Impact Of Total Quality Management On Construction Project Performance In China

This research has been conducted for examining the impact of total quality management on performance of construction projects in China. In order to analyse the impact of total quality management on performance of projects, quantitative research method is used. By following quantitative research method, the researcher conducted the survey through primary data collected from 50 contractors of 10 construction companies operating in China. The data collected from contractors was analysed using descriptive analysis technique. It has been found from current study that there is a significant impact of total quality management practices on performance of construction projects. There are some significant aspects of total quality management that are commitment of top level management, role of contractors and employees and evaluation of TQM that help in improving performance of construction projects. Due to lack of appropriate knowledge construction companies fail to implement total quality management and due to this their performance level is also reduced. It means in construction companies, there is a strong need of knowledge development and management among employees, so that they can implement total quality management in an effective way. It has been found from current research that implementation of TQM can cause improved performance in the construction organisation. The study has revealed that management’s commitment is considered to be very important for ensuring success of construction projects. Moreover, knowledge and motivation level of contractors and employees play a significant role in increasing effectiveness and performance of construction projects. In the end of this research, limitations and recommendations have been provided.

 

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION

1.1.Background

Total quality management is a strategic approach used in organisations for focusing on continuous improvement in order to provide best possible value as well as quality goods and services to customers. There is a strong linkage between quality theory and total quality management (Sallis, 2014). Specifically in construction industry, total quality management plays a vital role in enhancement of quality, satisfaction level of customers, employees’ engagement and improving construction process. Different construction companies have experienced that TQM can help them in gaining competitive advantage and in addition to this construction companies can also get strategic advantage with the help of TQM implementation (Oakland, 2014). By properly implementing total quality management, companies become able to bring improvements in their performance, productivity and competitiveness. Various researchers found that quality of construction projects can be considerably improved through better implementation of total quality management. There is generally 90% improvement in quality of construction projects through total quality management (Kerzner, 2013). The present study is conducted in order to examine the effect of total quality management on performance of construction projects in China.

The total quality management in companies helps in ensuring efforts for achieving needed quality level for the project for which proper planning is done. From the point of view of construction firm, quality management must be done to maintain quality of construction projects at needed standard. This is done for ensuring higher satisfaction level of customers. Through high satisfaction level of customers, companies become capable of achieving competitiveness. There is critical need of quality management for construction companies for sustaining competitiveness of company in construction industry. It has been explained by Harris and Oakland (2014) that aim of quality management is giving relevant tools and techniques to the environment. The deployment is done through proper tools and techniques for getting operational success. The quality management in construction companies is not considered to be an isolated activity, but in total quality management there is an involvement of various operational and managerial activities.

The construction industry is considered to be a significant industry in economy of any country as it helps in development of economy. Construction Company has an effect on quality of life through provision of building facilities and these play a vital role in development of nation’s economy. Construction companies are considered to be very important for the development of country (Meng, 2012). There is significant impact of quality of infrastructure and projects of construction on growth and development of country. Quality is the basic element in construction industry as it does not only affect appearance but also overall performance and productivity of project. In construction companies, the focus of performance evaluation is on limited elements of performance that involves act of fulfillment of goals of projects that are relevant to products. Total quality management in construction companies helps in ensuring completion of projects in time, within specific budget and with high quality. There are different features of construction industry that makes it different from other industries and there is a need of professional involvement in order to complete projects successfully. Total quality management ensures involvement of various professionals who can ensure successful and effective completion of construction projects. There is a need of quality management in process of construction through which better assurance of quality can be yielded (Zink, 2012).

In order to develop a culture of total quality in construction industry, one significant step is developing a team of construction in which there is an involvement of contractor, sub-contractors and suppliers. These stakeholders have a responsibility of committing to the process of quality and developing an attitude of true quality. In accordance with Chase (1998), with the help of total quality management speed of completion of projects can be increased to a great extent. This helps in increasing profitability of projects. At the time of limited time and money, it is not advisable to implement total quality management as this will have adverse effects on projects due to non-affordability of contractors (Kim et al, 2012). In construction companies, team work is considered to be an effective aspect of total quality management as this helps in improving quality of projects. In addition to this, quality of products must also be improved for improving overall performance of projects. The quality of product in construction companies is referred as a process to achieve quality in materials, technology and equipment that help in developing a structure, whereas quality in process is referred as a way of achieving quality through organising and managing project in three steps; phasing and designing, constructing and operating and maintenance (Bendoly, 2014).

In past various empirical studies were conducted and in most of studies researchers found that through appropriate implementation of total quality implementation, construction companies can enhance quality of their projects. From most of studies, a positive relationship between performance of organisation and total quality management has been found (Harris and McCaffer, 2013). This study will assist contractors in China for identifying positive relationship between implementation of TQM and performance of projects because research will draw conclusions through analysis of data related to total quality management and performance of construction projects. The findings will suggest contractors that how they can improve overall performance of construction projects through proper implementation of total quality management.

1.2.Problem Statement

For many years, researchers are debating on implementation of total quality management. The construction industry is considered to be an industry with poor emphasise on quality in comparison with other industries like manufacturing and service industry. Different researchers criticised on construction industry that it only involves shoddy workmanship. Various stages of construction project are subjected to criticism (Idiake et al, 2015). In addition to stages, different elements involved in construction projects have to be improved with respect to their quality. Due to a failure in any of the elements of construction project, the quality of final project may get adversely affected. Nowadays, more emphasise is placed on quality of products in public as well as private sectors rather than time and cost. So, for increasing satisfaction level of customers there is a need of improving performance of projects. The performance of projects can be improved through proper implementation of total quality management. There is a need of stressing on total quality management for improving quality of products and services (Caniëls and Bakens, 2012).

Total quality management has a potential of improving results of business, greater orientation of customer, involvement of employees, working in the form of teams and better employees’ management, however management of construction companies have been trying hard for implementing total quality management in order to improve quality of projects. In order to implement total quality management in an organisation, there is a need of bringing change in cultures and it is considered to be an important element of total quality management (Zhang et al, 2012). This study is conducted for assessing the effect of total quality management on performance of construction projects.

1.3.Research Aim and Objectives

1.3.1. Aim

The aim of this study is to analyse the impact of Total Quality Management on performance of construction projects in China.

1.3.2. Research Objectives

The research will be conducted for achieving following objectives;

  • To study literature for understanding the concept of Total Quality Management.
  • To assess the use of Total Quality Management in construction industry.
  • To examine the influence of Total Quality Management practices on performance of construction projects in China.

1.3.3. Research Questions

The research will be conducted for answering following questions;

  • What literature says about the concept of Total Quality Management?
  • To what extent construction companies use Total Quality Management in their construction projects?

This will be done through analysis of literature and various studies related to the use of total quality management in construction projects.

  • Does Total Quality Management affect performance of construction projects in China?

This will be done through analysis of primary data that will be collected from contractors of construction companies in China. This would help in knowing that how these companies improve performance of construction projects by using total quality management.

1.4.Scope of study

This study is conducted on construction companies of China. The research is conducted through data collected from contractors of construction companies in China. The data is collected with the help of questionnaires. In order to conduct this research contractors are chosen for collecting the data as they are considered to be most suitable for getting insights about importance of total quality management practices in construction projects.

1.5.Methodology

This research is conducted through quantitative research method. In this study, questionnaires are used for collecting the data. In current study both primary and secondary data are collected. The primary data is collected from contractors in China. In addition to this, secondary data is collected from previous literature like articles, books and various internet sources. The research is deductive in nature in which previous theory is analysed. The research has used questionnaire as an instrument of research for the purpose of data collection.

1.6.Structure of Dissertation

This dissertation comprises of five chapters. In first chapter, there is a detail about background of research topic. In this chapter, the aim, objectives and research questions are specified. In addition to this, scope of study and problem statement is also explained in this chapter. So, mainly this chapter has a focus on explaining background of research.

After this, next chapter is Literature Review. This is a chapter in which previous researches and findings are analysed. In this chapter, studies related to total quality management and performance of construction projects are assessed for analysing findings of previous studies. This chapter has helped in developing a theoretical framework by reviewing theoretical aspects of study.

Third chapter of this dissertation is Methodology. In this chapter, research methodology is explained in detail that is used in present study for achieving objectives of research. The methods of research are discussed in relation to objectives of research and proper justification is given for each selected method. This chapter has served as a roadmap and researcher got help in collecting and analysing the data related to research topic.

After research methodology, next chapter is Analysis and findings. This chapter deals with analysis and presentation of data collected according to methods specified in third chapter. This chapter helped in drawing valid conclusions and findings.

Last chapter is conclusion and recommendations. This chapter summarises the findings of whole research. In this chapter researcher concluded all findings of research. In the end recommendations for future research have also been given.

CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW

2.0. Introduction

This chapter deals with critical analysis of previous studies conducted on effect of total quality management on performance of construction projects. The study of previous researches on total quality management helped in understanding the importance of total quality management in construction projects. On the basis of this, impact of total quality management on performance of projects is evaluated. This critical analysis results in identification of research gap.

