Document Type

Closed Project

Publication Date

Spring 2012


Tugrul Daim

Course Title

Decision Making

Course Number

ETM 530/630


Total quality management, Hierarchical Decision Model, Decision making, Theory of constraints (Management), Six Sigma


Many companies implement quality systems and subsequently the corresponding cultures in an effort to improve product or system quality and increase profits. Selecting which quality culture to employ is often difficult as the differences between the cultures are not always clear. Companies often commit to a quality culture without fully understanding the benefits and drawbacks a certain system might have to different parts of the business, including New Product Development (NPD). In this paper we present a Hierarchal Decision Model (HDM) aimed at assisting senior managers in the selection of the right quality culture that specifically improves NPD factors. We apply the HDM to three different companies, each from different business sectors and with distinct goals. Three quality cultures are compared: Lean, Six Sigma, and Theory of Constraints (ToC). Recommendations are formulated based on the model output. We discuss the results and which quality culture might be best for each company to endorse.


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