The purpose of this paper is to add to the current knowledge of how and why small businesses should engage in quality management (QM) by providing insights from small business owners who are committed advocates of QM. By so doing, to encourage small business owners to see that QM is right – and possible – for any small business wanting to improve performance.
Design/methodology/approach – Using an inductive method, semi-structured interviews followed a template of six open-ended questions. Study participants were ten owners of small family-owned business winners of a Baldrige based National Quality Award (National Housing Quality Award (NHQA), making them industry leaders in applying QM. Data from these QM advocates are presented and discussed.
The cases reveal consistent encouragement for small businesses to engage in QM, with every owner certain that positive outcomes follow. Despite recognizing barriers to engagement, interviewees strongly feel the barriers are small relative to gains realized through QM. These QM advocates advise getting started by choosing one or a few QM tools and/or customizing tools rather than becoming overwhelmed by prospects of the complexity of doing QM to the exacting standards of various quality programs. Finally, they encourage small businesses to stay the course once started on QM.
William H. Murphy Denis Leonard, (2016),Quality management leads to healthier small businesses, Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Vol. 23 Iss 4 pp. 1104 - 1119
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