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Exploring research on quality and reliability management through text mining methodology
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Quality Technology and Management, Mechanical Engineering and Mathematics. (Kvalitetsteknik)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8839-2816
2017 (English)In: International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, ISSN 0265-671X, E-ISSN 1758-6682, Vol. 34, no 7, p. 975-1014Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to explore and describe research presented in the International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management (IJQRM), thereby creating an increased understanding of how the areas of research have evolved through the years. An additional purpose is to show how text mining methodology can be used as a tool for exploration and description of research publications.

Design/methodology/approach - The study applies text mining methodologies to explore and describe the digital library of IJQRM from 1984 up to 2014. To structure and condense the data, k-means clustering and probabilistic topic modeling with latent Dirichlet allocation is applied. The data set consists of research paper abstracts.

Findings - The results support the suggestion of the occurrence of trends, fads and fashion in research publications. Research on quality function deployment (QFD) and reliability management are noted to be on the downturn whereas research on Six Sigma with a focus on lean, innovation, performance and improvement on the rise. Furthermore, the study confirms IJQRM as a scientific journal with quality and reliability management as primary areas of coverage, accompanied by specific topics such as total quality management, service quality, process management, ISO, QFD and Six Sigma. The study also gives an insight into how text mining can be used as a way to efficiently explore and describe large quantities of research paper abstracts.

Research limitations/implications - The study focuses on abstracts of research papers, thus topics and categories that could be identified via other journal publications, such as book reviews; general reviews; secondary articles; editorials; guest editorials; awards for excellence (notifications); introductions or summaries from conferences; notes from the publisher; and articles without an abstract, are excluded.

Originality/value - There do not seem to be any prior text mining studies that apply cluster modeling and probabilistic topic modeling to research article abstracts in the IJQRM. This study therefore offers a unique perspective on the journal's content.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 34, no 7, p. 975-1014
Keywords [en]
TQM, Quality management, Cluster modelling, Management fashion, Probabilistic topic modelling, Reliability management
National Category
Reliability and Maintenance
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-27768DOI: 10.1108/IJQRM-03-2015-0033ISI: 000407638800005Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85027337496OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-27768DiVA, id: diva2:930796
Note

Delarbete 2 med titel Exploring research on quality and reliability management through text mining i Carneruds avhandling EXPLORING TRENDS, PATTERNS AND CHARACTERISTICS OFQUALITY MANAGEMENT THROUGH TEXT MINING

Available from: 2016-05-25 Created: 2016-05-25 Last updated: 2019-05-27Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Exploring Trends, Patterns and Characteristics of Quality Management Through Text Mining
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Exploring Trends, Patterns and Characteristics of Quality Management Through Text Mining
2016 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

At frequent intervals, new reports and papers are published stressing the importance of high quality and quality improvement measures in the public and private sector if Sweden is to survive as a welfare state and industrial nation. The situation seems not to be unique for Sweden: similar opinions can be heard in other parts of the world as well. In the 21st century, consumers and citizens should be provided with continuously improved quality at a lower cost, otherwise businesses are likely to go bankrupt and politicians may lose the trust of the people. Quality is, thus, a word that is used persistently by people in power and the social commentators of today. From this perspective, it might seem fitting that quality, quality management (QM), total quality management (TQM) and other closely related terminologies are well defined, to make possible constructive dialogue that will culminate in effective action. This is often not the case, which is why vision statements, campaigns and other quality improvement measures risk falling short before they are even launched. With this background, the purpose of this thesis is to facilitate fruitful dialogue by examining QM-research and how trends, terminologies and research focus have shifted over time. By increasing the understanding of how QM-research has evolved it is also possible to create a coherent overview which hopefully can help to reduce confusion and polarisation amongst scholars and practitioners. In this way, it might be possible to increase the number of successful quality improvement measures as well as to lay the foundations for sustainable and system-wide quality improvement actions in society at large.

The thesis is based on three studies, of which the first is looking into conference proceedings from one of the globally most prominent scientific conferences on quality – the QMOD-ICQSS conference. The two subsequent studies use abstracts from three of the top ranked scientific journals dealing with quality - International Journal of Quality and Reliability Management, Total Quality Management Journal and Total Quality Management & Business Excellence. All studies have been conducted according to text mining methodology, which entails usage of statistical tools in the form of hard- and software for data collection, modelling and analysis. The approach is exploratory and previously not verified with this purpose, which is why the three studies offer unique perspectives on the research field, at the same time as new methodological tools and approaches are investigated and tested.

Through the studies it is possible to show occurrence of trends in research alignment as well as in publication design and popularity. The studies also identify central, perpetual, topics around which the research has been concentrated. These topics indicate that the research field, in spite of momentary trends and fashions, rests on a firm foundation regarding problem definition and approaches to solve them. Finally, a model is presented which summarizes the perspectives and outsets which distinguish QM and make it a research field in its own right.

