Purpose of the study: The objective of the study was to examine the implementation of Total Quality Management (TQM) in SMEs, by enabling them to benchmark their progress, overcome the barriers, and meet the challenges. In contrast to most previous studies, this research examined the TQM practices-performance relationships by investigating the effects of TQM practices on the performance of Omani SMEs.

Methodology: A survey was performed on 200 respondents from selected SMEs in Oman. Statistical software, SPSS 15.0 was used to process the data, which consisted of chi-square test of independence for a contingency table and correspondence analysis. The hypotheses were examined at two significance levels: α = 0.01, 0.05. Other statistical tests (e.g., path analysis and structural equation modeling), which are inherently more powerful than those used in the present study, could not be used due to the small population size.

Main Findings: It was revealed that leadership factor was the most critical strategic factor and was vital in ensuring a successful implementation of TQM in an organization. The other elements that were considered as critical are quality goals and policy, continuous improvement, and organizational culture.

Implications of this study: The suggestions from the SMEs allow the relevant Omani agency to design an effective TQM policy to increase the performance.

Novelty of this study: This study demonstrates the steps that need to be taken by the management of Omani Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to succeed. The findings enables the Omani SMEs’ management to plan the phases ahead of time to be familiar with the circumstances and take suitable action to rise above any obstacle that they would confront in their journey.


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