What sparks quality-driven change programmes in not-for-profit service sector? Some evidence from the voluntary sector

Ying Ying Liao, Ebrahim Soltani*, Pamela Yeow

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Despite the massive amount of attention paid to quality management in privately owned manufacturing and services firms and publicly owned organisations, few scholars have attempted to examine the application and outcomes of various quality-driven change initiatives in the context of voluntary sector organisations. This paper reports on the application of quality management programmes in terms of logic of adoption, implementation decisions and the resultant performance outcomes in a sample of voluntary sector organisations. Using a multiple case study design of three firms, the findings largely support the view that initiating quality-oriented change programmes poses a unique challenge to the management on two fronts: first, management logic and understanding for adopting quality initiatives, and the ability of the management to appreciate the synergetic relationship between efficiency gains and legitimacy concerns so that a continuous learning environment will follow. Drawing on insights from institutional theory literature, we shed light on the complexities inherent in the sector that necessitate a reappraisal of the logic of quality initiatives adoption, which in turn create a dilemma and indeed build resistance for the management to embody an unconditional commitment to the strategic importance of quality. The paper concludes with several working propositions and discusses the practical implications of the findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1295-1317
Number of pages23
JournalTotal Quality Management and Business Excellence
Volume25
Issue number11-12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 Oct 2014

Keywords

  • UK
  • case study
  • quality management
  • voluntary sector

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