An empirical study to investigate the effects of critical factors on TQM implementation in the garment industry in Bangladesh

Subrata Talapatra, Md. Kutub Uddin, Jiju Antony*, Shivam Gupta, Elizabeth A. Cudney

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the factors that enable total quality management (TQM) implementation in the readymade garment (RMG) sector of Bangladesh. More specifically, the present study is a supplement of the previous call from research to investigate the TQM-enabling factors from a broader aspect of organizational change.

Design/methodology/approach: This study was conducted through an online survey, followed by phone calls. Data were collected using a questionnaire survey with 256 respondents of the Bangladeshi RMG sector. The TQM-enabling factors were divided into five distinct groups, based on strategic or overall changes required within an organization for TQM implementation. A theoretical research model was created to investigate the contingency of various TQM-enabling factors. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was applied to confirm the factor that enabled TQM implementation in the RMG sector of Bangladesh.

Findings: The main finding of this study shows that structural, strategic, contextual and human resource-enabling factors are significant to TQM implementation in the Bangladeshi RMG sector.

Research limitations/implications: This study has been completed in single time frame. Therefore, consideration of the time factor is completely ignored in this research. Furthermore, understanding of TQM-enabling factors in this research relied on quantitative findings only. Also, this study was limited to one industry and one geographic region. However, this study could determine whether data triangulation will provide a good perception on enabling factors and the methodology can be extended to other industries and regions.

Practical implications: This study provides a research methodology for other manufacturing industries that are planning to implement TQM in their organization. This research will contribute to the existing literature by examining the contingency of various TQM-enabling factors in the context of the Bangladeshi RMG sector, and it, therefore, provides direction to increase the success rate of TQM implementation. Furthermore, the research methodology can be used in other studies for variation of contextual variables such as size of the industry, developed or underdeveloped country and manufacturing or service industry.

Originality/value: The methodology used in this study can lead the way for other industries in the RMG sector that implements TQM in their organization. Also, this research further contributes to the existing literature by investigating the contingency of various TQM enabling factors in the context of the Bangladeshi RMG sector and developing associated strategies to raise success rate of TQM implementation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1209-1232
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Journal of Quality and Reliability Management
Issue number9/10
Early online date6 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - 7 Dec 2020


  • Barriers
  • Continuous improvement
  • Developing countries
  • Factor analysis
  • Readymade garment industry
  • Total quality management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Strategy and Management


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