Purpose This study investigates the relationship between Total Quality Management (TQM) and internationalization in small family firms, focusing on the role that the dimensions of TQM may have as strategic resources to implement successful internationalization strategies. Design/methodology/approach Building on the Resource-Based View (RBV), the study is based on a single case study, and data were gathered through in-depth interviews with the family owner-manager. Findings Findings show that small family businesses that aim to operate in international markets have to invest constant attention toward TQM by developing strategies able to achieve excellence. More in detail, for small and medium family firms, TQM represents a driver to internationalize. Therefore, family-owned managers sustain that internationalization success depends on the increasing attention exhibited toward the following dimensions of quality, specifically on three main pillars: relationships, professionalization and long-term vision, which appear to be strategic resources in international markets. An interpretive model is proposed with a set of propositions. Research limitations/implications Scholarly implications are threefold. First, findings contribute to the RBV theory by introducing the long-term vision as a strategic resource able to activate a loop between TQM and internationalization success. Second, results contribute to TQM literature, highlighting that it represents a driver to internationalize, and following a long-term perspective, its enhancement is stimulated by internationalization. Third, findings contribute to family business studies, underlining the relevance done of owners on professionalization as a strategic resource to ensure excellence and obtain success in overseas markets. The main drawback refers to the fact that results stemmed from one single case study. Further studies could deepen the analysis on multiple cases. Practical implications The proposed case study represents a best practice and can stimulate other entrepreneurs and consultants to invest in TQM to thrive internationalization strategies. Originality/value The current study, elucidating that TQM is the driver to stimulate family business internationalization, proposes an interpretive model to study TQM and internationalization in small and medium family firms.

Total quality management as driver for internationalization: a case study of a small family firm

Floris, Michela;Marongiu, Michela;Dessì, Cinzia;Dettori, Angela
2022-01-01

Abstract

Purpose This study investigates the relationship between Total Quality Management (TQM) and internationalization in small family firms, focusing on the role that the dimensions of TQM may have as strategic resources to implement successful internationalization strategies. Design/methodology/approach Building on the Resource-Based View (RBV), the study is based on a single case study, and data were gathered through in-depth interviews with the family owner-manager. Findings Findings show that small family businesses that aim to operate in international markets have to invest constant attention toward TQM by developing strategies able to achieve excellence. More in detail, for small and medium family firms, TQM represents a driver to internationalize. Therefore, family-owned managers sustain that internationalization success depends on the increasing attention exhibited toward the following dimensions of quality, specifically on three main pillars: relationships, professionalization and long-term vision, which appear to be strategic resources in international markets. An interpretive model is proposed with a set of propositions. Research limitations/implications Scholarly implications are threefold. First, findings contribute to the RBV theory by introducing the long-term vision as a strategic resource able to activate a loop between TQM and internationalization success. Second, results contribute to TQM literature, highlighting that it represents a driver to internationalize, and following a long-term perspective, its enhancement is stimulated by internationalization. Third, findings contribute to family business studies, underlining the relevance done of owners on professionalization as a strategic resource to ensure excellence and obtain success in overseas markets. The main drawback refers to the fact that results stemmed from one single case study. Further studies could deepen the analysis on multiple cases. Practical implications The proposed case study represents a best practice and can stimulate other entrepreneurs and consultants to invest in TQM to thrive internationalization strategies. Originality/value The current study, elucidating that TQM is the driver to stimulate family business internationalization, proposes an interpretive model to study TQM and internationalization in small and medium family firms.
TQM; Family businesses; Soft dimensions of quality; Hard dimensions of quality; Single-case study
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11584/325189
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