Does total quality management reduce employees' role conflict?

Pei Lee Teh, Chen Chen Yong, Veeri Arumugam, Keng Boon Ooi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to examine the total quality management (TQM) practices of both manufacturing and service firms in order to determine the relationship between the multidimensionality of TQM practices and role conflict of employees. Design/methodology/approach - Questionnaires are distributed to 433 employees of 98 different firms from manufacturing and service industries in Malaysia. Findings - The results support significant negative correlation among all TQM practices (i.e. leadership, strategic planning, customer focus, human resource focus, process management and information analysis) and role conflict. By employing multiple regression analysis, leadership, process management and information analysis are found to have significant and negative relationship with role conflict. Human resource focus is reported to have a significant and positive relationship with role conflict. Practical implications - This model is ideal for practical usage by managers to evaluate the perceptions of role conflict of employees in TQM-oriented firms. The findings suggest that firms should look into ways of developing the major roles of leadership and process management as well as improving efficient use of information analysis in order to reduce the detrimental role conflict of employees. This finding may also help administrators and individuals to attain a fine-grained understanding of different dimensions of TQM in relation to role conflict. Originality/value - TQM practices appear to be related to role conflict, addressing an apparent noticeable gap in the literature of TQM and the psychological well-being of employees. This paper also lays the foundation for formation of a theoretically based model which integrates the elements of TQM and role conflict. Malaysia Manufacturing industries Role conflict Service industries Total quality management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1118-1136
Number of pages19
JournalIndustrial Management and Data Systems
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 25 Sep 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Malaysia
  • Manufacturing industries
  • Role conflict
  • Service industries
  • Total quality management

Cite this