Total quality management (TQM) has been widely recognised as a management philosophy and a well-known approach for process improvement and innovation. Among extant studies there is still a lot of debate on the TQM-innovation relationship, most focus on manufacturing and services rather than educational institutes, such as universities. Today, universities are no longer seen as higher education institutes (HEIs), but as continuing education institute (CEIs). Having realised the importance of TQM-innovation, universities have started to adjust its courses to meet the needs of various markets and customers. Based on a thorough review of contemporary TQM literature and comparative examinations of TQM definitions, this paper assumes that all successful TQM factors in manufacturing, services and HEIs will also fit CEIs. To solve the problems resulting from the omitted effects of the environmental context, this paper aims to systematically explore arguments regarding the TQM-innovation relationship in different contexts (i.e. environment, strategy and culture (ESC)), and develop an architecture named ESC by modifying the model by Prajogo and Sohal's (2001). Finally, we propose seven propositions and conclude with a discussion and conclusion.
Total Quality Management & Business Excellence 21(11), pp.1121-1139