The concept of Total Quality Management (TQM) have apparently evolved from the pursuit of expanding the definition of quality. It has been revealed that quality was previously synonymous with accurately meeting explicitly defined specifications and conformity to preset standards . The definitions to the term quality therefore encompassed the following: conformity to explicitly defined specifications; efficiently and effectively fit for use;
As defined, TQM is “an integrated organizational effort designed to improve quality at every level” . On the other hand, the Chartered Quality Institute (2013) defines TQM as “a philosophy for managing an organisation in a way which enables it to meet stakeholder needs and expectations efficiently and effectively, without compromising ethical values” . It could therefore be deduced that total quality approach to quality management focuses on meeting all facets of quality as defined by various stakeholders within the continuum of product conception to distribution to the end users – and even beyond. This means organizations have signified holistic commitment to ensuring that the products or services provided exemplify the highest standards of quality, as expected to be conformed by various stakeholders.
There are eight key elements to ensure successful implementation of TQM in an organization. These elements are: ethics; integrity; trust; training; teamwork; leadership; recognition; and communication . According to the Six Sigma official website, three elements: ethics, integrity, and trust were reported to be classified under the basic theoretical foundation. This means that these elements are crucial philosophical values that need to be present, nurtured and observed to ensure total quality approach in quality management within the work setting. These values must be embodied in each and every worker; so that a culture of professionalism which adheres conformity to the highest quality standards could be maintained, sustained, and appropriately supported.
The elements of training, teamwork, and leadership were noted to belong to the building bricks category. This means that the organization acknowledges that its human resources should be developed through training, through teamwork, and through empowerment for people to be eventually leaders in their respective endeavors. These elements are needed to ensure that people’s growth and development are being appropriately addressed; as such, in the process, the needs and demands of its customers, and of other stakeholders, are effectively satisfied. For example, to be able to ensure that customers’ complaints are appropriately addressed and responded to, management would have to schedule regular customer service training as part of the maintenance and development function of human resources management
An important element, communication, is reported to be categorized as a building mortar since it links all the other elements of TQM . As emphasized, “the success of TQM demands communication with and among all the organization members, suppliers and customers. Supervisors must keep open airways where employees can send and receive information about the TQM process” . Thus, the successful implementation and adherence to high quality standards could only be disseminated through continuous and open communication along the organizational hierarchy.
Finally, the element of recognition was noted to fall under the category of roof. It could be considered a reward and acknowledgment for exemplary performance – for work well done. Management should therefore endeavor to fit recognition within the policies for rewards and sanctions to guide them in their decision-making regarding enabling promotions or suggesting additional training and development, as required.
Chapter 5: Total Quality Management. (n.d.). Retrieved from wiley.com: http://www.wiley.com/college/sc/reid/chap5.pdf
Chartered Quality Institute. (2013). Total quality management (TQM). Retrieved from thecqi.org: http://www.thecqi.org/Knowledge-Hub/Resources/Factsheets/Total-quality-management/
Padhi, N. (2010, February 26). The Eight Elements of TQM. Retrieved from Six Sigma: http://www.isixsigma.com/methodology/total-quality-management-tqm/eight-elements-tqm/