative and quantitative studies of the literature. It described the two decision criteria of fashion setting and pay-offs. Phase Two provided empirical studies of the Quality Management (QM) approaches adopted in three case companies in Thailand. Different decision criteria for the selection of CI approaches were identified from these case studies, together with suggestions from fourteen quality experts and two additional case companies. In-depth analyses of each case study plus interviews with quality experts provided a context and guidance in development of the decision-aid framework for selecting CI approaches. Then in Phase Three the decision-aid framework was proposed, verified, and refined in testing with a multinational case company of four different plants in the Asia Pacific region and two groups of Small and Medium Size Enterprises (SMEs) using action research and assessment questionnaires.

The primary outcome of this research is a decision-aid for selecting CI approaches, which demonstrated high utility in practice. The main contributions of this research are a decision-aid for selecting CI initiatives, which was developed and tested, and a number of advancements to the theory of QM and CI, the theory of management fashion, and the application of operations strategy in the QM context.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Tannock, James
Keywords: selecting quality management, improvement initiatives, operations strategy, management fashion, adoption of management ideas, multi-criteria decision making, quality management in Thailand
Subjects: H Social sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > Nottingham University Business School
UK Campuses > Faculty of Engineering > Department of Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing Engineering
Item ID: 10298
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 20 Mar 2008
Last Modified: 18 Dec 2017 10:54

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