Quality and continuous improvement are important organizational goals for businesses which strive for excellence, yet the role of human perceptions in the success of such systems has been largely unexplored by previous research. Several factors are thought to influence the employee’s viewpoint on quality climate within a work environment. One of these factors is the level of trust employees have in their management (organizational) and supervisory (group) personnel. This paper discusses the concept of quality climate and examines the relationship between perceptions of trust and quality climate at two administrative tiers. Employees from three facilities completed electronic questionnaires on perceptions of trust and quality climate at the organizational and group tiers. A positive significant relationship was noted between organizational trust and organizational quality climate and between trust at the organizational and group tiers. No significant predictive relationship was observed between group trust and group quality climate. Nor were quality climate perceptions from facilities with existing quality management systems found to be significantly different from those facilities without quality management systems in place. Data from the project suggest that perceptions of trust and quality climate are clearly related as are the trust perceptions at both organizational and group tiers. However, another observation was that the connection employees make with quality management is not evident at the group tier. Additionally, data collected in this project showed a clear disconnect between established quality management systems and employees’ thoughts about quality. The role of employees in the development and implementation of quality management systems is not well understood, particularly as they relate to the relationship between supervisors and employees. Successful implementation of quality management systems will depend on increased knowledge of this area.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/gretchen_mosher/19/