An Instrument for Measuring the Critical Factors of Quality Management

Jayant V. Saraph, P. George Benson, Roger G Schroeder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1371 Scopus citations


Much has been written about how quality should be managed in an organization. The quality literature contains many case studies of successful companies and descriptions of quality concepts and quality improvement programs. To date, however, there has been no systematic attempt to organize and synthesize the various prescriptions offered, nor have measures of organizational quality management been proposed for areas such as top management leadership, training, employee involvement, and supplier management. While many organizations collect quality data such as defect rates, error rates, rework cost, and scrap cost, these are not measures of organization‐wide quality management. This paper provides a synthesis of the quality literature by identifying eight critical factors (areas) of quality management in a business unit. Operational measures of these factors are developed using data collected from 162 general managers and quality managers of 89 divisions of 20 companies. The measures can be used individually or in concert to produce a profile of organization‐wide quality practices. The measures are found to be both valid and reliable. Such measures could be used by decision makers in an organization to assess the status of quality management in order to direct improvements in the quality area. Researchers can use such measures to better understand quality management practice and to build theories and models that relate the critical factors of quality management to the organization's quality environment and quality performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)810-829
Number of pages20
JournalDecision Sciences
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1989


  • Measurement
  • Production and Operations Management
  • and Quality Management


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