2.1. Quality

There is no consensus on the quality education. The quality notion has been explained in many ways through various authors. Gurus of disciplines of total quality management like Feigenbaum, Ishikawa, Deming, Crosby, Juran and Gravin described the total quality management and quality concept in many ways. DeWal (2013) gave a description of quality in terms of value based, manufacturing based, user based, product based and transcendent approaches. Garvin also stated eight attributes for the measurement of product quality (Harris and McCaffer, 2013). According to Zhang et al (2012) the definition of quality is ‘fitness for use’. Juran targeted quality improvement, quality control and quality planning. According to Crosby the quality is the conformance to specifications or requirements. In accordance with Crosby, requirements are dependents on the needs of customers. Mok et al (2013) stated14 steps for the improvement of defective plan for achievement of performance improvement. In accordance with Deming, quality is the degree of dependability and uniformity, at suited and low cost to the market. Deming also stated 14 laws of quality management for the improvement of performance and productivity of company. Ishikawa also led stress over the significance of total quality control for the improvement of performance of organisations. He made contributions to the sector through effect and cause diagram (Ishikawa diagram) for diagnosis of quality issues.

 Potts and Ankrah (2014) explained the idea of company. In the literature of quality, he was the very first user of concept of total quality control. He gave the definition of quality as ‘the total services and products features of maintenance, manufacturing, engineering and marketing with the help of which the service and product in use will fulfill the customers’ expectations (Lewis, 2016). Basic denominators of plans of quality improvement involve elimination of the cause of issues, training and education, process improvement, quality measurement and quality system. Total quality management is termed as the culture of the company which is committed to the satisfaction of customer with the help of improvement. This culture is different for different countries and among various industries, but has some laws which can be allocated for security of market share, reduced cost and increased profits (Evans, 2013).

Management acknowledgement of the significance of quality management, with continuous techniques of improvements, and business process reengineering was implemented through movement of benchmarking for seeking study and to for improving it on best exercises (Fewings, 2013). The commitment for improving history emerged in the manufacturing organisations; but was spread even more to the sector of service (like order processing, teller banks transactions in catalogue organisations and so on).

2.2. Total Quality Management

2.2.1. Definition

Total quality management (TQM) is termed as approach of systematic quality for organisation-wide management targeting the improvement of performance in terms of profitability, customer satisfaction, productivity and quality. Since practices of TQM have been admitted by many construction organisations all around the globe, they have gained the attention of researches belonging to some diverse sectors (Sallis, 2014).

TQM is a philosophy of management that empowers the member of construction organisation. It enhances improvement of long term, sustained and continuous improvement in productivity and quality and for eliminating fear of employees related to change. Its major law is that the price of prevention is even lesser as compared to the correction cost. Meng (2012) recommends that TQM is not termed only as the management fad; it transfers competitive advantage. The TQM approach does the integration of important laws and techniques of current tools of management, statistical control, and laws of quality function deployment in the structured way. TQM targets the process improvement within construction companies for providing superior value to consumers and for fulfilling the needs of customers. TQM is the guidelines for the management of organisation which is used for the development of strategic info charts and info maps. The definition of TQM is explained as philosophy of holistic management that looks for improvement in functions which are done within construction companies and it can be acquired in case if total quality concept is used from resources acquisition to services of customers after sale (Chang et al, 2015).

The definition of TQM can be given as being the approach in business that tries to increase the competitiveness of organisation with the help of improvement of environment, processes, people, services and products. Dubey et al (2014) gave the definition of TQM as: a system for integration of quality-improvement attempts, quality maintenance, and integration of quality development of different groups in an organisation for enabling service, production, engineering, and marketing at economic levels which permit full satisfaction of customer.

 

2.2.2. Importance of TQM

According to Evans (2013) the documentation of TQM practices have been done for measuring studies. TQM is the effort which includes all of the construction organisations in industry for making improvement in the performance. It permeates the approaches of construction organisation and develops strategy as a strategic perspective. TQM is acquired with the help of implemented effort among personnel at every step for increasing the satisfaction of customer through continuous improvement in the performance. TQM targets education and training, teamwork, supplier involvement, customer involvement, and process involvement in effort to acquire defect-free work, cost effectiveness and customer satisfaction. TQM gives the climate and culture compulsory for advancement of technology and innovation.

Evans (2013) described that TQM is the management philosophy for making improvements in process and product quality for achieving satisfaction of customers. In accordance with Akgun et al (2014) TQM is the approach or management philosophy which is featured with the help of techniques, practices and principles. They depicted the three laws that are common in frameworks of quality – teamwork, continuous improvement and customer focus. The implementation of this law is done with the help of practices, and these practices get support with the help of different techniques. .

Organisations have reached to the result that implementation of TQM can make improvement in the competitive abilities and give strategic benefits in the construction organisations. Different researches also stated that implementation of TQM can make improvement in competitiveness, productivity and quality. A research stated that 90% rate of improvement in financial performance, customer satisfaction and operating methods is acquired because of implementation of TQM. Some of the researchers have looked over the implementation of TQM and effects of TQM over the performance of organisation (Harris and McCaffer, 2013). Process improvement and management, decrease the number of suppliers, and motivate teamwork, improvement and consumer feedback system with the help of productive research, establishment of processes for monitoring, effective communication system, review of organisational culture and top management.

2.2.3. Implementation of TQM

TQM is the means of improvement of performance at each level of process or operation, in each are of company, utilising all of the capital and human resources available (Jiménez-Jiménez et al, 2015). Implementation of TQM includes the start of organisational transformation of companies which operate in a new manner, creating a culture, and also includes remaking of systems. In compliance with perspective of systems, resource and systems allocations should be directed in accordance with culture of TQM (ul Hassan et al, 2012).

TQM is implemented on the basis of activities which target on acquiring pleased consumers, lower costs, higher revenues, empowered employees, and delighted customers. O’Neill et al (2016) stated that main issues are because of the management and not because of workers. The acquirement of quality needs activities in all works of an organisation. Organisation-wide quality assessment, competitive benchmarking, quality information system, usage of statistical procedures and supplier quality management are important for making improvements in quality. Approach of O’Neill et al (2016) led stress over the team (self-managing teams and QC circles) and project work, which helps in promotion of quality improvement, helps in improving communication in between coordination of employee and management, improve coordination among employees and employee coordination. He also led over the significance of empowerment and top management and commitment, rewards, recognition and participation. In accordance with Wang et al (2012), it is significant to interpret the requirements of customers. The application of these requirements is over all people who are involved in services, manufacture, design and marketing. Identification of needs of customers needs more interpretation and analysis for ensuring that product has fulfilled the needs of customers and is suitable for the use, not just fulfilling the specifications of product. Therefore, market research is important in order to identify the needs of customers. For ensuring the quality of design, he proposed that some techniques should be used involving concurrent engineering, reliability engineering, experimental design and quality function deployment (Bon and Mustafa, 2013).

 

The theoretical importannce of this approach for TQM is related to the development of a system that helps in implementing learning and cooperation for supporting the allocation of practices related to process management, which can cause more improvement of services, products, processes along with the needs of employee, both of which are crucial for satisfaction of customer, and ultimately to survival of the organisation. Imeri and Kekäle (2013) emphasised that responsibilities of management is be superior in the systems and changing processes. Leadership plays an important role to ensure the prosperity of quality management, because of the reason that it is the responsibility of top management for communicating and creating a vision for moving the organisation to move the organisation to more improvement. For most of the issues, top management is given the responsibility; it should provide employees with the standards for the acceptable work, and they should give the procedures for achieving it. These procedures involve a suitable working climate and environment for blame, fear or work-free of fault-finding. Talib et al (2013) also led stress over the significance of measurement and identification of needs of customers, pursuit of improvement, employees’ participation, increment in the skills of employee, use of teams for solving and identifying quality issues. Zahir et al (2012) made a theory of quality management which underlined the management procedures of Deming. They stated that: the method of Deming management is more effective when leadership make efforts related to the creation of learning and cooperative company for supporting implementation of practices of process management, which is when implemented provides much support to survival of organisation and satisfaction of customer with the help of continuous improvement and employee fulfillment of services, products and processes.

Wang et al (2012) stated that quality management is even more than the product and it undertakes the organisation, quality of people, management quality and after-sales service. He stated that prosperity of organisation is based on quality improvement. A commitment related to improvement can ensure that there will be no end to learning. They stated that participation of employees is the basic key for the prosper implementation of TQM. The definition of TQM can also be done as methods and techniques which are utilised in order to eliminate or decrease.

Difference from a production service or process delivery system for making improvement in the quality, reliability and efficiency. Benavides-Velasco et al (2014) stated some of the core components of TQM which have been derived through 14-point program of Deming with the help of method of Delphi. These factors focus on the principles of Deming and are implicitly or explicitly same to the factors which are involved in the frameworks of quality. However, the weakness is actually because of less content validity and scale development.

Coyle?Shapiro et al (2013) stated the given 10 factors of TQM training, operating procedures, technology use, quality information systems, the role of quality department, product design, quality policy, supplier integration, human resource management and organisation commitment. They also introduced a measurement which can be utilised for evaluation of the limit to which deployment of practices of TQM can be done in the company.

In accordance with Kober et al (2012) the TQM philosophy can be seen as construction of house with commitment of top management being base or foundation. Construction of four pillars done on top of foundation that involves customer target, employee training, quality control and measurement, and process management.

 

2.3. The Construction Industry

The construction industry can be termed as the wide conglomeration of different sectors and industries through which value is added in creating and maintaining fixed asses within the build surrounding. The activities of construction include provision of combining products and services for developing, increasing, installing, repairing, maintaining, renewal, removing, renovating, altering or damaging fixed asset that include infrastructure of building and engineering (Ball, 2014). 

