In literature on quality management design it is common knowledge that quality management will not work without management commitment. But, not always is it possible to achieve management commitment, so what to do then? Based on a longitudinal study of quality management design in a software development organisation, a systems thinking approach is presented and discussed. The main idea is that management commitment is observed through the eyes of the people being managed, and may thus be created as an illusion to compensate for a lack of the real thing. The case study shows how this can be done in a way easy to replicate.