The rhetoric and bureaucracy of quality management: a totally questionable method?

Patrick Mark Dawson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


New empirical research is presented on the human resource management implications of introducing a service excellence programme into an Australian optometry company. The case study is used to demonstrate the difficulties of changing employee behaviour and illustrates how the rhetorical hype behind the quality initiative has done little to improve employee relations at work. Company shifts between the “softer” and “harder” aspects of quality are also examined and the more recent market-driven push for companies to comply with an expanding raft of bureaucratic procedures is questioned. The article concludes by calling for further critical research to offset the quality campaigns of vested interests which often mask the commercial downside associated with some elements of the “quality revolution”.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-19
JournalPersonnel Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1998


  • Australia
  • human resource management
  • national cultures
  • organizational change
  • resistance


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