How to Build Quality Management in a Small to Medium Enterprise

Desmond (Tres) Bishop
Muma Business Review  •  Volume 2  •  2018  •  pp. 043-054
Quality management (QM) in one of its many forms has become an integral part of contemporary business. Since its mainstream introduction to the United States in the early 80’s it has become more than a strategy or a competitive differentiator. QM is now a customer expectation. Most of the voluminous research done in this field was conducted by large businesses for large businesses. However, the vast majority of businesses in the United States and the world at large are small to medium enterprises (SMEs). These organizations have largely been ignored by the quality movement. This study closes that gap by investigating what is currently known in this field by the academic and practitioner communities. The findings from this research study indicate that QM is appropriate to the SME environment. There are specific critical to success factors and barriers to implementation that are unique to SME’s that should be considered prior to implementation. Additionally, there is evidence to suggest that QM is not universal in nature as previously thought but context dependent. Most of the studies that were conducted were survey based. There was comparatively little qualitative research done in this field and no action research projects that this author could find which creates an opportunity for future research.
Quality, Quality management, TQM, Small business, SME, Small enterprise
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