In Pursuit of Excellence: A Survey of Irish Manufacturing and Service Organisations

By Drew, Eileen | IBAR, January 1, 1998 | Go to article overview

In Pursuit of Excellence: A Survey of Irish Manufacturing and Service Organisations


Drew, Eileen, IBAR


Introduction

In reviewing the adoption of Total Quality/Business Excellence approach in Irish companies it is worth noting that most traditional definitions of "quality" refer to a static (and presumably achievable) state, for example the American Society of Quality Control and American National Standards Institute define quality as "the totality of features and characteristics of a product or service that bear on its ability to satisfy a given need". Dale (1994: 10) uses the broader definition of TQM from BS.4778: Part 2 (1991) as a "management philosophy embracing all activities through which the needs and expectations of the customer and the community, and the objectives of the organisation are satisfied in the most efficient and cost effective way by maximising the potential of all employees in a continuing drive for improvement". Hence the shift towards defining quality to encompass the "total concept" that is end product/services as well as the provision of a service or product to customers and other employees within the company. The Japanese influence on Total Quality has further emphasized the fluid and on-going quest for continuous improvement (Imai 1986).

These conceptualisations of Total quality are important in examining the understanding, and adoption, of Total Quality/Business Excellence in Irish companies. Internationally, Total Quality has been studied from a micro perspective (in Case Studies of individual companies) through to macro levels (in small to large-scale company surveys). This paper draws upon data collected through two large scale surveys, drawing upon previous research by Taylor ( 1995) in Northern Ireland, Whyte (1993) in Scotland and Whyte and Witcher (1992) in Northern England. When embarking on the study, no nation-wide surveys had been carried out in Ireland, hence this research represents a benchmark against which future studies can be gauged. It also relates to international surveys (for example the work of Zairi, Letza and Oakland 1994; Goh and Ridgway 1994; Davison and Grieves 1996; Sullivan-Taylor and Wilson 1996; Ghosh and Hua 1996) in manufacturing and service industries. The Irish study is one of the few of its kind to integrate the results of manufacturing and service surveys and to compare relative rates of progress towards achieving Total Quality/Business Excellence in those sectors in a national study.

Objectives

The objectives of this research were to investigate the degree to which quality initiatives, including quality standards, have been adopted in Irish manufacturing and services organisations. More specifically, the study examined the:

award and impact of quality certification;

levels of employee feedback;

customer focus;

use of quality improvement techniques and methods;

employee involvement and rewards systems;

relations with suppliers;

adoption of a Total Quality approach;

characteristics of Total Quality companies, according to sector,

size and ownership.

Survey Methodology

The survey was conducted in two stages. The first survey of manufacturing companies throughout the Republic of Ireland was undertaken in 1995. The second phase, in 1996, surveyed Irish public and private sector service organisations. The questionnaires were developed, and piloted, based on an international literature review as well as expertise gained from in-depth Case Study research, still in progress, within a number of "best practice" Irish companies.

Stage 1: Manufacturing Companies

The manufacturing companies were selected from the FORFAS database using stratified random sampling from the 6526 companies listed. Probability sampling was used where each company in the database had a non-zero chance of being included in the sample. Stratified random sampling, by size category and sector, was then used across the eight NACE (Nomenclature Generale des Activites Economiques dans les Communautes Europeennes) industrial sectors. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

In Pursuit of Excellence: A Survey of Irish Manufacturing and Service Organisations
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.