Abstract [sv]

Regelbundet publiceras det nya rapporter och artiklar där vikten av hög kvalitet liksom kvalitetsförbättrande åtgärder inom offentlig och privat sektor lyfts fram som oumbärliga för att Sverige ska överleva som välfärds- och näringslivsnation. Situationen tycks inte vara unik för Sverige, likande tongångar hörs även i andra delar av världen. På 2000-talet ska konsumenter och medborgare tillhandahållas ständigt förbättrad kvalitet till lägre kostnad, annars går företag i konkurs och politiska företrädare förlorar folkets förtroende. Kvalitet är alltså ett ord som används flitigt av dagens makthavare och samhällsdebattörer. Utifrån detta perspektiv kan det anses angeläget att kvalitet, kvalitetsutveckling, kvalitetsarbete och andra närbesläktade ord är väl definierade för att möjliggöra konstruktiv dialog som mynnar ut i verkningsfulla insatser. Så är dock ofta inte fallet - varför visioner, kampanjer och andra kvalitetsförbättrande initiativ riskerar att faller till korta innan de ens hunnit lanseras. Med denna bakgrund, är syftet med avhandlingen att underlätta givande diskussioner genom att närmare belysa forskningsfältet kvalitetsteknik, eller Quality Management (QM), och hur trender, termer och forskningsfokus har växlat över tid. Genom att öka förståelsen för forskningens utveckling över tid kan även en sammanhängande översikt skapas, vilka tillsammans förhoppningsvis kan bidra till att minska den förvirring och polarisering som råder både inom akademi liksom praktik. Därigenom kanske det är möjligt att öka mängden lyckade kvalitetssatsningar liksom att lägga grunden för ett långsiktigt hållbart och systemövergripande kvalitetsarbete i samhället i överlag.

Avhandlingen baseras på tre studier, varav den första har tittat närmare på konferensbidrag från en av världens idag ledande forskningskonferenser om kvalitet – QMOD-ICQSS konferensen. De två senare studierna behandlar sammanfattningar från tre av de högst rankade forskningstidskrifterna med fokus på kvalitet – International Journal of Quality and Reliability Management, Total Quality Management Journal och Total Quality Management & Business Excellence. Samtliga studier har utformats enligt text-mining metodik, vilket medför att statistiska hjälpmedel i form av hård och mjukvara har använts för datainsamling, modellering och analys. Angreppssättet är explorativt och tidigare ej beprövat i ovanstående syfte varför de tre studierna erbjuder unika perspektiv på forskningsområdet samtidigt som nya metodologiska verktyg och arbetssätt utforskats och utvärderats.

Genom studierna går det att påvisa förekomsten av trender i forskningsinriktningar liksom i publikationernas utformning och popularitet. Studierna identifierar även centrala, återkommande teman kring vilka forskningen koncentrerats. Dessa teman indikerar att forskningsområdet, trots tillfälliga trender och moden, vilar på en stadigvarande grund gällande problemformuleringar och ansatser att lösa dessa. Slutligen presenteras en modell som sammanfattar de perspektiv och utgångspunkter som utmärker kvalitetstekniken (QM) och som gör det till ett forskningsområde i sin egen rätt.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sundsvall: Mid Sweden University, 2016. p. 213
Series
Mid Sweden University licentiate thesis, ISSN 1652-8948 ; 126
Keywords
Quality Management, Total Quality Management, TQM, Quality Movement, Quality Revolution, Business Excellence, Text Mining, Systems Thinking, Kvalitetsteknik, Offensiv Kvalitetsutveckling, Systematiskt Kvalitetsarbete, Quality Management, Total Quality Management, TQM, Text Mining
National Category
Reliability and Maintenance
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-27765 (URN)978-91-88025-75-3 (ISBN)
Presentation
2016-06-17, Q221, Akademigatan 1, Östersund, 10:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

Vid tidpunkten för framläggandet av avhandlingen var följande delarbeten opublicerade: delarbete B accepterat för publicering och delarbete C inskickat.

At the time of the licentiate defence the following papers were unpublished: paper B accepted for publication and paper C submitted.

Available from: 2016-05-25 Created: 2016-05-25 Last updated: 2017-10-18Bibliographically approved
2. Text Mining The Quality Paradigm(s)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Text Mining The Quality Paradigm(s)
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this thesis orbits around an examination of the formation of a quality paradigm. In this inquiry, the exploration and application of text mining have been used to provide new insights into quality as a paradigm.

