|dc.description.abstract||The contrast between the number of organisations that have had successful results through use of Total Quality Management and the number of failures has intrigued many writers. Some have hypothesised that an outdated and/or unsuitable organisational culture underlies many of the failures. But for all the emphasis in the field on the critical role which the "right" culture plays in a TQM firm, there has been scant empirical research that (a) specifically identifies what its attributes are, (b) aims to determine whether or not an organisation has it, (c) assesses its link with performance, or (d) investigates its antecedents. The term "C4Q" has been coined in this study, in order to encompass Quality-related constructs that may be considered aspects of organisational culture, climate, or structure. C4Q is the idealised, theoretical bundle of organisational characteristics that Quality experts claim is necessary for use with TQM.
The study has a multi-method, multiple-case study design. It uses information obtained from a variety of sources, and utilises both quantitative and qualitative research techniques. The investigation occurs in a service industry setting. In the first phase, the attributes that constitute C4Q are determined and defined. These are operationalised in the form of a survey instrument, designed to assess whether and to what degree those attributes exist in a firm. The cross-level, cross-function survey is administered in ten large New Zealand hotels. Over 400 employees participate. In the second phase, multivariate analyses are conducted to finalise and validate the C4Q measure. The relationships amongst the dependent variable, Performance Improvement, and the independent ones, C4Q and Strategy, are investigated. Each firm is categorised as possessing high, good, fragile, or low C4Q, in addition to being classified as a user, partial-user, or non-user of TQM strategy. Several longitudinal measures of objective and subjective performance are collected for each firm. In the final phase, an embedded multiple-case analysis is conducted, based primarily on the researcher's interviews with a top manager from each firm.||en