According to Hanus and Harris (2013) consulting services are defined by the International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC) as intellectual services that are based on technology for built natural surroundings. These services include different activities relevant to environment of construction that include components of products and services. In construction activities, there is a significant need of focusing towards quality for ensuring better performance and outcome of the project.

2.4. Total Quality Management in Construction Companies

From the objective of construction organisation, quality management in projects of construction should imply the maintenance of quality of construction at the standard for obtaining the satisfaction of customer that can cause business survival and team competitiveness for organisations. Along with it, in some of the literatures adoptions of quality in terms of construction has been enhanced. The implementation of ISO standards has got much of the motivation. Certification of ISO is a trend in most of organisations involving construction organisations. In accordance with this research, for implementing the quality management in quality management processes, quality control, quality assurance (project performance evaluation), the ideas of quality planning (description of quality standards), and allocation of quality management in projects (Dubey and Gunasekaran, 2015). Among these, quality control (QC) and quality assurance (QA) are used in the organisations of construction. The procedure of quality control in construction projects is dependent on working drawings, specifications and documents, therefore, the work standards and pre tender stage quality should be maintained. That is why, it significant to manage the quality control of projects of design inception stage to the fulfillment of construction involving the period of maintenance. Quality Assurance (QA) is the program which covers the exercises important for providing work quality for fulfilling the project needs. QA includes establishment of project linked system, guidelines, training, standards, procedures and policies which are needs for product quality. QA gives protection in opposed to issues with the help of warning related to troubles. For preventing external and internal issues, these early warnings play a major role. On the other side, Quality Control (QC) is the particular allocation of program of QA program and such exercises. Effective QC decreases the possibility of issues (Mir et al, 2016).

2.5. Impact of Total Quality Management on Performance of Construction Companies

2.5.1. Commitment towards TQM and Performance

Different researchers studied the use of Total Quality Management in companies for improving performance as well as quality. A study was conducted by Meng (2012) and it has been found that TQM is implemented by professionals of construction companies at various stages of construction. The study has also found that with the help of TQM, companies get many advantages like improvement in quality of business, increase in customer satisfaction level, reduction in cost and others.

Similarly, another researcher Zink (2012) found that in construction industry the management understood the importance of TQM a bit late because there were unaware of standards and techniques of TQM. For bringing various advantages of TQM to construction projects, there is a need of putting high efforts for spreading the culture of TQM among professionals of construction.

Kim et al (2012) conducted a study to analyse the importance and willingness of construction companies for implementation of TQM while completing projects. The data collected from this study has showed that contractors give prior importance to TQM implementation in their projects, as these help in reduction costs and improving quality of projects. This has been shown through the data collected from managers of construction companies in Australia. They were asked that how they use TQM for completion of projects. So, study found that with the help of proper implementation of TQM companies can reduce costs and improve overall quality of projects.

2.5.2. Knowledge about TQM and Performance

In contrast to this, a study was conducted by Bendoly (2014) found that when companies have lack of concise knowledge about quality and importance of TQM, then they do not give high importance to TQM implementation in projects. In construction industry, there is some level of fragmentation, due to which companies face hurdles while implementing TQM. When companies implement TQM then there is a need of having appropriate knowledge because due to lack of appropriate knowledge, the project can experience a failure. Moreover, corruption, irresponsibility and high level of negligence can result in critical issues faced by companies. In order to implement TQM in an effective way, there is a need of bringing major change in organisation that involves change in culture, procedures, strategic priorities and standards of organisation.

Most of companies have found that with the help of appropriate knowledge about total quality management, it becomes easier for improving competitive abilities and providing strategic benefits in the marketplace. It has been reported by different researchers that through getting knowledge about total quality management and implementing it appropriately, construction firms can improve quality, performance and competitiveness of projects. A research was conducted by Oakland (2014) that with the help of total quality management, companies can bring 90% improvement in employee relations, operating processes, satisfaction of customers and financial performance. There is a positive impact of total quality management on performance of organisation. It has been identified by Kerzner (2013) that basic framework for implementation of total quality management in construction companies includes feedback system, encouragement of teamwork, reduction in number of suppliers, commitment of top management and management of whole process involved in project.

2.5.3. Involvement in TQM and Performance

Mir and Pinnington (2014) claimed that in case of TQM implementation, there is a need of having involvement of full company from managers to employees for developing products, services and processes of companies with the help of quantitative methods. This results in contribution to high satisfaction of customers in accordance with their needs and expectations. In accordance with Chang et al (2015) TQM is a philosophy and style of management that provides basic rules to manage companies for attending and exceeding expectations of customers by having coordination among each individual in company.  There are two main aspects involved in TQM that help in improving performance of construction projects. These two aspects are principles set by management and tools and techniques used by management. The definition of total quality management is given by Evans and Lindsay (2013) that Total includes everyone who has an involvement with the project like customers or suppliers, quality means the needs of customers that have to be fulfilled and management means the commitment of top management for ensuring quality of projects.

Organisations have reached up to the outcome that effective implementation of TQM can make improvement in the abilities and can give strategic benefits in the construction organisation. Different researchers have reported that TQM implementation has made improvements in competitiveness, productivity, and quality in only 20-30 percent of the construction organisations that have actually implemented it. A research being done has stated that 90% of improvement in financial performance, customer satisfaction, operating procedures and employees relations is acquired with the help of implementation of TQM (Mir and Pinnington, 2014). TQM is a management of beliefs which involves is given the specific spotlight. Due to its prosperity in Japan, it is now the specific chat of every construction organisation and business management. Different studies pay much attention to expound the teaching oriented to TQM, management through simple fact, in addition to the increment linked with functions (Zhang et al, 2012). Good quality phrase is considered quite good. The importance of word ‘Good’ is quite different in different contexts. The explanation of quality supervision emerges from control over quality, therefore developing via small idea into larger area of TQM. It has been stated by construction organisations, that implementation of TQM can cause competitive edge in the construction organisation. Improved result generally implies that process of conversions of input along with the components is successful while decreasing the number of disposed down being thrown away. Productivity should be taken as the efficiency scale but now because of competitive surrounding in market, productivity should be taken as being the effective approach like doing work in accordance with the needs of construction of organisation and customers’ demands. TQM also acquires the engagement of employee with the help of quality commitment (Fewings, 2013). TQM has admitted with the help of construction organisations for solving complexities which concern top quality inside the market specifically for fulfilling the requirements of buyers. It is not shocking which TQM has acquired to be the small technique of business in current management and has been acquired with the help of construction organisations (Bendoly, 2014). The prosper acquirement of enhanced productivity of construction organisations and employees is because of total quality management.

2.5.4. Success Factors of TQM and Performance

There are different critical success factors that are considered to be very important in case of total quality management for improving performance of construction projects. These success factors are soft and hard factors. Soft factors are relevant to behavioral aspects such as leadership, training, and utilisation of human resource, satisfaction of customers, training of workers, teamwork and relationship with suppliers. In accordance with Evans and Lindsay (2013) soft factors in case of TQM implementation are shared vision, employees’ empowerment, integration with suppliers, commitment of workforce and strong focus towards customers. The most significant aspect in TQM required for improving performance is involvement of employees. In order to effectively implement TQM, management has to ensure involvement of employees for improving performance of project. Moreover, teamwork is considered to be another significant factor that has a crucial impact on performance of a project through ensuring total quality management. With the help of employee involvement in quality management, an increase in knowledge and flow of information is ensured. In case of total quality management, the information has to be distributed to the bottom of company. In contrast to this, other important factors for total quality management are hard factors. In accordance with Kim et al (2012) hard factors include flexibility, benchmarking, innovation, quality systems and strategic planning. In order to improve performance of construction projects, tools and techniques of total quality management are very important. In addition to other different factors, quality leadership is an important factor. Leaders help in creating a quality culture. It has been confirmed by Mok et al (2013) that success can only be gained from total quality management in case when priority is given by top management. The top management’s commitment is like a compass through which direction is provided to create systems, aims, beliefs and values for improving performance of projects. The culture of a company has to be developed in such a way through which total quality management can done in an effective way. Through proper focus on culture, systems, employee involvement, top management’s commitment and employees’ training, a company can ensure high performance with the help of total quality management. They are considered to be critical elements for implementation of TQM to get success like encouraging changes and creation of long term vision by top management.

Eriksson and Hansson (2013) developed a model with having ten constructs of total quality management. These constructs are commitment of workforce, shared vision, focus on customers, utilisation of teams, individual training, and cooperation with suppliers, advanced technologies, use of technology and enablers of continuous improvement. The researchers considered first six constructs as soft elements and rest four constructs are hard elements of total quality management. The soft elements of total quality management are categories of human resource management whereas hard elements are relevant to continuous improvement. In accordance with findings of this study, there are both direct and indirect effects of total quality management on performance of companies. This study has also revealed that there is a significant effect of hard elements of TQM on performance and recommended that in order to have this kind of effect, there is a need of support from soft elements of total quality management.

Total quality management strongly emphasises on support of top management and companywide activity that does not have only existence in the department of production. Quality is considered to be important for every kind of individual. There is a relation of total quality management with reduction of cost incurred on maintenance of quality and focuses on whole continuous improvement process. In total quality management, scientific methods are used for measuring various aspects of quality (Jiménez-Jiménez et al, 2015).

Ahmad et al (2015) formulated a TQM model in which six key elements were included; orientation of customers, empowerment, waste elimination, leadership, continuous improvement and measurement of quality. TQM is also considered to be a holistic management approach that is applicable from resources acquisition to customer service after sales.

