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Higher Colleges of Technology

Fujairah Women’s Campus

Fujairah (UAE)







(Title/ Topic)





(Assessment I)



Integrative Industry Project

(Supply Chain Management)


BUS 4956







Submitted By:                                                      Submitted To:

(Name)                                                                  Dr. Adel Zairi

(ID No.)                                                                 Faculty- Business

Section: 10B0BU00



Table of Contents

Review of Literature. 2

Introduction. 2

Industry Scope. 2

Market structure of customers and suppliers. 2

Overview.. 4

Critical constructs of Quality management practices. 4

TQM influence on customer loyalty. 5

Approaches of TQM.. 6

Relationship Total Quality management practices and quality performance. 6

Customer satisfaction. 6

Financial performance. 6

Critiques of TQM.. 7

Conclusion. 7

References. 8






























Review of Literature


The ceramic industrial sector is often segmented into three categories which include glass/glass ceramics such as the soda glass, borosilicate glass, and the Lithium aluminosilicate glass (Varshneya, et al., 2012). Other categories include the high-quality ceramics such as the alumina, silicon carbide and the silicon nitride and the cementious ceramics (made of cement) such as DSP, cement, MDF cement, cement, High-pressure cement as well as the warm pressed cement (Varshneya, et al., 2012). The industry traces its origin back in the ancient times and has been undergoing significant evolution in matters such as technology and innovation and other factors such as quality and design. The sector has experienced significant growth rate as a result of relative improvement in the cost of living and changing lifestyle (O’Bannon, 2012). In 2014, the global market for ceramics accounted for USD 158.7 billion (Varshneya, et al., 2012). The sector is set to witness further growth supported by increased demand in construction and the need for other factors such as hygiene and serenity. The sanitary ware products are known to have a significant demand and were valued at USD 12.00 billion in 2015 (Varshneya, Schaeffer, Richardson, Wightman, & Pye, 2012). When it comes to the regional perspective, it is expected that the Asia-Pacific region is the fasted growing region with South Korea expected to demonstrate higher growth rate especially due to the significant private and public involvement in the industrial, commercial and the ceramic infrastructure projects. In terms of volumes, Europe and North America were branded as the largest markets constituting about 55.0 percent share (Basile, & Gallucci, 2010). Otherwise, the industry is largely fragmented into various large markets such as the CARBO Ceramics, Ceramiche Caesar, ABK Group, Cemex, among others. Most of the companies base their productions on R&D methodologies as a way of promoting innovation and environmental-friendly products that meet the required criteria and the available regulations (O’Bannon, 2012).

Industry Scope

According to liusar (2009), the ceramic industrial sector is mainly inhabited by the SMEs, (especially in subsectors regarding walls and floor). However, he also gives exceptions where larger firms dominate certain ceramic sub-sectors. According to the author, there are increasing conventional thoughts regarding the role of the SMEs in factors such as innovation, and promotion of the industry to the global markets. The SMEs contribute immensely to innovation by adopting some of the existing products to the needs of the customer and also by introducing new products. He maintains that the smaller internal organization of these SMEs is a significant factor and can be used to equip such firms with major flexibility so that they can adapt and respond effectively compared to most of the larger firms. However, he maintains that there are exceptions where larger firms are a responsive and adaptive tool, depending on factors such as the structure of the management. The creative techniques as drivers for factors concerning production and marketing are appropriate for the Ceramic industrial sector. This is essential in helping these firms in their endeavors of offering specialized and unique products that are hard to reproduce (counterfeit). Note that this is quite a key tenancy required to maintain a competitive advantage (under the resource-based notion).

Market structure of customers and suppliers

Traditionally, the main reason for geographical clustering of ceramic manufacturing industry was often based on the availability of raw materials and resources (labor supplies, fuel among others). Some of the sub-sectors still on hold on these traditional practices. Some of the ceramic producers are also clay extractors. Otherwise, the ceramics industrial sector is significantly influenced by factors such as the demand for construction. In other words, it has a tenancy of relying on innovations and builds. The industry has four main key distribution channels.

