The market research function has to broaden its scope, move out of the functional trap in marketing, and become the organizer and facilitator of the company-wide Total Quality Research (TQR) system. This article presents a systematic approach for transforming the marketing research function into a Total Quality Research system which can guide a company's Total Quality Management (TQM) effort. The article describes how to design a TQR system that elicits the voice of the customer and business processes, and that organizes and deploys this information for use in strategic planning and resource allocation. The TQR system is further explored by presenting case studies of leading companies that have applied different parts of this system in their TQM efforts. The article concludes by offering five imperatives for successfully implementing a TQR system.
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