Zehir et al (2012) did a research on influence of total quality management on the organisation that included around 380 respondents from manufacturing as well as service sector. The study aimed at finding both the internal relationship between practices of TQM and quality performance as well as link between external financial and market performance. The study found that there is a positive relationship between degree of implementation of total quality management and performance of firm and there is a strong interdependence between different practices of total quality management. This recommends that past records of unsuccessful performance of TQM may be resulted because of partial or fragmented implementation of TQM. In order to get improvement in performance of a firm, there is a need of holistic and company-wide implementation of total quality management.

Bellah et al (2013) did the investigation between organisational performance and TQM through exploring of six practices of TQM. The division of three practices has been done into two groups: organic elements and mechanistic elements. Mechanistic elements involve analysis, information, planning, strategic, process management, and customer focus. On the other hand, leadership and people management are the elements of organic elements. This division is dependent on the proposition of Mahmud and Hilmi (2014) that TQM should involve both technical systems (hard elements) and people (soft elements). The mechanistic factors (process management, consumer focus and so on) can be taken as the hard approach and organic elements (like people management and leadership) can be considered as soft aspect. Dubey et al (2014) led stress on the human approach of TQM, because of the reason that humanistic link of TQM directed towards analysis of organisation is successful TQM.

The practices of quality management have been evolved to a great extent in manufacturing industry and to lesser extent in service industry. In current business world, particularly in construction industry, it has become important for companies to encapsulate philosophy of TQM and to codify them in different kinds like ISO 9000. There is clear evidence that by successfully implementing practices of total quality management, firms can increase performance of projects (Dubey et al, 2014).

2.6. Summary

It can be concluded from above critical analysis of previous literature that there is a significant impact of total quality management on performance of projects. With the help of focusing on total quality management firms can ensure high performance of construction projects. In case of total quality management there is an impact of commitment, knowledge and involvement of TQM on performance of projects. Moreover, there are some success factors that are considered to be important for improved performance of projects.

 

 

CHAPTER 3: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

3.1. Introduction

A research must be conducted on the basis of appropriate and best methodology. This is important due to the reason, that it plays the vital part in developing needed outcomes of research (Bryman, 2015). In this chapter, the researcher has explained the methodology used along with the justification. Before choosing some particular method of research, the researcher has done the evaluation of options which are available to him, and then selection of methodology is done which is more effective for the achievement of the outcomes of research.

The conduction of research has been done for understanding the influence of education over the performance of organisation. Those procedures and methods were used that can help the researcher to achieve the objectives and targets of research. Through the development of methodology of research, data collection has become easy.

3.2. Research Methodologies Available

Selection of the appropriate methodology of research is based on different issues being faced. There are various options, but researcher has selected those procedures which are connected with the nature of problem. It is a procedure that ensures development of research and gives shape to the research (Cohen et al., 2000). In the introduction of research, the design of research questions is made in addition with the explanation of problem statement. The questions of research provide the description of method of research. However, there is a requirement to use the critical thinking. In accordance with Creswell (2009), it is based on the abilities, skills and knowledge. As stated that through research questions, both collection tools of primary data and secondary data are used in research and because of these procedures the collection of information has been done in the most efficient way. The primary source of information is contractors; while articles, books and journals are the secondary source. Along with it, in this research positivism philosophy has been used, because of the reason that contractors are just as the participants of research. This is the basic research methodology and it gets more rigorous for research. Along with it, some other descriptions and procedures linked with the methodology of research are present in the next research headings.

3.3. Choice of Research Methodologies

There are two types of research methods that can be used for conducting the research. These are quantitative and qualitative research methods. In case of quantitative research methods, the studies are based on facts, figures and calculations. Quantitative data is considered to be suitable for studies that depend on evaluation and calculation (Cohen et al, 2003). In contrast to this, qualitative data is used in order to explore the subjective issues in research. Qualitative research method is used for getting individual views of participants. However, this method is considered to be suitable in studies where enough data is not available (Creswell, 2003). As qualitative method includes high dependability on subjective issues, so, it is mostly criticised by experts. Due to this subjectivity, the biasness of researcher can be enhanced in case of collection and analysis of data (Drever, 1995). Due to this trustworthiness and reliability of study can be reduced. Due to these reasons, current study has used quantitative research method.

3.4 Research Methodology Adopted

Quantitative research process has been used in this research. According to this process, the results have been obtained based on the facts and figures. For obtaining the needed results, the data collection has been done with the help of questionnaires. This helped the research for deriving the reliable and valid results (Zikmund et al, 2013). With the help of quantitative methods of research, the data collection was done from contractors of construction companies in China and for obtaining the data questionnaires were utilised.

The basic rationale behind this method is that it helps in completing the study in reliable and valid manner (Anderson et al., 2004). It was perceived at the time of selecting research method that researcher will not be able to deal with subjectivity issue at this stage. Therefore, it was difficult for reducing the individual bias that is owned in qualitative research method. Due to this current research has been conducted using quantitative research method. The analysis of data is also done through quantitative research techniques and due to this the reliability of research can be enhanced.

There are ten philosophies of research which have been explained by the research onion related to the implications and uses in researches. Though, only some of the strategies of research are used but it is significant for the researcher to take into account various options available to him. This can help in choosing the one which is most appropriate for the conduction of research and for the attainment of beneficial data for research (Collis & Hussey, 2009).

Positivism philosophy has been used in this research. The rationale for using positivism is that this philosophy assists the researcher in generating the knowledge related to the specific condition. It helps in determining the researchers’ view related to the specific condition and solution of issue or problem through implementing some significant process. This also provides an idea to the researcher related to his behaviour while conducting the research (Cohen et al, 2003). With the help of positivism philosophy of research, the researcher has considered the generalisation. Along with it, the researcher has done the research in the way which is more systematic. The positivism proves to be helpful in the achievement of targets related to the analysis of effect of total quality management on performance of projects. This philosophy helps in conduction of research related to interest fields. Considering this, the positivism research philosophy is selected for this research.

3.4.1. Step 1: Development of Research Instrument - Questionnaire

In current study, data is collected with the help of questionnaire. The reason for its selection is that questionnaire helped in collecting data related to the impact of total quality management on performance of construction projects. It has been claimed by Nykiel (2007) that it is important to focus on design and administration of questionnaire. Though there are some other alternatives to data collection but it is considered to be most appropriate as it assists researcher in collecting data in a quicker and cost effective way (Ranjit, 2005). Questionnaire is considered to be an instrument with having high response rate (Lancaster, 2005). Therefore, this method is used for collecting data from the sample. According to the suggestions of Saunders et al, (2009) literature review is used for designing the questionnaire.

In order to conduct the research, questionnaire was used as a research instrument. This instrument helped in measuring the variables that had to be studied in this research. The questionnaire comprised of three different sections. There are three sections of questionnaire. The first section deals with demographic information of respondents. The second section deals with the questions for analysis of total quality management and the other section is related to performance of projects. Five point likert scale and dichotomous is used for asking questions. The questionnaire was designed on the basis of past researches. In order to design questionnaire in an effective way, it is important to choose the right scale. The accuracy of responses given by individuals depends on the scale used in the instrument. The researcher used five point Likert scale in the questionnaire according to which the range was from 1 to 5, where 1 is used for strongly disagreeing to a statement and 5 is used for strongly agreeing with the statement. In addition to items related to variables, questions related to demographic variables were also added to compare respondents on the basis of their demographic information.

3.4.2. Step 2: Piloting

Before distribution of questionnaires to all respondents, it was distributed to 10 contractors. After collection of data, their responses for each item were analysed. In addition to this, reliability of questionnaire was tested through reliability analysis. After checking the questionnaire, few changes were made in two questions related to the variable of Deming Cycle. The updated questionnaire is attached in Appendix A.

3.4.3. Step 3: Choice of Sample

As stated, the survey research strategy is used in order to acquire the objectives and targets of research and to answer the questions of research. For doing the survey a questionnaire has been designed. The sample was chosen on the basis of random sampling. This method of sampling was chosen as it takes lesser time and cost (Pickard, 2012). The contractors from construction companies were chosen on random basis as it had been predicted that they contain the maximum knowledge about the use of Deming Cycle for project management. The selected sample size is 60. 60 contractors from 10 construction companies of China were chosen for the collection of data through them related to the total quality management and its impact on performance of projects. The rationale for having sample size of 60 is that researchers like Bryman (2015) has stated that sample size greater than 50 is fair enough. Therefore, this sample size is considered appropriate for this study.

3.4.4. Step 4: Data collection and Recording

In current study, survey strategy is used for achieving the objectives of research and for answering research questions. The rationale is that in order to draw valid conclusions, researcher used primary data. For the purpose of primary data collection, both self-administered and web based questionnaires were used. The researcher had to face difficulty in collecting data as respondents were concerned about their identity. The researcher used email, online and hand delivery survey for collecting data from respondents. Some of the respondents were given questionnaires by hand from contractors and to some contractors who were difficult to access were provided with questionnaires through email and online survey.

Online questionnaire link was sent to the selected sample discussed above and they were given a period of 2 weeks to respond. At the end of 2nd week, only 32 questionnaires were received, therefore, to increase the number of respondents, questionnaires were given to contractors by hand. At the end of the 4th week, altogether 50 questionnaires were received for initially selected sample of 60, giving a response rate of 83.3%. There are chances of facing penalty because of exposing important and secret information of the company. So, researcher ensured that the identity of respondents will not be revealed and their confidentiality was strictly maintained. The researcher did not use the data collected from respondents for any other purpose.

