The effect of leadership styles on total Quality Management (TQM)-A conceptual model (Article)

Abstract

The effect of different leadership styles on Total Quality Management (TQM) has not been implied in the literature. This study seeks to investigate the effect of five leadership styles on TQM implementation. These styles include transformational leadership, transactional leadership, visionary leadership, charismatic leadership and culture based leadership. A conceptual model had been established by the researcher.  This paper identified the importance of different leadership styles for the successful TQM implementation by providing a theoretical evidence for this. In that, it can be considered as one of the first efforts that empirically investigate the effect of leadership styles on TQM implementation.

1. Introduction

TQM cannot survive without applying the decentralization concept in organizations. There are different leadership styles which can enhance application of decentralization in organizations  (Yusoff et al., 2013). Leadership is one of the soft metrics of TQM and it had been considered as one of TQM enablers recently. The most recent classification of leadership styles had been based upon the personal authority of the leader (Desgagné , 2002) and it had classified them into five leadership styles. These five leadership styles included transformational, transactional, visionary, charismatic and culture based leadership (Wang et al., 2010). Transformational leadership is the most studied leadership style over the past 30 years (Rubin et al.,2005 ; Robbins and  Coulter,2007 ; Warrilow, 2012 ; McCleskey, 2014).Charismatic leadership needs processing and articulating certain vision to the followers’ needs to guarantee achieving a novel behavior (Judge et al., 2006). Visionary leadership clarifies the current situation and assures commitment of organization’s members to better future (Dhammika., 2014). In addition, Culture based leadership tried to create identity balance and  minimizes identity conflict in cases when reconstruction is needed (Eberl , 2007). TQM implementation needs to detect the cause of conflict and how to resolve these conflicts (Yusoff et al., 2013). In that, investigating the effect of charismatic leadership , visionary leadership and culture based leadership on TQM implementation can enrich the literature.

2. Literature review

2.1 TQM

TQM is a management system aims to fulfill customers’ needs to achieve long term organizational success. TQM suffers from several implementation challenges. Leadership is one of these important challenges (Krumweide et al., 1998). TQM aims to create a social system free from fear or conflict by increasing trust, collaboration and learning (Dale and Bunney, 1999). Guillén and González (2002) illustrated that leadership is a requirement for TQM implementation. Unfortunately, this study lacks to demonstrate how leadership can increase followers╩╣ commitment. A lot of literature had emphasized the necessity of top management commitment in initiating the implementation process by being responsible for the availability of resources ( Lake and Mohanty , 1995 ; Latino, 1999; Taylor and Wright, 2003; Vouzas and Pychogios,  2007). In addition, a lot of studies highlighted that employee involvement and job satisfaction can achieve successful TQM implementation (Chiu , 1999; Yamashina, 2000 ; Williams et al, 2004 ; Formby et al., 2018). Furthermore, other studies highlighted that the importance of increasing the employee skills and competencies by training to have an effective TQM implementation (Barodel and Sohal, 1999 ; Hansson et al, 2003). Biazzo and Brenardi (2003) argued that process management of company’s values generating activities had an impact on the quality process. On the other hand, Alolayyan et al. (2011) had proved that TQM affects the operational process management. However, this had been proved only in the service hospital sector in Jordon. However, none of the above studies had correlated any of the above dimensions to the five leadership styles collectively.

2.2  leadership styles

A lot of models tried to illustrate that transformational leadership  is more influential than transactional leadership (Die et al., 2013; Notgrass , 2014 ; Holten and Brennen, 2015). Taharani et al. (2016) had illustrated the opposite. Most of the literature tried to demonstrate how transformational leaders try to motivate employees, empower them and increase their organizational commitment (Campus and Rodriguer, 2011; Tabassi et al., 2013; Chan and Mak , 2014). However, literature about transactional leadership tried to describe how transactional leadership can increase the knowledge share (Lee , 2003; Zeng et al, 2011). Moreover, Literature about charismatic leadership tried to demonstrate how charismatic leaders can create shared vision to encourage followers to take risk (Ayoko et al., 2009; Waldman and Javadan , 2013; Salvaggia and Kent , 2016). Most of the literature tried to demonstrate the relationship between visionary leadership and followers capabilities’ enhancement (Groves et al., 2006; Stid and Baradach, 2009; Kantabutra and Vimolratana, 2009; Kantabutra and Rungruang, 2013). Previous literature about culture based leadership demonstrated how the culture affects both the leadership and followers’ expectations without illustration of any correlation to either employee satisfaction or customer satisfaction (Subramanian et al., 2010 ; Erkutlu, 2012). Most of the previous models discussed transformational leadership, transactional leadership, charismatic leadership, visionary leadership and culture based leadership had been applied on sectors differ completely from the telecommunication sector or they had limited number of respondents.

