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Metaphors we manage and develop quality by
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Quality Management and Mechanical Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5431-0392
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Quality Management and Mechanical Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5610-2944
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Quality Management and Mechanical Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8731-8040
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Quality Management and Mechanical Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7621-2649
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2020 (English)In: International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, ISSN 1756-669X, E-ISSN 1756-6703Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Purpose: Metaphors are a powerful and human way of understanding and experiencing one kind of thing in terms of another. In quality management (QM), several metaphors are used to describe and bring to life the often-abstract QM concepts and systems. These metaphors are of great importance for how QM is understood, communicated and practiced. However, the metaphors of QM have seldom been systematically screened or put in focus, neither the topic of a critical discussion. The purpose of this paper is hence to contribute with a screening of the metaphors currently used, within QM literature and in practice among QM leaders, and then elaborate on their potential for improvement and development. Design/methodology/approach: The paper is based on a literature review combined with interviews of QM leaders. Findings: The paper highlights that the current QM metaphors provide intuitive associations to properties such as stability, shelter, and structure, but not to the important dynamic properties of QM, such as learning, or to the critical role of people in QM. What can be seen as core properties of QM are communicated by texts or labels added on to metaphors with properties that often are in sharp contrast to them. The paper also provides suggestions for further improvements and development. Originality/value: The paper highlights the area of metaphors within QM as an important area for future research. It also provides insights concerning the successful use and selection of metaphors in future QM practice. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2020.
Keywords [en]
Appreciative inquiry, Change management, Communicative leadership, Generativity, Leadership, Lean leadership, Lean management, Metaphors, Quality management
National Category
Reliability and Maintenance
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-39016DOI: 10.1108/IJQSS-04-2019-0060ISI: 000529697800001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85084202299OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-39016DiVA, id: diva2:1429985
Available from: 2020-05-13 Created: 2020-05-13 Last updated: 2020-05-15Bibliographically approved

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Lilja, JohanIngelsson, PernillaSnyder, KristenBäckström, IngelaHedlund, Christer

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Lilja, JohanIngelsson, PernillaSnyder, KristenBäckström, IngelaHedlund, Christer
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International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences
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