The adoption of quality practices in small and medium enterprises in Thailand
Place of Publication
School of Management
This paper examines quality management practices in small and medium enterprises in Thailand. This exploratory research aimed to assess the nature and extent of quality practices in a sample of these organisations, and to examine the link with business performance. The framework used in the study was based on the business excellence models looking at seven dimensions of quality practice along with business pe,formance. A questionnaire which measured and classified quality practices using this framework was administered in manufacturing organisations in several regions of Thailand.
The most advanced and sophisticated levels of quality management practices were in the areas of; leadership, customer focus and people and information. Quality practices on all dimensions of the theoretical framework tended to be greater in medium rather than smaller organisations. Significant differences were found on leadership, human resource management and management of process quality. This may reflect the fact that such practices tend to be more formalised as an organisations size increases.
Findings also show that for medium sized organisations which are joint ventures between Thai and foreign companies or are subsidiaries of foreign companies are more likely to have adopted quality management. The most common forms of quality management practices include; ISO 9000 or other certification relevant to the industry (eg HACCP), 5S, Kaizen, Quality Circles and TPM and JIT in manufacturing environments. Such adoption tends to be influenced by the country of origin of the venture partner or owner with, for example, Japanese joint ventures tending to use similar quality practices in Thailand as in their home country.