2.3 Leadership styles and TQM   

Transformational leaders encourage top management team members to achieve all task processes by increasing knowledge share, risk taking and decentralization (Simsek, 2005), promote favorable followers’ response (Gebert et al., 2010) and involve top management in both exploration and exploitation related activities (Li et al., 2015). A lot of TQM studies had illustrated the necessity of top management commitment in TQM implementation by illustrating the top management roles in committing enough time for TQM implementation (Taylor and Wright, 2003) , specifying quality goals, attaching quality goals to costs, involving themselves in implementation and monitoring phases to direct the quality efforts and achieve company growth objectives (Goffin and Szwejczweski , 1996 ; Ahire and O’ Shaughnessy, 1998 ; Williams et al. , 2004). Moreover, transformational leadership affects employee empowerment through changing attitudes of the organizational members and building commitment for the organizational mission (Kark et al, 2003 ; Ozaralli , 2003 ; Samad, 2007; Jha, 2014 ;Gyensare et al., 2016 ; Kim and Shin, 2017). In addition, Menon (2014) highlighted how transformational leaders increase employees’ satisfaction by enhancing followers’ creativity, motivation and reward. However, Menon (2014) model had been applied on the educational sector so its results cannot be generalized on the commercial service sector. Popli and Rizvi (2017) illustrated that transformational leadership increases employee engagement by creating knowledge share. Ooi (2009) had demonstrated that TQM implementation increases knowledge share. Liu et al. (2011) had proved that transactional leaders increase employee involvement by creating emotional labor who are ready to have frequent contacts with the organization clients. Sand et al. (2017) added that transactional leaders increase employee involvement by initiating an exchange of valued things which motivate and bind followers. Stam (2008) had illustrated that visionary leaders involve employees in the decision making process by communication of a common vision which can motivate followers to make this vision come true. Formby et al. (2018) argued that TQM implementation needs involvement and coaching of employees to improve their capabilities and delegate authority. This contradicts with Chiu (1999) findings regarding TQM implementation in the Chinese society which reported that Chinese leaders are afraid from delegation of authority. Visionary leaders enhance process management by linking middle level and lower level managers with mission related work of the firm (Nwaknow and Richardson ,1996; Stid and Bradach, 2009). Lathero and Risku (2014) discussed how culture based leadership can affect process management by describing different cultures and their perception of the leadership management process. However, this model had been applied on the educational sector which is completely different from the commercial sector. Similarly, Biazz and Bernardi (2003) had defined certain process standards for TQM implementation by defining certain process architecture, process improvement mechanisms and monitoring mechanisms. They attributed their establishment of certain process standards to their aspiration to gain customer satisfaction and to improve the business performance. Furthermore, a lot of the previous literature demonstrated the effect of transformational leadership, transactional leadership and visionary leadership on customer satisfaction and involvement (Leithwood and Jantzi, 2000 ; Welty et al., 2014 ; Tasarenko and Tojib, 2011 ; Kantabutra and Avery, 2007). Nwankow and Richardson (1996) had used quality as the main tool to achieve product and market development and to become closer to customers rather than competitors. Leithwood and Jantzi (2000) had demonstrated that transformational leaders increase customer’s involvement and satisfaction through building an organization vision and goals, providing intellectual stimulation and offering individual support. Kantabutra and Avery (2007) added that visionary leaders can affect the customer’s satisfaction through staff empowerment and motivation. Nwankow and Richardson (1996) had used quality as the main tool to achieve product and market development and to become closer to customers rather than competitors. Motwani (2001) had tried to link the customer satisfaction to TQM implementation by demonstrating how customer satisfaction can motivate employees to increase their involvement in TQM implementation and increase their commitment to achieve their quality targets. However, Motwani (2001) model is a conceptual model.

