The strive for quality is all about creating goods and services that meet or preferably exceed customer requirements. Quality Management is, in turn, all about the systematic analysis and application of principles, practices and techniques in order to improve the processes that leads to customer satisfaction. Traditionally, Quality Management has been focused on creating continuous improvement. However, new technology, digitalization and new ways of working and communicating creates increasingly more aware and well-informed customers, where the lead times on goods and service development continuously decreases.
In order to improve quality and thus increase competitiveness, it becomes increasingly more important for organizations to understand and learn more about current and future customer needs. This entails a considerably increased focus on innovation and development. In balancing the need for efficiency with the need to renew and develop the goods and service portfolios, there is an increasing need to accommodate organizational learning within the function of Quality Management. Organizational learning entails mastering both adaptive and developmental learning in order to increase both efficiency and effectiveness.
Enabling both continuous improvement and radical development, by adopting organizational learning, thus becomes core capabilities for organizations. This creates new challenges and possibilities for Quality Management as an organizational function and for the Quality Management practitioners who are committed to work with Quality Management practices. My research is therefore focused on investigating how Quality Management should be organized and how Quality Management practitioners can create conditions for organizational learning. An important part of my research concerns identifying competencies needed for effective Quality Management.