Organizational performance is critical since it determines the competitiveness of a given organization and its ability to meet the demands of different stakeholders. Companies pursuing this form of excellence should take into consideration the major factors, processes, resources, strategies, and practices that can deliver positive results. The concepts of sustainability and quality have become essential in the recent past. This remains the case since consumers’ bargaining powers have increased significantly. Similarly, many stakeholders are focusing on the most appropriate business procedures that deliver quality and conserve the natural environment. Corporations that consider such aspects have been able to achieve their potential. The purpose of this literature review paper is to discuss the role of quality management (QM) and environmental management accreditation standards in improving or sustaining business excellence at the national and international levels.
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Quality Management and Environmental Management Accreditation Standards
The concept of QM has become essential in different business organizations since it presents a platform for monitoring every activity and ensuring that the desired level of functionality or excellence is maintained. According to Arbab and Mahdi (2018), this process or aspect entails any strategy aimed at introducing a quality policy, promoting or implementing evidence-based quality assurance, and continuous improvement initiatives. The idea of effective leadership remains essential for any company pursuing this concept of quality management. Managers should begin by promoting appropriate conditions, solving emerging issues, and creating an effective culture that has the potential to support the intended QM model.
Organizations that want to pursue this kind of philosophy should involve all stakeholders to support the improvement of established processes, services, and products. Such individuals or experts will be willing to introduce a superior culture or functions that resonate with the demands recorded in the targeted market. Allur, Heras-Saizarbitoria, Boiral, and Testa (2018) expand the existing knowledge in the area of QM by indicating that the desires or expectations of the consumer should become the starting point for pursuing such a philosophy. This remains the case since customers will be willing to pay for products and items that deliver quality.
Businesses that are planning to engage in total quality management (TQM) should begin by considering various aspects or guidelines. The International Standard for Quality Management (ISO 9001:2005) outlines various standards that businesses have to consider if they have to achieve the intended objectives (Nenadál, Vykydal, & Waloszek, 2018). The first one is ensuring that every activity, function, and product or service is pursued with the customer in mind. The leaders should go further to consider how such demands or needs might change in the future. The second idea is that of leadership whereby managers are expected to empower followers and create a sense of direction.
They will ensure that all individuals are willing to utilize available resources to transform processes. The third one is the importance of engaging people and other stakeholders since they can deliver value. The fourth idea revolves around the notion of continuous improvement. This should become an ongoing concern to ensure that the company does not lose focus. Finally, organizational leaders should support the concept of relationship management to make sure that the demands of suppliers, customers, government agencies, and retailers are met (Al-Damen, 2017). These aspects also require timely decisions to promote QM and make it a sustainable business practice.
Environmental accreditation standards have become common and adopted in different regions across the world. In such countries, these approaches have become mandatory in an attempt to ensure that companies follow every established guideline for interacting with the natural environment. There are also specific bodies or government-sponsored agencies whose role is to monitor the practices and initiatives corporations undertake. This initiative is usually undertaken to prevent them from polluting rivers, overusing existing or available natural resources, and failing to protect their surroundings (Ngambi & Nkemkiafu, 2015). The issue of accreditation has also been pursued in many countries and sectors since it makes it possible for stakeholders and potential consumers to identify businesses that engage in sustainable and ethical business practices.
This kind of trend has continued to grow and it is expected to improve in the coming years. The ISO 14000 outlines several standards that have become practical guidelines or tools for business organizations that want to manage their relationships or sustainability efforts (Tourais & Videira, 2016). Similarly, ISO 14001:2015 is an accreditation model that identifies and promotes specific systems that can support the environmental needs and practices of different companies (Nenadál et al., 2018). Some additional standards have emerged that focus on several issues revolving around environmental conservation, such as green accounting, green auditing, lifecycle and labeling analysis, and mitigation of climatic change.
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Some corporations or emerging business entities might lack adequate resources to pursue the intended sustainability goals. However, most of the accreditation organizations offer evidence-based guidelines that such organizations can follow to transform the way they interact with the natural environment. Such firms will also acquire additional ideas for engaging in corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives that will eventually make it easier for them to receive the intended accreditation (Nenadál et al., 2018). This means that such companies will plant more trees, support the changing demands of more people in the regions they operate, and offer sustainable solutions to the challenges they face.
Although there are specific challenges that organizations focusing on such accreditations or standards might encounter, the outstanding fact is that any effort aimed at improving sustainability will eventually deliver positive results. Leaders and stakeholders should collaborate and ensure that the issues revolving around the integrity of the environment are combined with the anticipated or implemented corporate strategy. This approach will streamline how managerial procedures are done, including planning and decision-making (Ngambi & Nkemkiafu, 2015). The result is that major companies will acquire such accreditations and engage in continuous improvement techniques to improve the integrity of the natural environment.
