Today due to the increasing global competition the relevance of quality has become as important as never before. Companies have realized that the satisfaction of customers' needs must be placed in the centre of their efforts. In this context the development and manufacturing of high quality products and services at lower costs as well as the establishment of quality control systems are mainly responsible for gaining and sustaining competitive advantage. This article aims to demonstrate how quality systems must be implemented and developed to guarantee a satisfactory output. A short summary of historical events is provided to state the origin of quality systems. Further keynotes of pioneering quality gurus are presented to provide an understanding for the basic ideas behind quality management. Moreover key factors of TQM are defined and discussed to demonstrate in which way quality systems must be implemented to affect the creation of real quality outputs. In this context it is primarily highlighted why the principles of TQM are widely incompatible with traditional top-down management approaches. Moreover the need for local adaptation of TQM practices of global companies due to cultural differences is pointed out. In this context the different approaches to quality management in Eastern and Western countries are stated. Seminar paper aus dem Jahr 2006 im Fachbereich Wirtschaft - Unternehmensführung, Management, Organisation, Note: 68, Northumbria University, Veranstaltung: Management of International Operations, 23 Quellen im Literaturverzeichnis, Sprache: Englisch.