Total quality management, employee commitment and competitive advantage in Nigerian tertiary institutions. A study of the University of Lagos




TQM, Employee Commitment, Competitive advantage, Organizational performance, Tertiary institutions


The quality of education offered by the tertiary institutions in Nigeria in recent times has critically degenerated. Unfortunately, this has led to the unprecedented rise in the poor quality of Nigerian graduates which contributes to the very alarming high rate of unemployment in the country. This article therefore examines the relationship between total quality management (TQM), employee commitment and competitive advantage among tertiary institutions in Lagos State with a particular focus on the University of Lagos, using a survey research design with a random selection of 350 respondents from a population of 2,047 staff strength across the 11 faculties in the university. The data used for this article were derived from a systematic review of the relevant literature and a structured questionnaire. The data obtained from the questionnaire was subjected to descriptive and inferential statistics. The result showed that the adoption of total quality management practices and employee commitment significantly affects competitive advantage. The findings suggest that proper adoption of TQM practices coupled with employee commitment will guarantee competitive advantage outcomes measured in terms of increase in revenue, customer satisfaction and employee satisfaction. TQM and employee commitment through its principles can successfully contribute to enhanced organizational performance and dynamic competitiveness.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

B.O. Abimbola, University of Lagos

Department of Business Administration

Faculty of Management Sciences

E.O. Oyatoye, University of Lagos

Professor and Head ofDepartment of Business Administration

Faculty of Management Sciences

O.G. Oyenuga, University of Lagos

Department of Business Administration

Faculty of Management Sciences


Addae-Korankye, A. (2013). Total quality management (TQM): a source of competitive advantage. a comparative study of manufacturing and service firms in Ghana. International Journal of Asian Social Science, 3(6), 1293-1305.

Adediran, O., Adediran, O. (2008). Total quality management: a test of the effect of TQM on performance and stakeholder satisfaction (Master’s thesis). School of Management, Blekinge Institute of Technology.

Alamutu, S.A, Hotepo, O.M, Oyeobu, A.J., Nwatulegwu, B.I. (2012). An evaluation of total quality management practices on business performance of the Nigerian telecommunications sector: a case study of MTN Nigeria Limited. Proc. ICCEM, 155-166

Allen, M., Brady, R. (1997). Total quality management, organizational commitment, perceived organizational support, and intraorganizational communication, Management Communication Quarterly, 10(3), 316-341.

Ali, M., Shastri, R.K (2010). Implementation of total quality management in higher education. Asian Journal of Business Management, 2(1), 9-16.

Al-Rfou, A.N. (2012). Achieving competitive advantage through enterprise resource planning system (ERP). Empirical evidence from Jordan. International Journal of Asian Social Sciences, 2(6), 805-857.

Blackburn, R., Rosen, B. (1993). Total quality and human resources management: Lessons learned from Baldrige Award-winning companies. Academy of Management Perspectives, 7(3), 49-66.

Camp, R.C. (1993). A bible for benchmarking, by Xerox, Financial Executive, 9(4),23-7.

Daft, R. (1991). Management. Chicago: Dryden Press.

Dale, B.G., Boaden, R.J., Lascelles D.M. (1994). ‘Total quality management - an overview, managing quality (edited by Dale, B. G.), New York: Prentice Hall.

Dixit, V., Bhati, M. (2012). A study about employee commitment and its impact on sustained productivity in Indian auto-component industry. European Journal of Business and Social Sciences, 1(6), 34–51.

Economou, V.P., Chatzikonstantinou, P.G. (2009). Gaining company’s sustained competitive advantage, is really a necessary precondition for improved organizational performance? The case of TQM. European Research Studies, 12(3), 83-100.

EFQM (2020). The EFQM Model. Retrieved from [Accessed 25 May 2020].

Farooq, M.S., Akhtar, M.S, Ullah, S.Z., Memon, R.A. (2007). Application of total quality management in education. Journal of Quality and Technology Management: III, (I1), 87-97.

Ganapavarapu L.K., Prathigadapa, S. (2015). Study on total quality management for competitive advantage in international business. Arabian Journal Business Management Review, 5(3).

Ganguly, A. (2015). Exploring total quality management (TQM) approaches in higher education institutions in a globalized environment-case analysis of UK and Sweden. British Journal of Education, 3(7), 83-106.

