Towards a Contingency Theory perspective of Quality Management in Enabling Strategic Alignment

Rodney McAdam, Kristel Miller, Carmel McSorley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Citations (Scopus)
58 Downloads (Pure)


The aim of this paper is to explore the role of Quality Management (QM) theory and practice using a contingency theory perspective. The study is grounded in the role of QM in improving strategic alignment within Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) using Contingency Theory rather than adopting best practice approaches. An inductive theory building research methodology was used involving multiple case analyses of five SMEs, involving repeat interviews (n=45), focus groups (n=5) and document analysis. From the findings, it was found that Contingency Variables (strategy, culture, lifecycle and customer focus) and their respective typologies were found to interact with QM practices in helping to shape strategic alignment between the SMEs and their environments. This shaping process based on contingency approaches occurred in a manner unique to each SME and their respective environments rather than in an overarching best practice manner.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-209
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Production Economics
Early online date5 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Jan 2019


  • Quality Management
  • Contingency theory
  • Strategic Alignment
  • SMEs
  • Case Studies


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