MIDLAND, MI—An international research study of companies has revealed that corporate executives perceive that total quality management has been the most significant business innovation for their companies.

Findings of the study, conducted on behalf of Dow Corning Corp. by HI Europe, show that 40% of executives surveyed rank total quality management as the most important business innovation for their organizations in the past three years. Respondents included 691 executives from a range of industries throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia.

“These results reflect clear trends in the external business environment,” says Scott Fuson, global executive director for marketing, sales and customer service at Dow Corning. “It indicates that companies seeking to compete in the global marketplace need to maintain a consistently high standard of product quality around the world.”

Perceptions about the importance of total quality management ranked highest in Asia, where 45% cited it as the most significant business innovation for their companies.

Process engineering and supply chain management ranked as the second and third most significant business innovations, respectively. Among respondents who cited process engineering, the results were strongest in Europe, where 27% felt it was the most significant business innovation.