FQD-35806 Food Quality Management Research Principles I


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Individual Paper1
Group work3
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. PA Luning
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. PA Luning
dr. JLF Hagelaar
dr. ir. EJH Spelt
Examiner(s)dr. ir. PA Luning
dr. JLF Hagelaar

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

FQD-20306 Food Quality Management.


Analysing food quality management issues requires an interdisciplinary research approach, because it deals with the complexity of food production systems and variable behaviour of people in food organizations operating in a dynamic environment. This course builds further on the course FQD-20306 and is focused on applying the techno-managerial approach in analysing complex food quality management problems. Interdisciplinary thinking is a central issue, students learn to critically analyse as well theories from technological as managerial sciences and to judge and relate insights from both disciplines in view of a complex problem situation. In the course students will get familiar with the food quality management research methodology. It comprises of four phases: appreciation phase (i.e. to get insight in possible technological and managerial causes of problem situation), analysis phase (i.e. to design a research instrument and use it to collect data), assessment phase (i.e. to interpret data and identify major bottlenecks, and to develop alternative solution strategies and argue the best solution), and the evaluation phase (to critically reflect on the whole research process, and his/her role as researcher). The AFQM 1 focuses on the first two research phases and it ends with the development of a techno-managerial research instrument that is applicable for the analysis of quality problem(s) in a food company situation.
Major topics addressed in this course include:
- principles of food quality management research methodology & T-M approach;
- in-depth insights in food quality management functions (Q-design, Q-control, Q-improvement, Q-assurance and Q-policy & strategy);
- in-depth insight in product and process related factors and their mechanisms affecting food quality problems;
- in-depth insight in factors influencing decision-making behaviour of people when executing FQM functions in an organisational and or chain context, and insights in how these decisions affect food quality problems;
- interdependencies of managerial and technological factors affecting final food quality;
- critical judgement of techno-managerial research instrument.

Learning outcomes:

At the end of this course, students are expected to be able:
- to apply first steps of interdisciplinary research methodology, i.e. describing problem situation, demarcating study object, identifying technological and managerial factors affecting quality problem(s), formulating hypothesis, and developing a techno-managerial research instrument to analyse demarcated quality problem situation;
- to gather literature from technological and managerial sciences at each research step, to describe essence, to judge usefulness (using criteria: relevance, validity, and reliability), and to link insights to quality problem situation;
- to communicate findings and reflections on research in reports, by oral presentations, and by peer feedback;
- to explain how product and process factors in a typical food company situation can affect food quality;
- to explain how people characteristics and organisational conditions affect decision-making behaviour in Quality-design, Q-control, Q-improvement, Q-assurance, Q-policy & strategy affecting food quality;
- to explain how these technological and managerial factors can interfere in causing the quality problem.


- students work with a virtual company described in a case;
- students work in duos on three assignments which have to be reported each week;
- besides they have to reflect on their own research process in a learning report.
- the students get written and oral feedback on assignment reports and presentations by teachers and peers.


The final mark is based on the final individual report, including all four (improved) assignments, and the exam (80:20).
Criteria used for judgement are a) use of techno-managerial approach in all research phases, b) usefulness of selected literature, and c) consistency of research process.
During the exam, students have to systematically judge their own final report on application of techno-managerial approach in the different research phases, relevance, validity and reliability of evidential outcomes, and consistency between research steps. Teachers use rubrics (with descriptions of the marks) to judge the final report and exam.


Book: Luning, P.A.; Marcelis, W.J. (2009). Food Quality Management: technological & managerial principles and practices. Wageningen Academic Publishers. 426 p. ISBN: 978-90-8686-116-3.
Handbooks about technological and managerial topics will be provided (location will be announced).
Digital library to search literature. A blackboard application is available containing lecture notes, case description, quality problem descriptions, assignments, feedback codes, guiding questions, and start literature.

Compulsory for: MFQFood Quality ManagementMSc4WD
Restricted Optional for: MFTFood TechnologyMScC: Product Design4WD