The support of Quality Management to sustainable development: a literature review
Journal article, 2016
Quality Management is considered to be suitable as support for the integration of sustainability considerations in areas such as product development. The purpose of this paper is to review research in which Quality Management methods, tools or practices have been used in conjunction with sustainable development initiatives. We have identified four themes that synthesize the research on Quality Management and its support to approaches for sustainable development: (I) supporting sustainability through integration of management systems, (II) Quality Management as support to the implementation of Environmental Management Systems and to the management of sustainability, (III) supporting integration of sustainability considerations in daily work, and (IV) supporting stakeholder management and customer focus. By far the most research has been conducted within the first two themes. This paper also contributes with proposals for future research, such as the need to move beyond existing standards and management systems to enable more radical improvements, and the need for empirical evidence of the effect of integrated management systems on environmental performance. We also highlight the point that Quality Management practices and tools must be developed and adapted in order to support sustainability considerations.