Improving service quality: Examining the drivers and outcomes of TQM internalization in organizations
2019, Emerald Publishing Limited. Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine the mediating role of total quality management (TQM) internalization factors on the relationship between the proposed drivers (internal/external motives) and outcomes (external benefits and financial results). Design/methodology/approach: Using a sample of quality managers, this study adopts a two-step methodological approach to explore the key components of TQM internalization via an initial exploratory study followed up with a quantitative study to examine the relationships between the proposed drivers using structural equation modeling. Findings: The qualitative study revealed the key components of TQM implementation factors, namely top management commitment, middle management commitment and audits, training and employees' commitment. The quantitative results show that a positive relationship between external motives and TQM internalization was not supported; yet, the results supported the influence of internal motives on TQM internalization. Further, the results revealed a significant relationship between TQM internalization and internal benefits but not financial benefits. Finally, a strong positive link between internal and financial benefits emerged. Research limitations/implications: The study findings are only based on the perceptions of quality managers and future research could test the proposed model using other units of analysis in order to fully capture the role of TQM internalization. Practical implications: The findings show that award model adoption is a significant tool for quality improvement in organizations, a procedure that drives both internal and financial benefits. Further, the study points out areas that companies should emphasize in order to successfully implement a quality award model and therefore harvest its potential benefits. Originality/value: The paper proposes an empirically tested conceptual framework that examines vital issues concerning the internalization of the TQM approach through award models, thus providing valuable outcomes for decision makers to improve service quality.