Gasperz, V. (2005). Total quality control. Catakan Keempat, Jakarta: PT. GramediaPustoka Utama.

George, J.M., Jones, G.R. (1996). Understanding and managing organizational behavior. California: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, Inc.

Karia, N., Asaari, M. (2006). The effects of total quality management practices on employees’ work-related attitudes, The TQM Magazine, 18(1), 30-43.

Kothari, C.I. (2004). Research methodology, methods & techniques (2nd ed.). New Delhi: New Age International Publishers Limited.

Kruger, V. (2001). Main schools of TQM: the big five. The TQM magazine, 13(3), 146-155.

Lamptey, S.O. (2009). Quality management systems of Unilever Ghana limited (Master’s thesis). St. Clement University, Turks and Caicos Island.

Mathur, P. (2015). Achieving competitive advantage through employees. International Journal of Arts, Humanities and management sciences, 1(9), 66-71.

Mehra, S., Hoffman, J.M., Sirias, D. (2001). TQM as a management strategy for the next millennia. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 21(5/6), 855-876.

Moja, T. (2000). Nigeria Education Sector Analysis: An analytical synthesis of performance and main issues. World Bank: New York

Mullins, L. (2009). Management and Organizational Behaviour, 5th Edition. Portsmouth: Pitman Publishing.

Najafabadi, H.N, Sadeghi S., Habibzadeh, P. (2008). Total quality management in higher education case study: quality in practice at university college of Borås (Master’s thesis). Institution for Engineering School, University College of Borås.

Ngambi, M.T., Nkemkiafu, A.G. (2015). The impact of total quality management on firm’s organizational performance. American Journal of Management, 15(4), 69.

Ogini, J.A. (2020). Job promotion and employee commitment of public hospitals in Rivers State, Nigeria. International Journal of Economics and Business Management, 6(1), 10.

Ongori H. (2007). A review of the literature on employee turnover. African Journal of Business Management, 49-54.

Porter, M. (1980). Competitive strategy; free press: techniques for analyzing industries and competitors. New York.

Porter, M.E. (2008). The five competitive forces that shape strategy. Harvard Business Review, 86(1), 57-71.

Preacher, K., Leonardelli, G. (2018). Calculation for the Sobel test: An interactive calculation tool for mediation tests. Retrieved July 17, 2018, from

Ray, S.S, Nanda, S., Ota, R. (2016). Total Quality Management: A need for a Sustainable Competitive Advantage. International Journal of Commerce, Business and Management (IJCBM), 5(3).

Sadikoglu, E., Olcay, H. (2014). The effects of total quality management practices on performance and the reasons of and the barriers to TQM practices in Turkey. Hindawi Publishing Corporation Advances in Decision Sciences, 2014, 537605.

Saunders, M.N., Saunders, M., Lewis, P., Thornhill, A. (2011). Research methods for business students, (5th ed.). India: Pearson Education.

Sobel, M.E. (1982). Asymptotic confidence intervals for indirect effects in structural equation models. In S. Leinhardt (Ed.) Sociological methodology, 1982 (pp. 290–312). American Sociological Association: Washington, DC.

Stevenson, W.J. (2012). Operations management, (11th Ed). New York: McGraw-Hill Inc.

Talib, F., Rahman, Z. (2012) Total quality management practices in manufacturing and service industries: a comparative study. Int. J. Advanced Operations Management, 4(3)155-176.

Wang, H. (2014). Theories for competitive advantage. In H. Hasan (Eds.), Being practical with theory: A window into business research (pp. 33-43). Australia: Wollongong.

Wright, P., McMaham, G., McWilliams, A., (1994). Human resources and sustained competitive advantage: a resource-based perspective. Int. J. of HRM, 5(2), 301-326.

Yamane, T. (1967). Statistics: An introductory analysis (2nded). New York: Harper & Row.

Zheng, W., Sharan, K., Wei, J. (2010). New development of organizational commitment: a critical review (1960-2009). African Journal of Business Management, 4(1), 12-20.




How to Cite

Abimbola, B., Oyatoye, E., & Oyenuga, O. (2020). Total quality management, employee commitment and competitive advantage in Nigerian tertiary institutions. A study of the University of Lagos. International Journal of Production Management and Engineering, 8(2), 87–98.