Quality Management in Small and Medium Sized Enterprises
Paper in proceeding, 2009

Traditionally, the main focus of research of Quality Management has been on larger organizations. While these are important, so are the SMEs which are crucial to the national economy. However, there is no larger adoption of improvement processes in these smaller companies, even though studies suggest that Quality Management is implementable in smaller companies as well as in larger ones. Due to differences in characteristics, such as available resources, between SMEs and larger organizations, there seems to be a need for distinct treatment of SMEs. This paper reviews literature on QM implementation in SMEs. It synthesizes advices into six main categories: Involve external support, Involve employees, Implement gradually with realistic goals, Involve management, Track performance and benchmark, and Contextualize to the organization. The paper discusses the need for individual approaches for each SME when designing an improvement program, as well as the feasibility of a general approach when compared to larger organisations.

Critical implementation factors

Quality Management

Organizational performance

Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SME)



Marcus Assarlind

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Quality Sciences

Ida Gremyr

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Quality Sciences

Irish Academy of Management 12th Annual Conference, Conference Proceedings

Subject Categories

Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics

Other Mechanical Engineering

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