Critical success factors towards the implementation of total quality management in small medium enterprises: a comparative study of franchise and manufacturing businesses in Cape Town

05 Oct 2016

Total quality management (TQM) gained popularity in large enterprises since its inception. However, small to medium enterprises (SMEs) still lag behind when it comes to the successful implementation of TQM in their entities. This study is based on the premise that SMEs do not have adequate implementation of TQM in their business operations. This may negatively impact on their performance and profitability. Therefore the research question that emanates in this study asks: to what extent do SMEs implement TQM in their business operation? The authors adopt a quantitative approach with the use of questionnaires to collect data from SMEs in the manufacturing sector and franchises in Cape Town, South Africa. The major findings indicate that SMEs that implemented TQM in their operations were more successful than those that did not. The majority of the SMEs still need to adopt this approach to enhance their business performances. It is recommended that SMEs should not only focus on cost reduction but also quality improvement, employees? involvement in decision making and extensive training. These are consistent with extant literature. A novel contribution of this study is the similarity and disparity of responses from a comparison of target groups ? the franchises and the manufacturers.