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Quality Improvement activities in Swedish industry: Drivers, approaches and outcomes
KTH, School of Technology and Health (STH), Ergonomics.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5338-0586
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2010 (English)In: International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, ISSN 1756-669X, Vol. 2, no 2, 206-216 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose – This paper aims to present and discuss the current state of quality-improvement activitiesin Swedish companies. The paper focuses on the drivers for quality improvement; types of approaches,tools and techniques, and organizational aspects influenced by quality improvement; and potentialareas for improvement.Design/methodology/approach – This paper presents results from a survey on qualityimprovement work in Swedish industry. Data for this paper were collected using a web-basedquestionnaire that was distributed to 800 production managers working in Swedish service andmanufacturing organizations. Of the 800 questionnaires sent, a total of 118 questionnaires were filledout, which resulted in a response rate of 16 percent.Findings – The result shows that the major drivers for quality improvement work in Swedishindustry are economical aspects as the need for cost reduction, the need to become more competitiveand the wish to increase market share. Drivers such as pressure from shareholders and trendsin management have a minor role. The underlying approaches for quality improvement work arestandards such as ISO 9000 and ISO 14000. A total of 72 percent of respondents stated that they workwith quality management systems; 59 percent, with environmental management systems. The aspectsthat were most positively influenced by the improvement work were employee motivation, customersatisfaction, employee satisfaction, product/service quality, and flow in internal processes.Research limitations/implications – Empirical results obtained in Sweden may differ to someextent in other countries.Practical implications – This paper is intended as a source of inspiration for researchers,consultants, and managers who are interested in the current trends and future developments in thequality field.Originality/value – The paper provides valuable insights into the current state of quality improvementactivities in Swedish industry, as seen from the perspective of the production manager.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 2, no 2, 206-216 p.
Keyword [en]
Quality improvement, Quality standards, Sweden, Total quality management
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-80281DOI: 10.1108/17566691011057366OAI: diva2:496160
QC 20120410Available from: 2012-02-09 Created: 2012-02-09 Last updated: 2012-04-10Bibliographically approved

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