The current trend regarding the ceramic industrial sector is that most of the organizations have shifted new locations that are near the target markets. In this case, such organizations acknowledge the fact that being close to the market is a sure way of reducing the cost of distribution in a sector where transport alone could account for 10% organizational expenditure. Most of the organizations in this sector, just like other organizations in different sectors integrate ICT into their business processes. Here, it is used to help support and strengthen the existing relation by enhancing access to suppliers and customers and other issues involving transactions, delivery, and production.

The primary intention of this chapter is to provide a review of existing literature or the relevant literature regarding the application of quality in the Ceramic Industry. The review is also intended to help demonstrate how some of the previous studies relate to the existing work on quality management and as issues regarding quality approaches to adoption of quality, and quality practices.


Most of the literature reviews regarding quality organizational practices are mostly based on five major disciplines which include quality management practices, critical factors of quality management, the evolution of quality management, quality and performance as well as factors regarding the implementation and the relevant approaches for quality adoption (Fotopoulos, & Psomas, 2010).

Fig.1. Illustration of the major disciplines




Currently, based on the current literature regarding organizational quality approaches, there are two main approaches used as a way of implementing quality practices; they include ISO 9000 and TQM practices (Lal, 2008; Han, Chen, & Ebrahimpour, 2007; Fotopoulos,  & Psomas, 2010). However, other studies lay significant emphasis on the business Excellence Models. These include the EFQM and the MBNQA that are effective approaches in both large and small-scale business operations. According to Bou-Llusar et al. (2009), quality management can be used to refer to harmonized activities which control and direct the quality service and products to an organization. The approach primarily involves the instituting of quality objectives and policy alongside other factors such as quality assurance, control, improvement, and planning (Sila, 2007). In the last two decades, Hodgetts, Luthans, and Lee (1994) attempted to demonstrate that efficiency oriented organizations were those that showed the need to embrace major improvement tenancies, maintenance of high performance and the consideration of excellent sustainable organization (Learning Organization- LO).


Critical constructs of Quality management practices

Regarding the critical factors or rather the constructs of the quality management practices, there are quite a lot of conflicting views. For instance, Benson, Payne, and Stubben (1997), formulated seven constituents of QM and also modeled an approach for defining QM. Black & Porter (1996) conducted a factor evaluation with the help of a questionnaire which was directed towards a quality practitioner as a means of determining a list of ten factors, which were defined as being quite critical to TQM. Ahire, Golhar, and Waller (1996) also developed a similar approach developed by Black and Porter as a methodology for providing ten critical factors (construct) of the TQM, which were defined as latent variables (refers to entities that cannot be measured directly). In their recent studies regarding critical factors, Talib, Rahman, & Azam (2011) described the top management as the most significant factor that informs QM implementation which plays important roles in defining the goals of the organization. Sila and Ebrahimpour (2015) in their studies compared and analyzed 76 empirically authenticated TQM constructs and their influence on different performance measures in different countries (Thai Hoang, Igel, & Laosirihongthong, 2006). Based on their findings, training, information and analysis, customer, leadership focus, human resource management, employee involvement, process control, product and service design, process control, teamwork, quality assurance, employee empowerment, social responsibility and other factors involving employee satisfaction were the most significant factors (across the 76 TQM factors). The table below demonstrates some of the critical factors of QM approaches and practices as formulated by certain scholars.


Table 1. Illustrating constructs of QM


TQM influence on customer loyalty

According to Shiba et al. (1993), the main aim of any TQM framework chosen by any organization is to help address customer needs in the most effective way. The author asserts that organizational functions that harbor little customer involvement should often be discarded. Most of the businesses today have three principle goals which include achieving significant customer satisfaction than its customers, gain market share and retain its customers in the long run. To become successful in this area, many ceramic manufacturing industries have resorted to deploying different framework of quality management practices. One major trait of quality management practices on the organizational level is that they are highly based on facts rather than random organizational factors (speculations and opinions). Decisions are largely made based on statistical tools such as the seven management tools and the seven quality control tools.


