Purpose: This study investigates how a quality profile can evolve over time and how different interventions can develop and change an existing quality profile.
Methodology/approach: Data was collected over a five-year period, including a literature review, interviews, a document study and observations to capture the quality profile and associated interventions. The study was carried out in a service organisation in the public transportation industry.
Findings: This study shows that the quality profile can change over time due to the use of specific interventions. If a company wants to emphasise a specific quality principle, it must target the quality principle with one or more interventions. However, even if a quality principle is supported by several interventions, there is no guarantee that the quality principle will show improvement in the quality profile. Also, the quality profile becomes more even over time. This can be explained by the internal consistency of the quality principles.
Research limitations/implications: This paper sheds light on the need to study the adoption of individual quality principles and the design and evolution of a quality profile.
Practical implications: The results can provide insights for organisations aiming to embark on a quality programme, specifically how to design and develop a quality profile.
Originality/value: This research implies that the quality profile is a recurring, general phenomenon in all quality management improvement programmes. In other words, successful implementation of quality management requires a cohesive quality profile.