The individual and organizational level effects of TQM practices on job satisfaction

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Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine the multi-level relationship between people-related total quality management (TQM) practices and employee job satisfaction. The authors draw upon organizational climate theory to hypothesize that TQM is related to job satisfaction at the individual employee level, as well as at the organizational level in the form of shared perceptions of TQM practices in the workplace. Design/methodology/approach: Multi-level modelling was used to test the study hypotheses. The sample was drawn from 201 employees working in 23 organizations in Australia. Findings: The findings show that people-related TQM practices are positively related to job satisfaction at both individual and organizational levels, with a stronger effect on employee attitudes observed at the organizational level. Research limitations/implications: The statistically significant multi-level relationship between people-related TQM practices and job satisfaction extends the findings of previous studies conducted only at the individual level; thus, supporting the sustainability of TQM as a management principle at a company-wide level. Practical implications: The findings broadly support the implementation of people-related TQM practices as part of a strategy of creating a “high performance” climate in organizations, which in turn, will likely to positively affect both individual and organizational performance. Social implications: From a wider social perspective, the implementation of TQM practices as a company-wide initiative could facilitate greater corporate social responsibility of the organization. Such practices as training, involving, and empowering employees can promote social commitment by valuing employees as one important stakeholder. Originality/value: This is the first empirical study to the best of the author’s knowledge that uses multi-level modelling to examine the relationship between TQM practices and employee attitudes such as job satisfaction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-225
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Manpower
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Employee involvement
  • Human resource strategies
  • Job satisfaction
  • Surveys

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