3.4.5. Step 5: Data Analysis

In order to draw findings from the data collected from respondents, it is very important to analyse that data with the help of some specific tools and techniques. In current study, researcher used MS Excel for analysing the data collected from respondents. Descriptive analysis was used to analyse the responses given by respondents for each item added in questionnaire (Hair, 2005). Descriptive analysis helped the researcher in identifying percentage and frequency of responses given by respondents for each item presented in questionnaire (Seber and Lee, 2012). Moreover, reliability analysis is used for testing the consistency of questionnaire with the research issue.

3.5. Data reliability and validity

The researcher tested the validity of questionnaire before distributing it to the sample. The validity of questionnaire was tested by consulting to professionals and experts of Deming cycle and project management. This helped in getting their expert insight into the questionnaire. On the basis of their point of view, necessary changes were made in the questionnaire. In addition to this, reliability of questionnaire was also tested by checking its consistency with the research issue.

3.6. Ethical Issues

In order to ensure conduction of research in a fair way, it is very important to strictly compliance with ethical norms and standards of research. The research must be performed on the basis of ethical practices. In current study, researcher ensured fulfilment of ethical norms, practices and standards. In case of primary data collection, it was ensured by researcher that identification of respondents is not done on the basis of their personal capacity. The maintenance of confidentiality of respondents is ensured by researcher. In addition to this, none of the respondents were forced to fill the questionnaire for the purpose of conducting the research. Appropriate time was given to respondents for filling the questionnaires. This helped the researcher in getting unbiased data.

3.7. Summary

In this chapter, methodology has been provided in accordance with the problem statement. The major factors of research methodology involve the process of research which includes research approach, research philosophy and research strategy for the conduction of research. Along with it, the research methods have also been justified.

 

 

CHAPTER 4: ANALYSIS AND INVESTIGATION

4.1. Introduction

This chapter deals with analysis of data collected from respondents by adopting the methodology described in previous chapter. This is considered to be a very important chapter as result of research depends highly on this chapter. In this chapter, first of all details of respondents is given in which respondents were distributed on the basis of their gender. After this, the next section is about main findings in which responses for all items have been analysed using tables and charts. In addition to this, reliability of questionnaire used to collect data has also been tested. In the end of this chapter, discussion is given in which findings of current research are presented and compared with previous studies. 

4.2. Details of Participants

4.2.1. Gender

 

Table 1: Gender

GENDER

 

Frequency

Percent

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

Valid

MALE

40

80

80

80

FEMALE

10

20

20

100

Total

50

100.0

100.0

 

 

 

Figure 1: Graphical Representation of Gender

The data has been collected from 50 contractors of 10 construction companies operating in China. Among 50 respondents, the analysis shows that there were 80 percent males and 20 percent females. This depicts that there were more males as compared to females.

4.2.2. Type of organisation they work for

All the contractors, from whom data was collected, work for construction companies in China.

4.2.3. Type of project they work for

The respondents from whom data was collected work for construction projects like construction of buildings, rooms, offices and so on.

4.2.4. Number of ongoing projects they have

 

Number of projects

Percentage

1

1 project

20%

2

2-5 projects

50%

3

6-10 projects

15%

4

11 and more projects

15%

 

4.2.5. Job Role and Average Year of Experience

 

Years of Experience

 Responses

1

1-5 years

15%

2

6-10 years

45%

3

11-15 years

15%

4

More than 15 years

25%

 

The data for current study has been collected from 50 contractors of construction companies. All respondents performed job roles as contractors. They were asked about their years of experience working as contractors in construction companies. The data collected from respondents has shown that among 50 respondents there were 15 percent contractors who had experience of 1-5 years, 45 percent had 6-10 years’ experience, while 15 percent had experience of 11-15 years. Moreover, 25 percent contractors worked under construction companies as contractors for more than 15 years.

4.3. Main Findings

4.3.1. Total Quality Management

4.3.1.1. Management’s role in TQM

 

Question1

Table 2: The top management shows commitment towards total quality management of project.

 

 

Frequency

Percent

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

Valid

Strongly Disagree

2

4.0

4.0

4.0

Disagree

7

14.0

14.0

18.0

Neutral

5

10.0

10.0

28.0

Agree

25

50.0

50.0

78.0

Strongly Agree

11

22.0

22.0

100.0

Total

50

100.0

100.0

 

 

For ensuring total quality management in an organisation, a significant role is played by top level management (Coyle?Shapiro, 2013). In order to analyse total quality management practices within construction companies, this item related to commitment of top management towards total quality is added in questionnaire. In accordance with responses of contractors, it has been seen that according to 11 percent of people the top management is committed towards total quality management of project. 25 percent of people agreed that top management is committed to provide total quality management in the project. In opposite to this 7 perent of people do not agree with this statement. 2 percent of people strongly disagreed that top management does not show any commitment towards quality management of the project. 5 percent of the people neither agreed nor disagreed with the statement. According to the analysis, it can be stated that top management is not much commitment regarding top quality management of the project. Top management should show some commitment towards the quality management of the project

 

Figure 2: Graphical representation for responses about top level’s commitment towards TQM

Question 2

Table 3: Management has clear vision for implementing goals of total quality management.

 

 

Frequency

Percent

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

Valid

Strongly Disagree

3

6.0

6.0

6.0

Disagree

3

6.0

6.0

12.0

Neutral

9

18.0

18.0

30.0

Agree

24

48.0

48.0

78.0

Strongly Agree

11

22.0

22.0

100.0

Total

50

100.0

100.0

 

 

 

Figure 3: Graphical representation of responses for clear vision of management towards implementation of TQM

In organisations there is a need of having clear vision of top management in order to implement goals and aims of total quality management (Evans, 2013). In order to analyse that whether or not in construction companies of China management has vision of implementing goals of total quality management, contractors were asked this question. In accordance with the results of questionnaire; it has been seen that according to 24 percent of people management has clear objective for implementation of objectives of total quality management. 11 percent of people strongly agreed that management has clear objective for implementation of objectives of total quality management. According to them, in construction companies from which data was collected management set objectives in order to ensure total quality management. 3 percent of people does not agree that management has clear goal for integrating objectives of total quality management. Number of people who disagreed and strongly disagreed are same. 9 percent of people neither agreed with the statement nor disagreed. According to the results, it can be concluded that management of organisation own clear objective for implementation of goals of total quality management. It means this helps in improving practices of total quality management by setting objectives.

Question 3:

Table 4: Management is committed to ensure success of policy of TQM

 

In construction companies, there is strong need of formulation of policy related to total quality management for improving quality and performance of projects (Fewings, 2013). In current study, this item related to commitment of management towards success of policy of total quality management is added in questionnaire for knowing the responses of contractors about this. According to the results of questionnaire; it can be concluded that 7 percent of contractors strongly agreed that management is committed to ensure success of policy of total quality management. 26 percent of contractors admitted that management is responsible to ensure success of policies of total quality management. In opposite to this, 3 percent of contractors out of 50 disagreed, according to them management is not committed to ensure success of total quality management. 14 percent of contractors neither agreed over statement nor disagreed. According to the results of questionnaire; it can be concluded that management is committed towards the total quality management. More of the improvements can be made in order to make more improvements in policy of total quality management.

 

Figure 4: Graphical representation of responses for commitment of management for ensuring success of TQM

Question 4:

Table 5: The total quality management of construction project design is effectively done by the management of company.

 

 

Frequency

Percent

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

Valid

Strongly Disagree

3

6

6

6

Disagree

3

6

6

12

Neutral

7

14

14

26

Agree

25

50

50

76

Strongly Agree

12

24

24

100

Total

50

100

100

 

The effective design of project is considered to be very important in order to improve quality of project (Chang et al, 2014). The respondents were asked that whether or not effective designs are made by management in case of construction projects. According to the results of questionnaire collected from contractors; it has been seen that according to half percent of the people from the selected sample, the quality management of the project design has been done effectively by the management of organisation. 12 percent of people strongly agreed with the statement that quality management of project has been done in an effective way. 3 percent contractors disagreed with the statement, according to them the quality management of the project has not been done effectively by the organisation. Same like that 3 percent of people strongly disagreed with this statement. 7 percent of contractors neither agreed with the statement nor disagreed. According to them, total quality management of construction is not much effective. In accordance with the outcomes obtained through questionnaire; it can be concluded that quality management of construction design has been done in an effective way by the management of organisation. More of the improvements can be made in order to make more improvements in it.

 

Figure 5: Graphical representation of responses for effective designing of construction project by management

 

4.3.1.2. Contractors’ role in TQM

Question 5:

Table 6: The management encourages employee participation for the purpose of total quality management.

 

Frequency

Percent

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

Valid

Neutral

12

24

24

24

Agree

26

52

52

76

Strongly Agree

12

24

24

100

Total

50

100

100

 

 

The respondents were asked that whether or not management of construction companies encourages employees and contractors for making participation in total quality management of projects. The analysis of data has shown that 26 percent of contractors out of 50 percent agreed that management let the contractors to make more of the participation for the objective of total quality management. According to 12 percent of contractors the management encourage the contractors to make participation for the objective of total quality management. 12 percent of the contractors neither agreed with the statement nor disagreed. According to them, contractors are encouraged, but not majorly for the purpose of total quality management. In accordance with the results of questionnaire; it can be stated that management of organisation let the contractors to be more motivated for the objective of total quality management.

