Overcoming resistance against quality control – A philosophical-empirical approach

Henk de Vries, Andries Haverkamp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this paper is to explore the added value of philosophy in understanding and overcoming resistance against quality control. The paper reports about a case in which the philosophy of Herman Dooyeweerd was applied to give advice on a standardisation project within a company. Then the developments within the same company in the six years after this intervention are analysed, using the same philosophical approach. Economic goals of quality control could be achieved without any substantial employee resistance by addressing non-economic aspects. Apparently, social needs are not necessarily detrimental to economic goals. On the contrary, they can support these and have a beneficial influence. Though based on one case study only, the findings suggest that a multi-aspect approach to quality management is very promising. The approach is not just a TQM tool but rather a way of paying attention to a variety of aspects in a systematic and balanced way. Familiarizing managers with this approach should help them to balance financial and other aspects without making those other aspects instrumental to achieving financial targets. The paper presents a new multi-aspect approach to quality management, based on philosophy in business research. It seems that the value of this approach reaches beyond the area of quality management and can be important to organization studies in general.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-41
Number of pages21
JournalThe International Journal of Quality and Reliability Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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