Professor Mohamed Zairi (1956-2021) – A Remembrance

The TQM Journal

It was with much sadness that we at The TQM Journal learned last week of the passing of Professor Mohamed Zairi. Professor Zairi was the Juran chair in TQM and previously the Sabic chair in Best Practice Management. He was also Emeritus Professor at the University of Bradford in the UK. He was The Executive Chairman of the European Centre for Best Practice Management and Founder of the Zairi Institute. He also founded the Middle East Quality Association. In a long career he was honoured with many awards and accolades including in 2005, being presented with the Ishikawa/Harrington Medal by the Asian Pacific Quality Organisation (APQO) and the Grand Master Six Sigma Medal. In 2007, he received the Lancaster Medal from The American Society for Quality (ASQ). In 2010, the ASQ awarded him the Grant Medal for the development of quality management educational programs. That year he was also presented with the Yoshio Kondo academic prize for outstanding research in the field of quality management. His work and dedication have been recognised in many countries across the globe from the USA to Australia. As well as an internationally recognised Quality Guru, Professor Zairi was the founder and first editor of The TQM Journal, known originally as the TQM Magazine. He has left a legacy of over 50 books and hundreds of academic papers in various fields associated with quality management and organisational excellence.

On a personal note, I first met Professor Zairi at a Quality Management Conference in 2001. I had just completed my PhD in Quality Management. I approached him at one of the breaks (not easy as even then he was considered a Quality Guru) to ask about becoming a reviewer for The TQM Magazine which he edited and in which he had published some of my early research. I need not have worried. He was very kind, generous with his time and very helpful. Not long after this I started reviewing articles for The TQM Magazine. I met him many times thereafter, usually at conferences. Little did I know that a few years later, when he left the role, I would be given the job of following in his footsteps as editor of the TQM Magazine. His were indeed very big shoes to fill.

I sought his advice often in my early years in that role and he was always helpful and always supportive of how I was trying to develop the journal. I am very proud, honoured and grateful to have known him; his influence was and is immeasurable.

Everyone associated with The TQM Journal, past and present, offer our sincerest and deepest condolences to his family at this difficult time.

Professor Alexander Douglas


The TQM Journal