 

Figure 6: Graphical representation of responses for encouragement of employees participation by management to achieve TQM

Table 7: Contractors are provided with rewards and recognition for the purpose of TQM

 

 

For the motivation of contractors, rewards and recognition play an important role (Mir and Pinnington, 2014). Due to this reason, contractors were asked about availability of rewards and recognition for contractors for better performance. According to 33 percent of contractors get recognition and rewards for the objective of total quality management. 7 percent of people have no doubt that they get recognition and rewards for the objective of total quality management. According to 4 percent of contractors, there are no rewards for the contractors and recognition for the objective of total quality management. Contractors do not get any rewards or any recognition from organisation. They are not provided with any bonuses or any type of rewards even why they perform well. 6 percent of the contractors neither agreed with the statement nor disagreed. According to them rewards are provided to contractors but the rationale behind provision of rewards is not total quality management. According to the results of questionnaire; it can be concluded that rewards and recognition is provided to contractors. It means construction companies focus on giving rewards to contractors for performing well. Due to this, their performance level is improved and quality is ensured.

 

Figure 7: Graphical representation of responses for rewards and recognition to employees for TQM

Question 7:

Table 8: Contractors are provided with training opportunities in order to ensure effective TQM

 

Mir et al (2016) stated that for the purpose of ensuring total quality management, high skills and capabilities of contractors is considered to be very important. In order to analyse this aspect, contractors were asked about training opportunities provided to them for enhancing their skills. Out of 50 contractors, 7 percent of contractors stated that contractors get training opportunities for ensuring effective total quality management. 33 percent of contractors strongly agreed that training opportunities are given to contractors for ensuring effective quality management. 4 percent of people disagreed, according to them contractors are not provided with training opportunity for effective total quality management. 6 percent of contractors neither agreed over the statement nor disagreed. According to them training opportunities are provided to contractors but not majorly for the purpose of total quality management. In accordance with the results of questionnaire; it can be stated that contractors are provided with training opportunities and it proves to be effective for total quality management. More of the improvements can be made for providing more training opportunities to the contractors in order to make total quality management more effective.

 

Figure 8: Graphical representation of responses for provision of training opportunities to employees for effective TQM

4.3.1.3. Evaluation of TQM

 

Question 8:

Table 9: Company evaluates construction completion performance and takes measures to improve it.

 

 

Frequency

Percent

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

Valid

Strongly Disagree

1

2.0

2.0

2.0

Disagree

4

8.0

8.0

10.0

Neutral

9

18.0

18.0

28.0

Agree

33

66.0

66.0

94.0

Strongly Agree

3

6.0

6.0

100.0

Total

50

100.0

100.0

 

 According to Oakland (2014) companies can ensure total quality management through regular evaluation of performance of construction projects. For analysing this aspect, this item related to evaluation of construction completion performance and taking measures to improve it is added in questionnaire. According to the data acquired through questionnaire; it has been seen that according to 33 percent of contractors out of 50, organisation does the evaluation of performance and take proper measurements for making more improvements in it. 3 percent of people strongly agreed that organisations do the evaluation of construction performance and take appropriate measures for improving it. In contrast to this in accordance with 4 percent of people company does not evaluate the construction performance and does not take any measurement for improving it. 1 percent of people strongly disagreed with the statement. 9 percent of people neither agreed with the statement nor disagreed with the statement. According to them, organisation does not evaluate the construction performance and do not take much measurements for making improvement in it.

 

Figure 9: Graphical representation of responses for evaluation of performance and taking measures to improve it

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Question 9:

Table 10: Proper change is implemented in project design in case of requirement for ensuring TQM

 

The contractors have been asked that whether or not change is implemented in the design for ensuring total quality management. According to the responses of contractors acquired through questionnaire; it has been seen that 9 percent of people stated that change is implemented in design for ensuring total quality management. In accordance with 25 percent of people out of 50 percent change is integration in the design when needed for ensuring total quality management. 4 percent of people stated that there is no implementation of change in the design even when needed for ensuring of total quality management. 5 percent of people stated strongly disagreed that change is not implemented when required for the total quality management. In accordance with responses of respondents it can be stated that change is implemented in design when needed for ensuring total quality management of construction projects. 

 

Figure 10: Graphical representation of responses for implementation of proper change in project for TQM

 

Question 10:

Table 11: Drawings and specifications are reviewed prior to construction for total quality management.

 

 

Frequency

Percent

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

Valid

Strongly Disagree

3

6

6

6

Disagree

3

6

6

12

Neutral

9

18

18

30

Agree

24

48

48

78

Strongly Agree

11

22

22

100

Total

50

100

100

 

The contractors were asked for if the review of specifications and drawings is done for total quality management. 11 percent of the contractors agreed that review of specifications and drawings is done prior to construction for total quality management. 24 percent of contractors agreed that specifications and drawings are reviewed prior to construction for total quality management. 9 percent of contractors neither agreed with the statement nor disagreed, according to them specifications and drawings are reviewed but not for total quality management. 3 percent of contractors did not agree with the statement that specifications and drawings are reviewed for total quality management. Same like that 3 percent contractors strongly disagreed with the statement. According to the results of questionnaire; it can be concluded that review of specifications and drawings are done prior to construction for total quality management. More of the improvements should be made for making effective review of specifications and drawings prior to construction for total quality management.

 

Figure 11: Graphical presentation of responses for review of drawings for TQM

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.3.2. Performance of Projects

Question 11:

Table 12: The ready projects are client focused.

 

 

Frequency

Percent

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

Valid

Strongly Disagree

3

6

6

6

Disagree

3

6

6

12

Neutral

7

14

14

2

Agree

26

52

52

78

Strongly Agree

11

22

22

100

Total

50

100

100

 

 

In any kind of project, clients are considered to be a key factor for the success of project. In this item, contractors had to tell about focus of projects towards clients (Talib et al, 2013).  According to the results of questionnaire; it has been seen that 26 percent of contractors agreed that the projects which are ready are focused much by clients. 11 percent of contractors strongly agreed with the statement that projects are made in accordance with the clients. 7 percent of contractors neither agreed with the statement nor disagreed. 3 percent of contractors disagreed, according to them, ready projects are not client focused. 3 percent of contractors strongly disagreed with the statement. In accordance with the results of questionnaire; it can be concluded that ready projects are client focused. It depicts that in most of construction companies in China, high focus is given on needs and demands of clients.

 

Figure 12: Graphical presentation of client focused ready projects

 

Question 12:

Table 13: The client becomes highly satisfied due to better quality of products

 

Total quality management helps in improving performance of projects and due to this satisfaction level of clients is increased (Zink, 2012). In accordance with data collected from contractors regarding effect of better quality on satisfaction of customers, it has been seen that 25 percent of contractors admitted to the statement that they get satisfaction because of the good quality of projects. 14 percent of contractors neither agreed over the statement nor disagreed. 1 percent of contractors disagreed with the statement that clients become satisfied because of better quality of projects. 10 percent of the contractors strongly agreed with the statement that clients get satisfaction because of the better quality of projects. In accordance with the results of questionnaire; it can be concluded that because of better quality of projects, clients become satisfied. More of the improvements should be made in order to improve the quality of work.

 

Figure 13: Graphical presentation of responses for satisfaction level of clients due to better quality of projects

 

 

 

Table 14: While completing a project, contractors feel satisfied due to which the performance level of project is enhanced.

 

For the purpose of effective total quality management and improve performance of a construction project, it is important to have satisfied contractors (Mok et al, 2013). This item was used in questionnaire for knowing about satisfaction level of contractors and its impact on performance of project. 26 percent of the contractors agreed that during completion of project, contractors feel satisfied because of which they perform even more effectively. 12 percent of contractors strongly agreed with the statement. 12 percent of contractors neither agreed nor disagreed, according to them, during completion of project, contractors do feel satisfied but it does not help much in the enhancement of performance level. From the results of questionnaire; it can be concluded that during the completion of project, contractors get a feeling of satisfaction and it assists in the fulfilment of project.

 

Figure 14: Graphical presentation of responses for satisfaction level of employees with the performance of projects

Question 14:

Table 15: The completion of project is done in set time.

 

 

Frequency

Percent

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

Valid

Disagree

4

8.0

8.0

8.0

Neutral

6

12.0

12.0

20.0

Agree

30

60.0

60.0

80.0

Strongly Agree

10

20.0

20.0

100.0

Total

50

100.0

100.0

 

In current item, respondents were asked that whether the project is completed right in time or not. 4 percent of contractors disagreed with the statement that project has been completed in proper time. 6 percent of contractors neither agreed with the statement nor disagreed. 30 percent of contractors stated that project has been completed in appropriate time. 10 percent of contractors strongly agreed with the statement that project has completed in proper time. According to the results of questionnaire; it can be concluded that project has been completed in the most appropriate time. More of the improvements should be made in future for completing the work in most suitable time.

