This article assesses the challenges of introducing Quality Management (QM) in the Turkish public sector in two pioneering central institutions. A survey was conducted with the aim of exploring in particular the views of the workforce on the feasibility and prospects of QM. Findings revealed that despite the differences in both the practice and the perceptions, the workforce had a positive attitude and shared an awareness of the need for a comprehensive reform that included wide utilisation of QM. The results also imply that the success of QM is conditioned by the approach adopted and the organisational context. Considering the fact that QM necessitates long-term commitment and adequate resources, its future cannot be isolated from general problems of the Turkish public administration system. Copyright (C) 2003 John Wiley Sons, Ltd.