A study into the effectiveness of quality management training: a focus on tools and critical success factors

Ben Clegg, Chris Rees, Mike Titchen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effectiveness of quality management training by reviewing commonly used critical success factors and tools rather than the overall methodological approach.
Design/methodology/approach – The methodology used a web-based questionnaire. It consisted of 238 questions covering 77 tools and 30 critical success factors selected from leading academic and practitioner sources. The survey had 79 usable responses and the data were analysed using relevant statistical quality management tools. The results were validated in a series of structured workshops with quality management experts.
Findings – Findings show that in general most of the critical success factor statements for quality management are agreed with, although not all are implemented well. The findings also show that many quality tools are not known or understood well; and that training has an important role in raising their awareness and making sure they are used correctly.
Research limitations/implications – Generalisations are limited by the UK-centric nature of the sample.
Practical implications – The practical implications are discussed for organisations implementing quality management initiatives, training organisations revising their quality management syllabi and academic institutions teaching quality management.
Originality/value – Most recent surveys have been aimed at methodological levels (i.e. “lean”, “Six Sigma”, “total quality management” etc.); this research proposes that this has limited value as many of the tools and critical success factors are common to most of the methodologies. Therefore, quite uniquely, this research focuses on the tools and critical success factors. Additionally, other recent comparable surveys have been less comprehensive and not focused on training issues.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-208
Number of pages21
JournalTQM Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • critical success factors
  • United Kingdom
  • six sigma
  • quality management
  • lean production


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