Conference article

Difficulties Facing Arab Service Sector Organisations in Merging TQM in their Culture

Latifa Al-Ghatam
Department of Management Science, Lancaster University Management School, Lancaster, UK

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Published in: 10th QMOD Conference. Quality Management and Organiqatinal Development. Our Dreams of Excellence; 18-20 June; 2007 in Helsingborg; Sweden

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 26:9, p.

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Published: 2008-02-15


ISSN: 1650-3686 (print), 1650-3740 (online)


The beginnings of TQM in Bahrain go back to 1996 when the Ministry of Commerce made an agreement with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) to train staff members of enterprises the concepts and implementation methods of TQM and International Quality Standards (ISO 9000). These enterprises worked in food processing; chemicals; petroleum; coal; plastic products; basic metals and fabricated metal products; machinery and equipment. This resulted in a number of enterprises being awarded the ISO 9000 certification. These organisations had been using the quality control techniques software just by entering the data taken out of the production lines into the computer and waiting for the results without thinking of the quality problems (Tamai; 2002). Poksinska et al (2006) stated that ‘focus on documentation (i.e. entering the data) not on the activity documented is one of the common mistakes and could be one of the barriers for not changing the employee’s behaviour’ (p.510). This did not discourage the service sector organisations in Bahrain from wanting to become ISO 9000-certified for many reasons. One of these reasons was the external pressure from the Bahraini government; which makes many organisations in the service sector in Bahrain invest considerable resources in obtaining certification to quality management standards. Many have been awarded the ISO 9001:2000 for improving the productivity of their organisations.


Service sector; Arab; Culture; Bahrain; TQM; Islamic values


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