This study supports the proposition that sustainability’s integration into Quality Management Systems (QMS) could be a viable pathway to the development of the Emergency paradigm, in which leadership plays a crucial role. A Systematic Literature Review (SLR) was performed in order to deepen leadership’s relationship with Quality Management (QM) from an evolutionary perspective. An exploratory survey was then conducted to assess quality managers’ perceptions of sustainability´s integration into QMS and their leadership styles, using the 5X Short Leader Form MLQ instrument. The results indicate that leadership is a critical element of QMS performance, enhancing transformational leadership, which appears to be the dominant self-perceived style of the quality managers who participated. Nevertheless, these practitioners recognise the difficulties in committing all employees to the sustainability journey. The theoretical and managerial impli-cations give rise to this work. The SLR results could be a useful database to support future QM and Leadership research. The organisations could follow the suggested pathway to evolve their QMS to support solutions to some of the current challenges. At the same time, quality managers could reflect on their future professional challenges. This work has taken a step forward, indicating sustainable quality management systems as a viable pathway to explore QM knowledge regarding the Emergency paradigm, and thus enhancing leadership’s role.
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