The roles of quality departments and their influence on business results
Journal article, 2021

This study explores the various roles of quality departments and investigates whether their roles have different influence on business results. Based on a survey of quality managers in 211 Swedish organisations, the analysis identifies four roles of quality departments: firefighters, auditors, process improvers, and orchestrators. The roles vary in their predominant adoption of Quality Management practices ranging from a narrow scope focusing on quality management systems to a broader scope, based on multiple practices. An analysis was performed to identify how each of the identified roles influences business results. The results show that quality departments with a broad focus, combining both explorative and exploitative quality practices, contribute the most to business results.

quality management

business results

quality department


quality practices


Ida Gremyr

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Service Management and Logistics

Linköping University

Mattias Elg

Linköping University

Andreas Hellström

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Service Management and Logistics

Jason Martin

Linköping University

Lars Witell

Linköping University

Total Quality Management and Business Excellence

1478-3363 (ISSN) 1478-3371 (eISSN)

Vol. 32 7-8 886-897

Subject Categories

Other Mechanical Engineering

Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

Business Administration



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