3. Conceptual framework

The conceptual framework builds on the existing literature and it suggests different new realistic characteristics for either TQM implementation or leadership styles. It tries to test the effect of the five leadership styles on TQM implantation as demonstrated in Figure 1.Most of the previous literature had demonstrated the effect of transformational leadership on top management , employee empowerment , employee engagement , employee involvement , customer involvement  and customer satisfaction ( Li et al, 2015 ; Popli and Rizvi , 2017; Liethwood and Jantzi, 2000 ; Jayakody and Sanjecwani, 2006 ) as illustrated in section 2.3. Furthermore, most of the previous literature had discussed the effect of top management commitment, employee involvement, employee empowerment and process management on TQM implementation (Taylor and Wright , 2003; Chiu , 1999 ; Formby et al., 2018 ; Biazzo and Bernardi, 2003) as illustrated in section 2.3. In addition, transformational leadership had links with top management commitment, customer satisfaction and customer involvement more than any other leadership style. This had let the researcher to assume that transformational leadership had the highest effect on TQM implementation. Based on the above discussion, we propose that transformational leadership significantly affects TQM implementation.

H1: Transformational leadership significantly affects TQM implementation.

Most of the previous literature had demonstrated the effect of transactional leadership on employee empowerment, employee involvement and customer satisfaction (Men and Stacks, 2013; Liu et al., 2011; Sand et al., 2017; Tasarenko and Tojib, 2011; Pantouvakis and Patsiouras, 2016; Jayakody and Sanjecwani, 2006). as illustrated in section 2.3. Similarly, most of the previous literature had discussed the effect of employee involvement, employee empowerment and process management on TQM implementation (Formby et al., 2018; Biazzo and Bernardi, 2003) as illustrated in section 2.3. Transactional leadership had a lot of links with employee empowerment, involvement and customer satisfaction. Both of employee empowerment and employee involvement affect TQM implementation as demonstrated in section 2.3. This had let the researcher to assume that transactional leadership affects TQM implementation. Based on the above discussion, we propose that transactional leadership significantly affects TQM implementation.

H2: Transactional leadership significantly affects TQM implementation.

The previous literature had only illustrated the effect of charismatic leadership on employee commitment. (Rowaden , 2000 ; Salvaggio and Kent , 2016)  as illustrated in section 2.3. Similarly, most of the previous literature had discussed the effect of employee involvement, employee empowerment on TQM implementation (Formby et al., 2018 ; Biazzo and Bernardi, 2003) as illustrated in section 2.3. Torringenton et al. (2009) had argued that employee commitment is necessary for both employee involvement and employee empowerment. Both of employee empowerment and employee involvement affect TQM implementation as demonstrated in section 2.3. This had let the researcher to assume that charismatic leadership affects TQM implementation. Based on the above discussion, we propose that charismatic leadership significantly affects TQM implementation.

H3: Charismatic leadership significantly affects TQM implementation.

Most of the previous literature had demonstrated the effect of visionary leadership on employee empowerment , employee commitment, employee involvement, employee satisfaction , customer satisfaction and process management (Nwankow and Richardson, 1996 ; Kantabutra and Rungruang, 2013;  Stam, 2008 ; Kantabutra and Avery, 2007 ; Stid and Bradach, 2009) as illustrated in section 2.3. Similarly, most of the previous literature had discussed the effect of employee involvement, employee empowerment and process management on TQM implementation (Formby et al., 2018 ; Biazzo and Bernardi, 2003) as illustrated in section 2.3. Visionary leadership had a lot of links with employee empowerment and involvement and process management. Similarly, employee empowerment, employee involvement and process management affect TQM implementation as demonstrated in section 2.3. This had let the researcher to assume that visionary leadership affects on TQM implementation. Based on the above discussion, we propose that visionary leadership significantly affects TQM implementation.

H4: Visionary leadership significantly affects TQM implementation

Most of the previous literature had demonstrated the effect of culture based leadership on employee empowerment and process management (lathero and Risku, 2014; Beldow, 2011) as illustrated in section 2.3. Similarly, most of the previous literature had discussed the effect of employee empowerment and process management on TQM implementation (Formby et al., 2018; Biazzo and Bernardi, 2003) as illustrated in section 2.3. Culture based leadership had a lot of links with employee empowerment and process management. In addition, employee involvement and process management affect TQM implementation as demonstrated in section 2.3. This had let the researcher to assume that culture based leadership affects on TQM implementation. Based on the above discussion, we propose that culture based leadership significantly affects TQM implementation.

H5: Culture based leadership significantly affects TQM implementation.

4. Summary and conclusion

This paper identified the how leadership styles affect TQM implementation. This is required to enrich OM literature. Theoretically, the researcher had assumed that transformational leadership had the highest effect on TQM implementation.

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Figure 1. Conceptual framework for the effect of leadership styles effect on TQM

Source: The author ‘s suggested model

Posted by: DR. Amal Farouk Soliman, Assistant Professor in Business Administration, Arab Open University- Egypt Branch, Egypt (13-Aug-2018)
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