UTILIZATION OF QUALITY TOOLS: DOES SECTOR AND SIZE MATTER?


Luis Fonseca, Vanda Lima, Manuela Silva

Abstract: This research focuses on the influence of company sector and size on the level of utilization of Basic and Advanced Quality Tools. The paper starts with a literature review and then presents the methodology used for the survey. Based on the responses from 202 managers of Portuguese ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management System certified organizations, statistical tests were performed. Results show, with 95% confidence level, that industry and services have a similar proportion of use of Basic and Advanced Quality Tools. Concerning size, bigger companies show a higher trend to use Advanced Quality Tools than smaller ones. For Basic Quality Tools, there was no statistical significant difference at a 95% confidence level for different company sizes. The three basic Quality tools with higher utilization were Check sheets, Flow charts and Histograms (for Services) or Control Charts/ (for Industry), however 22% of the surveyed organizations reported not using Basic Quality Tools, which highlights a major improvement opportunity for these companies. Additional studies addressing motivations, benefits and barriers for Quality Tools application should be undertaken for further validation and understanding of these results.

Keywords: Quality Tools, Quality Management System, Companies Size and Activity Sector

DOI:

Recieved: 15.03.2015  Accepted: 08.06.2015  UDC: 54.061

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