I am writing a paper and need help with articles. My search words are Quality circles, successful implementation.


Answered By: Linda Kern
Last Updated: Dec 12, 2016     Views: 24


The best databases are listed in the Business LibGuide at I would choose the Organizational Leadership tab, and start with the Business Source Complete database. It contains more scholarly information.

The subject category for quality circles is ZE "QUALITY circles" , so that begins the search. The keywords "successful implementation" and "failed implementation" will be very limiting. If the author didn't use those words in the searched fields, it won't be found. I suggest simply success or failure as a starting point. To fully cover the literature will take several keyword searches.

Begin with ZE "QUALITY circles" AND (success OR failure) . Include all of the parentheses, the ZE, etc. so the search will work as it should. This search will yield every article on quality circles that also uses the word success or uses the word failure, for a total of 50. These can be narrowed by date and peer reviewed literature (42 of the 50) using the tool bar on the left side of the results.

Go through all of the results, and then for each article that seems promising, such as

Bou, J., & Beltrán, I. (2005). Total quality management, high-commitment human resource strategy and firm performance: an empirical study. Total Quality Management & Business Excellence, 16(1), 71-86. doi:10.1080/1478336042000309875

expand the search by clicking on "Cited References". This will list all of the references of the article and link you to those that are accessible. Don't forget to click the "Find It" button if the full text is not readily available. Articles that are not full text can be obtained through Informatio Delivery.

Further expand the search by clicking "Times Cited in This Database". This will link you to any more recent articles that cited this one.

Next I would substitute synonyms for the keywords. For example,

  • ZE "QUALITY circles" AND achievement
  • ZE "QUALITY circles" AND outcome
  • ZE "QUALITY circles" AND unsuccessful

Another strategy is a truncated search using an asterisk. For example

  • ZE "QUALITY circles" AND fail* will yield ZE "QUALITY circles" AND failure, failing, failed, etc.It searches all words that begin with fail.

Next I would move to ABI Inform Complete, another database listed in the OL section of the LibGuide. Here the initial search would be "QUALITY circles" AND (success OR failure). There is no ZE in this database, but all of the searches will work here without it.

In the tool bar on the right side of the results, click on "Subject" to limit the search to the specific topics you want. Also check out the other limiters in the list for anything appealing, such as date. The peer reviewed limiter is immediately under the search box. Although this database doesn't have Times Cited or Cited References, you can still expand the search manually using the articles' reference lists.

The same searches can be run in the other databases in the list. Even the Psychology literature has articles on quality circles, although the perspective may not be what you want.

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