TQM is a philosophy mainly dominated by large companies. Small businesses are lagging behind larger ones when it comes to introducing and adopting new managerial philosophies and advanced technology. Many small companies have stopped at quality system certification, such as ISO 9000, in their quality journey rather than pursuing further continuous improvement efforts through TQM. Small businesses must understand the need to go beyond the quality system stage and work towards a total approach for quality. Only through this total approach will their quality effort be a success. Discusses the various issues confronting small businesses when embarking on TQM. First, reviews the subject of TQM and the quality initiatives undertaken by small businesses (which are treated as small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)) such as ISO 9000 and TQM. The small business characteristics are also examined. Second, presents a case study conducted in a small manufacturing company. Culminates with conclusions and discussions drawn from both the review and the case study with suggestions for future research directions.
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