Total quality management in Australian and New Zealand companies: some emerging themes and issues

Patrick Mark Dawson, Gill Palmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The article outlines some of the important issues and themes, which have emerged from a national case study program on the introduction of total quality management in Australian and New Zealand companies. Particular attention is given to managerial strategies for obtaining continuous quality improvements and changing patterns of employment relations. The article accesses the significance of total quality management as a contemporary strategy for large-scale organisational change. It then outlines the main strategies for obtaining quality objectives and examines the relationship between work restructuring and the pursuit of quality excellence. Changes in operating practice and the shopfloor consequences of introducing employee involvement schemes are critically appraised and a number of emerging themes and issues are identified. The article concludes by summarising the major political factors, which have shaped the process of managing continuous quality improvements, and examines the implications of change for employment relations at work.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-136
JournalInternational Journal of Employment Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1993


  • Total quality management
  • Australia
  • Organizational change
  • Industrail management
  • New Zealand


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