TQM and knowledge management: Literature review and proposed framework..


Keng-Boon Ooi*

This research study seeks to come up with a conceptual framework that investigates the different dimensions of total quality management (TQM) and its effects on knowledge management (KM). This is to help build a theoretical framework of TQM and its dimensions, which mainly consists of leadership, strategic planning, information and analysis, process management, human resource focus and customer focus. These constructs are rooted in the work of Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA). To build the conceptual framework, the background of TQM and Knowledge Management theory served as a good starting point. The current research study is based on the complete assessment of present literatures, the six constructs of TQM and the three elements of knowledge acquisition, knowledge application and knowledge dissemination. This paper serves as a guide to senior management, who seeks to improve their company’s organizational knowledge management activities through the execution of TQM practices, in which the TQM practices support their company’s knowledge management efforts. Furthermore, the conceptual model serves as a benchmark for practitioners to execute their TQM programmes more effectively and efficiently in their own respective firms. This paper seeks to close the gap on the existing literature, by giving guidance to the senior management of TQM companies that aspires to discover the competency of knowledge management. By developing a deeper understanding of the relationship between TQM practices and knowledge management, senior management can thus focus their efforts on the practices that ensure the firms’ ability to establish a competitive knowledge management capability.

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