Role in Promoting Business Excellence in National and International Contexts
The concept of QM has become a fundamental practice in many business organizations since it has the potential to promote business excellence. From the above analysis, it is evident that QM guides managers to focus on appropriate initiatives and processes that resonate with the demands of the customer. The model goes further to identify the potential challenges that might affect overall performance, such as the presence of leakages or wastes throughout the production process (Mazzi, Toniolo, Monzardo, Ren, & Scipioni, 2016). Managers can focus on it to manage relationships and ensure that raw materials are acquired promptly, products are ready when demanded, and deliver them to the consumers systematically. It goes further to guide leaders to embrace the notion of continuous improvement and make it more sustainable.
With these aspects in place, any company operating at the national level will achieve its goals much faster. Employees and other stakeholders will remain involved in decision-making processes, focus on the most appropriate practices to maximize performance, and deliver quality to the customer. This approach will increase the number of potential business partners and eventually maximize both profits and revenues. Additionally, QM is a powerful philosophy for minimizing wastes and resources (Nguyen, Phan, & Matsui, 2018). This means that every activity is coordinated properly throughout the production process. Improvements are introduced whenever necessary. Companies that pursue this strategy will find it easier to achieve their objectives and solve emerging issues. Similarly, corporations operating at the international level will embrace the QM model to offer high-quality services or products to their global customers (Mazzi et al., 2016). It will minimize wastes while at the same time adding value to both the targeted consumers and stakeholders. This means that QM is one of the powerful concepts that organizational leaders should pursue if they want to improve business performance.
The combination of QM and evidence-based environmental management accreditation standards emerges as a powerful model for transforming operational performance. Companies that meet the outlined criteria by different agencies will ensure that their procedures are ethical and capable of protecting the integrity of the natural environment (Tourais & Videira, 2016). This kind of achievement has been observed to ensure that corporations implement evidence-based practices and strategies that resonate with the demands of customers and government authorities. This means that such companies will not have their production processes hindered or stopped by different agencies, both in the national and international context (Yang, Han, Zhou, & Yuan, 2015). The organizations will protect the natural environment by ensuring that their supply chain, logistics, and operation processes are sustainable. They will go further to engage in evidence-based procedures that can eventually improve their CSR scores.
With these gains, the companies will continue to operate smoothly while at the same time reducing the levels of pollution and ensuring that the sources of various raw materials are not depleted. When stakeholders realize that specific companies have received such accreditations, chances are high that they will be willing to do business with them. Many customers today have been on the frontline to purchase consumer products that are produced using ethical and sustainable procedures. They are keen to monitor emerging reports regarding the quality and appropriateness of such goods (Arda, Bayraktar, & Tatoglu, 2018). For example, many buyers are willing to purchase cars that are economical and meet the specified emission levels. This is a clear indication that companies operating nationally and internationally should consider these accreditations if they want to attract more customers and eventually increase their revenues. They should also consider the importance of improving their sustainability efforts to remain competitive and sustainable.
The above discussion has identified QM and environmental management accreditation standards as powerful tools for ensuring that companies record increased performance, attract more customers and remain sustainable. The literature review has explained why there is a need for business organizations to consider the most appropriate approaches for improving their QM and CSR scores. They should engage all stakeholders, attract partners with similar ideas, and identify what other companies are doing to improve performance. The consideration of these initiatives will make more corporations profitable and protect the integrity of the natural environment.
Al-Damen, R. A. (2017). The impact of total quality management on organizational performance: Case of Jordan Oil Petroleum Company. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 8(1), 192-202.
Allur, E., Heras-Saizarbitoria, I., Boiral, O., & Testa, F. (2018). Quality and environmental management linkage: A review of the literature. Sustainability, 10(11), 4311-4325. Web.
Arbab, A. M., & Mahdi, M. O. S. (2018). Human resources management practices and organizational excellence in public organizations. Polish Journal of Management Studies, 18(2), 9-21. Web.
Arda, O. A., Bayraktar, E., & Tatoglu, E. (2018). How do integrated quality and environmental management practices affect firm performance? Mediating roles of quality performance and environmental proactivity. Business Strategy and the Environment, 28(1), 64-78. Web.
Mazzi, A., Toniolo, S., Monzardo, A., Ren, J., & Scipioni, A. (2016). Exploring the direction on the environmental and business performance relationship at the firm level. Lessons from a literature review. Sustainability, 8(11), 1200-1224. Web.
Nenadál, J., Vykydal, D., & Waloszek, D. (2018). Organizational excellence: Approaches, models and their use at Czech organizations. Quality Innovation Prosperity, 22(1), 47-64. Web.
Ngambi, M. T., & Nkemkiafu, A. G. (2015). The impact of total quality management on firm’s organizational performance. American Journal of Management, 15(4), 69-85.
Nguyen, M. H., Phan, A. C., & Matsui, Y. (2018). Contribution of quality management practices to sustainability performance of Vietnamese firms. Sustainability, 10(2), 375-305. Web.
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Tourais, P., & Videira, N. (2016). Why, how and what do organizations achieve with the implementation of environmental management systems?—Lessons from a comprehensive review on the eco-management and audit scheme. Sustainability, 8(3), 283-307. Web.
Yang, J., Han, Q., Zhou, J., & Yuan, C. (2015). The influence of environmental management practices and supply chain integration on technological innovation performance—Evidence from China’s manufacturing industry. Sustainability, 7(11), 15342-15361. Web.