Multidimensional and mediating relationships between TQM, role conflict and role ambiguity: a role theory perspective

Pei Lee Teh, Chen Chen Yong, Binshan Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


This study examines the multidimensional and mediating relationships between six total quality management (TQM) practices, role conflict and role ambiguity. Survey data are collected from 422 employees from ISO-certified firms in Malaysia. With the use of structural equation modelling, the findings indicate that higher levels of process management and information analysis lead to lower levels of role conflict. The presence of a quality-oriented human resource focus induces higher levels of role conflict. Strategic planning is negatively related to role ambiguity. Customer focus and role conflict are found to be independently and positively related to role ambiguity. Role conflict is found to be a full mediator between the following: human resource focus and role ambiguity; process management and role ambiguity; information analysis and role ambiguity. The research model serves as a diagnostic tool for the organisational administrators to manage the individual employee stress behaviour by leveraging current TQM practices, and fine-tune the right characteristics to reduce undesirable role conflict and role ambiguity. The study and its findings have filled a research gap in the literature of TQM and psychological well-being of employees. The inclusion of mediating effects in this study is an important aspect that other studies have not considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1365-1381
Number of pages17
JournalTotal Quality Management & Business Excellence
Publication statusPublished - 9 Oct 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Malaysia
  • role ambiguity
  • role conflict
  • structural equation modelling
  • total quality management

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