Approaches of TQM

According to Hellsten and Klefsjo (2000), methodologies harbor different activities performed in particular ways. In the last few decades, many organizations have often deployed different forms of assessment (such as self-assessment) as a means of influencing the quality and continual improvement. The authors also define self-assessment as systematic, comprehensive and a regular outlook of an organization’s business processes and the result aligned against the framework of business excellence. It can be an important tool that can be used to allow an organization to identify its strength and prospective areas of improvement. According to Van der Wiele et al. (2000), most of the organizations largely utilize self-assessment as a methodology towards embracing quality management practices. This is often done as a way of identifying the organizational strengths and weakness including practices oriented to both the external and internal learning (transfer of best ideas and practices).


Relationship Total Quality management practices and quality performance

There is much empirical evidence that attempts to point out the significant relationship that exists between TQM and quality performance. Prajogo and Sohal (2004) and Bank (1992) suggested that the implementation of TQM improves organizational quality performance. However, the authors maintain that even though there is a significant relationship between TQM and quality management practices, a measurement of specific practices and quality management model reveal that there are performance variances across the globe. Parzinger and Narth (2000) in their works determined the link between the implementation of the TQM and software quality and found out that the implementation of the TQM has a significant influence on the improvement of the quality and performance of an organization. Some of the organizational processes that demonstrate quality correlation between TQM and quality performance include; process flow management, product design process, and top management support

Customer satisfaction

For many organizations, the implementation of quality management practices is often an approach for promoting effective customer relation practices. According to Liusar and Tena (2009), customer-oriented business practices are significant instances for promoting customer loyalty which can often be achieved by offering customer durable and reliable products and services. To achieve this goal in the most effective manner, the author recommends the implementation of TQM frameworks that may be used to promote effective customer services, such as confidence, and satisfaction.

Financial performance

In their article, Fotopoulos et al. (2009) and Demirgbag (2005) noted that organizations that emphasize on the improvement of the quality of their processes and products often enjoyed improved revenues and significant organizational expenditures. The financial performance of an organization as a subset of quality management practices can be measured by factors such as the amount of revenue produced, the level of sales, the return on investments and assets, and the level of cost performance and the rate of increase in the market share. Singhal and Hendrick (1997) attempted to make a comparison between control companies and the quality awards. To study performance, the authors deployed indicators such as sales, return on assets, operating income, return on sales and the number of employees. The principal finding from the study was that organizations that received quality award performance had an increased performance rating compared to that of the control organizations (especially in areas regarding return on equity, return on sales and profit margin).

Critiques of TQM

When it comes to matters regarding the critique of TQM, different scholars often have different views and results regarding the framework. While most of the scholars view TQM in a positive light, some of the scholars such as Harari (1997) view it as an ineffective approach towards organization efficiency. The author provides ten reasons regarding the ineffectual nature of the framework. Based on his research regarding independent consultation of firms, there are only about a fifth of companies residing in Europe or America that have achieved significant success in areas such as productivity, financial results, quality and competitiveness. The field research from Van der Wiele et al. (2000) demonstrates that TQM implementation can be quite unsuccessful especially when there are no enough strategies to influence significant emotional involvement as well as other issues such as internal motivation. Wagerman and Hackman (1995) attempted to give two reasons why certain organizational change programs such as TQM could be flawed or could probably go wrong. One of the reasons according to the author is that the framework may seem more like a window-dressing and not something that represents the real world change. Another reason is that the changes may be quite radical in ways that can lead to the alterations of the social organization that the organization cannot accommodate.


The Literature review has played a central purpose in exploring some of the existing literature regarding the acquisition and implementation of quality organizational practices (in the ceramic manufacturing industrial sector). The study has based its review on matters such as the research and is based on entities such as customer specific factors, organization-specific factors, and other issues related to the performance, financial and organizational competitive stature.






















Ahire, S. L., Golhar, D. Y., & Waller, M. A. (1996). Development and validation of TQM implementation constructs. Decision Sciences27(1), 23-56. (Journal)

Bank, J., (1992), The Essence of total quality management, London: Prentice Hall.

