A study of the implementation of quality management systems (QMS) within the Kuwaiti manufacturing industry
Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis
The intended contribution and unifying purpose of this research was to identify the enablers and barriers affecting the implementation of quality management systems (QMS) within the Kuwaiti industrial context. This was achieved by assessing the current practices adopted by a number of manufacturing firms in Kuwait and then the gaps or areas that need to be filled were measured. QMS is defined as an organisation’s structure, responsibilities, processes, procedures and resources which guide and control an organisation with regard to quality in order to constantly improve the effectiveness and efficiency of its performance. QMS enables businesses to minimise undesired impacts on the processes while maximising the effectiveness and efficiency of those processes that deliver products or services to end-users. This PhD research focuses on identifying the general state of the manufacturing sector within Kuwaiti Small, Medium and Large Enterprises (KSMLEs) and analyses links, enablers and barriers related to the implementation of QMS by linking the possible effects of culture. The research was carried out using a case study as well as the mixed methods approach involving the use of both quantitative and qualitative research methods. In the first instance a single case study organisation involving a large sized enterprise within the Kuwaiti manufacturing sector was researched into as a pilot study. This helped in refining both the quantitative survey questionnaire and the qualitative interview questions. Thereafter, for the quantitative approach, a total of 192 valid responses out of 308 received data sets involving KSMLEs that included three different levels of management (top, middle and shop floor) were generated using physical and online-surveys, the target participants being managers working in the industrial sector in Kuwait. The qualitative research design included twenty-five interviews involving twenty-five KSMLEs, also at different management levels (six top, six middle and thirteen shop floor managers) in the manufacturing sector in Kuwait. Findings from this study confirmed that leaders and managers of the manufacturing sector in Kuwait are actively engaged with customers. However, they lack the process of delegating tasks and empowering of people. Findings further suggest that firms’ strategy must focus on appreciating cultural aspects such organisational culture, investing in employees, developing training programmes, and addressing community and social responsibility. This study contributes to the body of knowledge on QMS and provides a viable framework (model) that was over time developed through an iterative series of revisions, literature review, a case study and expert views. The new model designed and proposed in this thesis is called the Kuwait Quality Culture Model (KQCM). This model portrays the importance of culture along with other factors in the initiation and the implementation of QMS, particularly in Arabic culture. Overall findings confirm the researcher expectation that QMS performance (managing people, policy & strategy, partnerships & resources, and culture) is positively associated to commitment and leadership of top management and those managers at different levels stress on the importance and necessity of internal communication channels. Moreover, employees’ empowerment and relevant processes (people, policy & strategy, partnerships & resources, and culture) are crucial in implementing any quality practices. Furthermore, culture was found to be a vital factor as it plays an important role in the implementation of QMS in Kuwait. Finally, when implemented, the study confirmed that KQCM results (people, customers and society) would lead to better organisational performance.
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