Publication Details

Zelnik, M., Maletic, M., Maletic, D. & Gomiscek, B. 2012, 'Quality management systems as a link between management and employees', Total Quality Management and Business Excellence, vol. 23, no. 1, pp. 45-62.


This paper analyses interactions between two parties (management and employees) with regard to the question of how to successfully manage and implement a quality management system (QMS). It also introduces practical possibilities for improving the employees' understanding of why a QMS must be applied and how management should behave to make it possible. The paper also introduces a role of a third party (a quality representative) who must carefully choose his actions and must, above all else, be aware of the importance of open communication channels among the first two parties. Data were obtained from a research study using a survey among employees of a Slovenian information and communication technology company over a 2-year period. We found that communication between employees and management has significant importance on employee satisfaction. Therefore, communication is the essential element of successful and continuous improvement of the quality management system, in which management must be the first to show the awareness of the real purpose of the QMS, and must attract their employees' attention as well as acknowledge their expectations. However, it should be noted that this factor can be stronger in a high technology company with a higher level of employee education. Conclusions are offered to improve the relationship among all parties through an improved status of the quality representative position over employees, his formal direct access to the management and the right to exercise and manage internal auditing of the system. Nevertheless, informally his role is far greater and consists once again of the crucial element of successfully and continuously improving of the QMS: communication.



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