Basile, A., & Gallucci, F. (Eds.). (2010). Membranes for membrane reactors: preparation, optimization, and selection. John Wiley & Sons. (Book)

Benson, A. K., Payne, K. L., & Stubben, M. A. (1997). Mapping groundwater contamination using dc resistivity and VLF geophysical methods–A case study. Geophysics62(1), 80-86. (Journal)

Black, S. A., & Porter, L. J. (1996). Identification of the critical factors of TQM. Decision Sciences27(1), 1-21. (Journal)

Bou-Llusar, J. C., Escrig-Tena, A. B., Roca-Puig, V., & Beltrán-Martín, I. (2009). An empirical assessment of the EFQM Excellence Model: Evaluation as a TQM framework relative to the MBNQA Model. Journal of Operations Management27(1), 1-22. (Journal)

Fotopoulos, C. V., & Psomas, E. L. (2010). The structural relationships between TQM factors and organizational performance. The TQM Journal, 22(5), 539-552. (Journal)

Han, S. B., Chen, S. K., & Ebrahimpour, M. (2007). The impact of ISO 9000 on TQM and business performance. The Journal of Business and Economic Studies, 13(2), 1 (Journal)

Harari, O. (1997). ―Ten reasons why TQM doesn‘t work. Management Review  86(1): 38-44.

Hellsten, U. and Klefsjö, B. (2000). ―TQM as a management system consisting of values, techniques and tools. The TQM Magazine 12(4): 238- 244. (magazine)

Hodgetts, R. M., Luthans, F., & Lee, S. M. (1994). New paradigm organizations: From total quality to learning to world-class. Organizational Dynamics22(3), 5-19. (Journal)

Lal, H. (2008). Organizational Excellence through Total Quality Management. New Age International. (Book)

Liusar, J.C.B., and Tena, A.B.E (2009). ―An empirical assessment of the EFQM Model, Evaluation as a TQM framework relative to the MBNQA Model‖ Journal of Operations Management, Vol 27, pp 1-22. (Journal)

O’Bannon, L. (2012). Dictionary of Ceramic Science and Engineering. Springer Science & Business Media.

Parzinger, M.J., and Nath, R. (2000). ―A study of the relationships between total quality management implementation factors and software quality. Total Quality Management, Vol. 11, pp. 353–372. (Journal)

Prajogo, I.D. and Sohal, S.A. (2004). ―Transitioning from total quality management to total innovation management: an Australian case. International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, Vol. 21, No. 8, pp. 861-875. (Journal)

Shiba, S., Graham, A. and Walden, D. (1993). A new American TQM. Four practical revolutions in management. Portland, Oregon, Centre for Quality Management. Productivity Press.

Sila, I. (2007). Examining the effects of contextual factors on TQM and performance through the lens of organizational theories: An empirical study. Journal of Operations Management, 25(1), 83-109. (Journal)

Sila, I., & Ebrahimpour, M. (2005). Critical linkages among TQM factors and business results. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 25(11), 1123-1155. (Journal)

Singhal, V. R.,  and Hendricks, K. B. (1997). ―Does implementing an effective TQM program actually improve operating performance? Empirical evidence from firms that have won quality awards. Management Science 43(9): 1258-1274. (Journal)

Talib, F., Rahman, Z., & Azam, M. (2011). Best practices of total quality management implementation in health care settings. Health Marketing Quarterly28(3), 232-252.

Thai Hoang, D., Igel, B., & Laosirihongthong, T. (2006). The impact of total quality management on innovation: Findings from a developing country. International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, 23(9), 1092-1117. (Journal)

Van der Wiele, A., Williams, A. R. T. and Dale, B. G. (2000). ―Total Quality Management. Is it a fad, fashion, or fit? Quality Management Journal 7(2): 65-79. (Journal)

Varshneya, A. K., Schaeffer, H. A., Richardson, K. R., Wightman, M., & Pye, L. D. (Eds.). (2012). Processing, Properties, and Applications of Glass and Optical Materials: Ceramic Transactions (Vol. 231). John Wiley & Sons. (Journal)

Wageman, R ., and Hackman, J.R. (1995). Total quality management: empirical, conceptual, and practical issues. Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol. 40, pp. 309-342

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