 

Figure 15: Graphical presentation of responses for time of completion of project

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Question 15:

Table 16: The completion of project is done in set budget

 

Meng (2012) stated that budget setting is also crucial for a project to get success with high performance. This item was added in questionnaire for knowing that whether project is completed in set budget or not. According to the results of questionnaire; it has been seen that 4 percent of contractors disagreed with the statement that project is completed in the budget which was set for the project. 11 percent of contractors neither agreed with the statement nor disagreed, according to them the project was a bit out of budget. 31 percent of contractors agreed with the statement that project has been done in the budget which was set for the project. 4 percent of contractors stated that with no doubt that project completion has been done in the given budget. In accordance with the results of questionnaire; which has been collected from sample it can be concluded that project has been completed in provided budget.

 

Figure 16: Graphical presentation of responses for completion of project in set budget

 

 

 

Question 16:

Table 17: The project is completed through proper quality check.

 

 

Frequency

Percent

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

Valid

Strongly Disagree

8

16.0

16.0

16.0

Disagree

6

12.0

12.0

28.0

Neutral

10

20.0

20.0

48.0

Agree

22

44.0

44.0

92.0

Strongly Agree

4

8.0

8.0

100.0

Total

50

100.0

100.0

 

In the end the most important aspect of project management is quality check (Mir et al, 2016). So, respondents were asked that whether or not project is completed through proper quality check. According to responses of contractors; it has been seen that completion of project has been done through proper quality check. There are much improvements needed though. According to 8 percent of contractors the project has not gone through proper check. 6 percent of contractors are not happy at all with the checking of quality of project. 22 percent of contractors stated that the project has gone through different stages of checking. After much checking, the project has been completed. 4 percent of contractors undoubtedly said that project has gone through stages of checking and is free of errors. 10 percent of contractors out of 50 percent neither agreed with the statement nor disagreed.

 

Figure 17: Graphical presentation of responses for proper quality check of projects

 

 

 

 

4.3.3. Reliability Analysis

 

Table 18: Reliability Statistics

 

Cronbach's Alpha

N of Items

.852

16

In order to use questionnaire as a research instrument, it is important test reliability of instrument that whether or not the instrument is consistent with the topic of research. The reliability of research instrument is tested through the value of Cronbach’s alpha. In current study, the value of Cronbach’s alpha is 0.852 that means the questionnaire is highly reliable.

Table 19: Item Statistics

 

 

Mean

Std. Deviation

N

The top management shows commitment towards total quality management of project.

3.7200

1.08872

50

Company evaluates construction completion performance and takes measures to improve it.

3.6600

.79821

50

Management has clear vision for implementing goals of total quality management.

3.7400

1.06541

50

The total quality management of construction project design is effectively done by the management of company.

3.8000

1.06904

50

The management encourages employee participation for the purpose of total quality management.

4.0000

.69985

50

Contractors are provided with rewards and recognition for the purpose of total quality management.

3.8600

.75620

50

Proper change is implemented in project design in case of requirement for ensuring total quality management.

3.5800

1.17959

50

Contractors are provided with training opportunities in order to ensure effective total quality management.

3.8600

.75620

50

Management is committed to ensure success of policy of total quality management.

3.7400

.77749

50

Drawings and specifications are reviewed prior to construction for total quality management.

3.7400

1.06541

50

The ready projects are client focused.

3.7800

1.05540

50

The clients become highly satisfied due to better quality of projects.

3.8800

.74615

50

While completing a project, contractors feel satisfied due to which the performance level of project is enhanced.

4.0000

.69985

50

The completion of project is done in set time.

3.9200

.80407

50

The completion of project is done in set budget.

3.7000

.73540

50

The project is completed through proper quality check.

3.1600

1.23487

50

 

 

Table 20: Item-Total Statistics

 

 

Scale Mean if Item Deleted

Scale Variance if Item Deleted

Corrected Item-Total Correlation

Cronbach's Alpha if Item Deleted

The top management shows commitment towards total quality management of project.

56.4200

60.208

.406

.848

Company evaluates construction completion performance and takes measures to improve it.

56.4800

60.500

.572

.839

Management has clear vision for implementing goals of total quality management.

56.4000

57.592

.589

.837

The total quality management of construction project design is effectively done by the management of company.

56.3400

61.209

.352

.851

The management encourages employee participation for the purpose of total quality management.

56.1400

60.817

.636

.838

Contractors are provided with rewards and recognition for the purpose of total quality management.

56.2800

62.573

.426

.846

Proper change is implemented in project design in case of requirement for ensuring total quality management.

56.5600

58.864

.441

.847

Contractors are provided with training opportunities in order to ensure effective total quality management.

56.2800

62.573

.426

.846

Management is committed to ensure success of policy of total quality management.

56.4000

59.388

.689

.834

Drawings and specifications are reviewed prior to construction for total quality management.

56.4000

57.592

.589

.837

The ready projects are client focused.

56.3600

61.011

.371

.850

The clients become highly satisfied due to better quality of projects.

56.2600

60.564

.614

.838

While completing a project, contractors feel satisfied due to which the performance level of project is enhanced.

56.1400

60.817

.636

.838

The completion of project is done in set time.

56.2200

58.175

.768

.830

The completion of project is done in set budget.

56.4400

60.537

.626

.838

The project is completed through proper quality check.

56.9800

66.755

-.002

.875

 

The item-wise reliability of questionnaire has also been tested for checking that whether or not items used in questionnaire are consistent with each other. As it can be seen from above table that value of Cronbach’s alpha for all items are greater than 0.6, so all items are consistent with each other.

4.4. Discussion and Synthesis

In current study, it has been found from the above analysis that there is a significant impact of total quality management on performance of projects. In order to test the impact of total quality management on project performance, various aspects of total quality management are analysed like top level commitment, employees’ participation, motivation of employees, change management, proper reviewing and implementation of policies. The results have revealed that in construction companies, in order to ensure effective total quality management, top management shows commitment towards quality of projects. This finding of current research is in contrast to the research done by Zink (2012) in which it has been found that top management does not primarily focus on total quality management. The reason behind this is unawareness of top management about total quality management. In construction companies, the projects are controlled and managed by different leaders. Mok et al (2013) stated that in case of getting success in a project, priority has to be given by top management. Top management plays a key role in total quality management. The commitment of top level management is considered to be a compass that provides directions to all members who are involved in a project for creating systems, beliefs, norms and values in order to enhance performance of projects.

In addition to this, the study has revealed that for ensuring effective total quality management within construction companies, various training opportunities are provided to employees for increasing their knowledge. This helps the companies in improving the performance through total quality management by increased knowledge of employees. This finding has a consistency with study conducted by Bendoly (2014) that claimed that due to lack of appropriate knowledge construction companies fail to implement total quality management and due to this their performance level is also reduced. It means in construction companies, there is a strong need of knowledge development and management among employees, so that they can implement total quality management in an effective way. It has been found from current research that implementation of TQM can cause improved performance in the construction organisation. Improved result generally implies that process of conversions of input along with the components is successful while decreasing the number of disposed down being thrown away. The overall project’s quality enhancement is important for the success of company.

From the data collected from contractors in China, it has been found that through high quality of products by implementing total quality management companies can get increased customer satisfaction. It depicts that when companies focus on total quality management then due to this quality of products is improved and as a result of this customers’ satisfaction level is enhanced. This in turn enhances the performance of companies (Oakland, 2014).  In order to improve performance of construction companies, employees play a very important role. The engagement of employees during execution of a project is considered to be very important. In order to involve employees within the projects for increasing quality, they must be provided with rewards and recognition. This helps in increasing total quality of projects. By engaging employees in the projects, management can get various unique and distinct ideas. The contractors are considered to be very important in construction companies, so their involvement in construction projects also ensures improved performance and success of projects (Fewings, 2013).

In addition to employees, the study has found that management’s involvement with respect to evaluation and policy formation is also considered to be very important. This is consistent with results of Evans and Lindsay (2013) in which they found that during the execution of whole project, there is a need of reviewing the performance of projects by the management. The total quality management in construction companies is ensured through review and evaluation of management. This helps in making appropriate changes in the project within appropriate time.

The current study has revealed that for increasing performance of construction project, satisfaction level of contractors play a very important role. In order to ensure high performance of project, management has to ensure that contractors are made satisfied through provision of various rewards. This helps the management in enhancing performance of projects. This finding has a consistency with research done by Mir and Pinnington (2014) in which they stated that in companies quality of project is enhanced with the help of satisfied and motivated contractors. When contractors’ motivation and satisfaction level is enhanced then they become capable of providing better quality services for completing a project. Moreover, the study has found that evaluation and checking are considered to be crucial parts of total quality management. The quality of a project can be assured by having proper measures of evaluation and checking. There is a strong need by management as well as contractors to set standards and criterion for evaluating and measuring performance of projects. The quality of project has to be checked after regular intervals of time. This assists in improving performance of projects by reducing all kinds of defaults and errors.

There is a strong emphasise of total quality management on support and commitment of top level management. In addition to this, the management has to ensure involvement of all departments of company for enhancing performance. There is a significant relationship between total quality management and performance of companies. Due to the implementation of practices of total quality management, overall cost of project is reduced (Jiménez-Jiménez et al, 2015).

4.5. Summary

In this chapter, the analysis of data collected from contractors of Chinese construction companies through questionnaires has been done. The analysis has shown that there is a significant impact of total quality management on performance of construction projects. It has been revealed from the analysis that in construction companies of China, contractors focus considerably on total quality management for improving performance of projects. In order to ensure total quality management, commitment of top level management, communication among team members, fulfilment of industry’s standards and regular evaluation are considered to be very important. This shows that if construction companies want to get success in their projects through improved performance then there is a need of focusing towards total quality management.

CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

5.1. Overall Summary

This research is conducted for analysing the effect of total quality management practices on performance of construction projects in China. The relationship between total quality management and performance of construction projects is tested with the help of quantitative research method. On the basis of quantitative method, primary data is collected from 50 contractors belonging to 10 construction companies of China. The data has been collected through questionnaires. The questionnaire helped researcher in knowing viewpoints of contractors about the use of total quality management for improving performance of construction projects.

From findings of current study, it has been revealed that with the help of focusing on total quality management, construction companies can increase performance of projects. In order to improve performance of projects and to get success in projects, it is important for management of construction companies to focus considerably on total quality management of projects. With the help of commitment of top management towards total quality management, the overall effectiveness and performance of construction companies can be increased. . O’Neill et al (2016) stated that main issues are because of the management and not because of workers. The acquirement of quality needs activities in all works of an organisation. Organisation-wide quality assessment, competitive benchmarking, quality information system, usage of statistical procedures and supplier quality management are important for making improvements in quality. Most of the Quality frameworks are dependent over the leadership and commitment with top management being a solid base within total quality management, as underlined in chapter two. The significance of commitment of Top management, as the important driver underlie the prosper adoption of total quality management, has been facilitated in the empirical literature. The prosperity of employment of total quality management hinges on commitment and leadership, factors that should be started through top management. As stated, while observing empirical findings, supportive proof of the statement need to be highlighted. It is stated that responsibility acceptance through top management in identifying quality focused and well adapted organisational culture, quality policy and objective is positively related to performance of organisation of Construction Companies in China within the industry of manufacturing, with the help of commitment of Top management. Furthermore, communication in the organisation through top management of unambiguous quality aims, along with the implementation of appropriate resources target the fulfilment of quality aims, and they are also significant approach while identifying the performance influences of adoption of TQM. A positive influence over performance of organisation through use of assessment of managers is dependent on the fulfilment of quality aims. Therefore, it is identified that quality is not only incorporated in the processes of production, management needs to see through it is the major part of strategic planning of company. As given above, it can be easy for management of company to stress over the significance of quality in the entire organisation. Due to the fact, that they can approach the whole Construction Company. As different researchers have identified that in the field of TQM, a concentrated and visible effort through management, targeted the setting and quality of culture encompassing the strategic direction and quality objectives of the company, is important for organisational performance. Clear support of these findings has been identified in the investigation of Construction Companies in China.

In construction companies policies are formulated by top level management. In order to ensure success of a construction projects, it must be ensured by management that those policies are formulated through which total quality of projects can be improved. For getting success in a construction project, appropriate goals and objectives towards quality improvement are required to be developed by management (Wang et al, 2012). This finding has a consistency with the research done by Imeri and Kekäle (2013) in which the found that leadership plays an important role to ensure the prosperity of quality management, because of the reason that it is the responsibility of top management for communicating and creating a vision for moving the organisation to move the organisation to more improvement. For most of the issues, top management is given the responsibility; it should provide employees with the standards for the acceptable work, and they should give the procedures for achieving it.

In addition to the commitment of top level management towards total quality management, a strong role is played by contractors or employees in ensuring total quality management in construction projects. This significantly affects the performance of projects in a positive way. In order to get success in construction projects, contractors and employees must be motivated towards following those practices through which quality of projects can be improved. In construction projects, the participation of employees increases effectiveness of projects. When employees and contractors show motivation and commitment towards completion of construction projects, then with the help of this quality of projects is improved significantly (ul Hassan et al, 2012).

it is significant to interpret the requirements of customers. The application of these requirements is over all people who are involved in services, manufacture, design and marketing. Identification of needs of customers needs more interpretation and analysis for ensuring that product has fulfilled the needs of customers and is suitable for the use, not just fulfilling the specifications of product. Therefore, market research is important in order to identify the needs of customers. For ensuring the quality of design, he proposed that some techniques should be used involving concurrent engineering, reliability engineering, experimental design and quality function deployment (Bon and Mustafa, 2013). For most of the issues, top management is given the responsibility; it should provide employees with the standards for the acceptable work, and they should give the procedures for achieving it. These procedures involve a suitable working climate and environment for blame, fear or work-free of fault-finding.

5.2. Overall Conclusion

In current study three research objectives are developed in the start of study in order to draw valid conclusion at the end of research. First of all, the objective of research was to study previous literature for understanding the concept of total quality management. The researcher has achieved this objective in second chapter of this research. In order to achieve this objective, the researcher studied different articles and books related to total quality management and its impact on performance of construction projects. This helped in critically analysing findings of previous researchers. The achievement of this objective in current study has also helped in comparing and contrasting findings of this research with findings of previous researchers.

The second objective of this research was to assess the use of total quality management in construction companies. This objective was achieved through the review of literature and empirical research. In case of literature review, the researcher studied various researches about the use of total quality management in construction companies. In addition to this, empirical research was conducted in which 10 construction companies from China were selected. From those construction companies, 50 contractors were randomly selected in order to get their viewpoints about the use of total quality management in construction projects. The achievement of objective has depicted that there is a considerable use of total quality management in construction projects.

The third objective of current study was to examine the influence of total quality management on performance of construction projects in China. This objective has also been achieved through primary data collected from contractors of construction companies in China. From fulfilment of all research objectives, it has been found that there is a significant impact of total quality management practices on performance of construction projects.

5.4. Recommendations

5.4.1. To Industry

This section outlines some recommendations to the construction industry regarding implementation of total quality management in order to improve performance and ensuring success of construction projects. On the basis of current research conducted through survey of Chinese construction companies, following recommendations are provided to construction industry for improving performance of construction projects through implementing total quality management;

  • To allocate an appropriate percentage of profits of firm for providing training opportunities to employees and contractors.
  • To establish a team of employees and contractors both from internal and external environment of company for dealing with needs for design changes.
  • Devoting at least 3-4 days a month for training and education of employees and contractors.
  • Providing rewards to employees for increasing their level of motivation and to improve their performance.
  • Giving freedom to employees and contractors for making decisions about their jobs and must be motivated for proposing solutions to issues that arise during their job.
  • Adopting a policy for improving quality of projects by creating long term relationships with stakeholders.
  • The choice of administration must be done with the help of efficient and effective proposals about processes and mechanisms.
  • Organising course of training for individuals at management level related to the concepts of total quality management.
  • More than all management must be involved in activities of quality management.
  • The management should review the performance of construction projects on weekly basis.
  • In order to ensure success of construction projects, the management must review designs of projects in order to bring necessary changes in the project.

5.4.2. To Academia

Although, there are many benefits and implications of current study, but, researcher also had to face some limitations in this research. First of all the researcher followed quantitative research method in this study due to lack of time and budget, but in order to enhance reliability and validity of research, future researchers should use mixed research method. Moreover sample size was smaller for conducting the survey. Due to less sample size the generalisability of research is low. As current study has used 50 contractors as sample of study, so this can affect the generalisability of research. In order to enhance generalisability of research, future researchers should use more sample size for conducting the survey. In addition to this, researchers should study more aspects of total quality management in order to examine the impact of total quality management on performance of construction projects.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Appendices

Appendix A: Questionnaire

An analysis of impact of Total Quality Management on Performance of construction projects in China

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am a student of _____________. I am conducting a research on “An analysis of impact of Total Quality Management on Performance of construction projects in China”. Your valuable time in completing this questionnaire will help me to identify the required outcomes of this study.

 

Your contribution towards this research is highly appreciated!

 

 

 

Strongly Disagree

Disagree

Neutral

Agree

Strongly Agree

 

Total Quality Management

 

 

 

 

 

1

The top management shows commitment towards total quality management of project.

1

2

3

4

5

2

Company evaluates construction completion performance and takes measures to improve it.

1

2

3

4

5

3

Management has clear vision for implementing goals of total quality management.

1

2

3

4

5

4

The total quality management of construction project design is effectively done by the management of company.   

1

2

3

4

5

5

The management encourages employee participation for the purpose of total quality management. 
 

1

2

3

4

5

6

Employees are provided with rewards and recognition for the purpose of total quality management.

1

2

3

4

5

7

Proper change is implemented in project design in case of requirement for ensuring total quality management.

1

2

3

4

5

8

Employees are provided with training opportunities in order to ensure effective total quality management.

1

2

3

4

5

9

Management is committed to ensure success of policy of total quality management.

1

2

3

4

5

10

Drawings and specifications are reviewed prior to construction for total quality management.

1

2

3

4

5

 

Performance of Projects

 

 

 

 

 

11

The ready projects are client focused.

1

2

3

4

5

12

The clients become highly satisfied due to better quality of projects.
 

1

2

3

4

5

13

While completing a project, employees feel satisfied due to which the performance level of project is enhanced.

1

2

3

4

5

14

The completion of project is done in set time.

1

2

3

4

5

15

The completion of project is done in set budget.

1

2

3

4

5

16

The project is completed through proper quality check.

1

2

3

4

5

               
 

 

Demographics

Name (optional)

 

Age in years

20-29          30-39            40-49              50-59                   

Gender

 

Male                 Female

Year of experience

1 year                        2-5 years                   More than 5 years

Department

 

R&D        Production          Design/Branding          Marketing        Human Resource

Finance & Accounts          Customer Service          IT/MIS

Others (please specify) _____________________

 

Additional comments:

 

 

 

 

 

If you are interested in being appraised by the results of this study; the research scholar can be contacted at _______________

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