The findings reveal the existence of unifying topics, around which research on quality has clustered, constituting the foundational pillars of an academic quality paradigm. These foundational pillars are operational paradigms that embody both epistemological perspectives and operational concerns regarding quality. The three operative paradigms upon which the quality paradigm rests are the operative paradigm of back-end quality (orbiting around: QM, TQM and service quality), the operative paradigm of middle-way quality (orbiting around: ISO, BEMs and Quality Awards) and the operative paradigm of front-end quality (orbiting around: Reliability, Costs and Processes). The three operative paradigms differ in their levels of abstraction, accountability and system-learning emphasis. However, the mutual purpose and aim of the three operative paradigms, and hence the paradigm as a whole, is to continuously control, assure and develop systems affecting quality initiatives in service of the customer(s).

The findings also indicate that the operative paradigms of back-end and front-end quality seem to be specializing and drifting apart, which might lead to a division of the quality paradigm into two separate paradigms.

The studies in this thesis also confirm the existence of changes in the focus and popularity of specific topics. However, the key epistemological findings are the central and perpetual research topics that are identified – supporting the supposition that research on quality truly constitutes a delimited and recognized research paradigm.

Furthermore, the studies show that research on quality expanded during the end of the 1980s and beginning of the 1990s, after which a contraction took place, followed by stability at the start of the 21st century. Consequently, it is found that research on quality entered a stable and mature phase in the 21st century, settling down as a distinctive and established research paradigm.

Finally, it is found that the exploration and application of text mining is a potent approach when probing the epistemological foundations of an academic discipline.

Abstract [sv]

Syftet med denna avhandling var att undersöka kvalitetsparadigmets uppbyggnad och utveckling. För ändamålet har text mining utforskats och tillämpats.

Resultaten påvisar en grund av förenande ämnen kring vilka kvalitetsforskningen har cirkulerat och som tillsammans utgör grundpålar för det akademiska kvalitetsparadigmet. Dessa grundpelare är operationella paradigm som innefattar både epistemologiska liksom praktiska perspektiv gällande forskningen om kvalitet. De tre operativa paradigmen som bär upp kvalitetsparadigmet utgörs av: det operativa paradigmet av styrningskvalitet (innefattande: QM, TQM och servicekvalitet), det operativa paradigmet av medelvägskvalitet (innefattande: ISO, utmärkelsemodeller och kvalitetspris) och det operativa paradigmet av brukarkvalitet (innefattande: tillförlitlighet, kostnader och processer). De tre paradigmen skiljer sig åt gällande abstraktionsnivå, ansvar och betoning av systemlärande. Det gemensamma syftet och målsättning för paradigmen är dock att kontinuerligt kontrollera, säkra och utveckla systempåverkande kvalitetsförbättringsinitiativ till gagn för kunden.

Resultaten indikerar även att det operativa paradigmet av styrningskvalitet respektive brukarkvalitet blir allt mer specialiserade och därmed glider isär. Vilket riskerar att slita itu kvalitetsparadigmet i två separata paradigm.

Studierna bekräftar även förekomsten av förändringar i popularitet liksom fokus för vissa ämnen. Den centrala epistemologiska iakttagelsen är dock de bestående och återkommande forskningsteman som identifierats som stärker tesen att kvalitetsforskningen verkligen utgör ett avgränsat och erkänt forskningsparadigm.

Studierna visar även att kvalitetsforskningen expanderade under slutet på 1980-talet och början av 1990-talet. Därefter skedde en nedgång i forskningsaktivitet som dämpades i början av 2000-talet, varefter stabilitet och mognad infunnit sig. Vilket kan ses som en ytterligare indikator för att ämnet etablerat sig som ett distinkt och erkänt forskningsparadigm.

Slutligen visar resultaten att utforskning och tillämpning av text mining är en kraftfull metod för att undersöka de epistemologiska grunderna i en akademisk disciplin.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sundsvall: Mid Sweden University, 2019. p. 118
Series
Mid Sweden University doctoral thesis, ISSN 1652-893X ; 301
Keywords
Quality Paradigm, Quality Movement, Quality Revolution, Quality Management, QM, Total Quality Management, TQM, Business Excellence, Text Mining, Data Mining, Kvalitetsparadigm, Kvalitetsrörelsen, Kvalitetsteknik, Offensiv Kvalitetsutveckling, Text Mining, Data Mining
National Category
Reliability and Maintenance
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-36209 (URN)978-91-88947-10-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2019-06-14, Q221, Akademigatan 1, Östersund, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

Vid tidpunkten för disputationen var följande delarbeten opublicerade: delarbete 5 inskickat, delarbete 6 inskickat.

At the time of the doctoral defence the following papers were unpublished: paper 5 submitted, paper 6 submitted.

Available from: 2019-05-28 Created: 2019-05-27 Last updated: 2019-05-28Bibliographically approved

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