Total Quality Management (TQM) in Organizations
Case Study: IBM
Submitted by Meric Oztekin
DEFINITION OF TOTAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT
Firstly, I would like to give few definitions of total quality management (TQM) in order to get a better understanding in this topic. Different authors have given various definitions of TQM. As defined by ISO, TQM is a management approach of an organization, centered on quality, based on the participation of all its members and aiming at long-term success through customer satisfaction, and benefits to all members of the organization and to society. According to Dr.Vadim Kotelnikov, TQM refers to an integrated approach by management to focus all functions and levels of an organization on quality and continuous improvement. It is a very important tool for improving a firm's process capabilities in order to achieve fit and sustain competitive advantages. TQM focuses on encouraging a continuous flow of incremental improvements from the bottom of the organization's hierarchy. In his study of ‘Managing the Total Quality Transformation’, (1991), Berry defined the TQM process as a total corporate focus on meeting and exceeding customers' expectations and significantly reducing costs resulting from poor quality by adopting a new management system and corporate culture.
On the other hand, Dr. Gomathi Viswanathan defines TQM as an approach to improving the effectiveness and flexibilities of business as a whole. It is essentially a way of organising and involving the whole organisation, every department, every activity and every single person at every level. TQM ensures that the management adopts a strategic overview of the quality and focuses on prevention rather than inspection.
Competition is getting harder and becoming global. Companies now have to be more responsive, offer a better product and keep improving. TQM increases customer satisfaction by boosting quality. It does this by motivating the workforce and improving the way the company operates. In an increasingly competitive market, firms with a continuous improvement culture and external focus are more likely to survive and prosper. TQM is considered an important catalyst in this context. Moreover, total quality management has proven to be more than just a quickly disappearing management fad or fashion. It has been considered one of the most influential management innovations of the 20 th century.???? According to Agus and Hassan (2011), quality creates not only a price/value advantage over competitors but also enables the firm to charge a higher per/unit sale price through differentiation. A strategy of high quality leads to a sustainable competitive advantage. Firms competing on quality pursue an operational strategy that controls quality of the product/service and seeks continuous improvement. At that point, TQM provides a set of practices that emphasizes, among other things, continuous improvement, meeting customers’ requirements, reducing rework, long-range thinking, increased employee involvement and teamwork, process redesign, competitive benchmarking, team-based problemsolving, constant measurement of results, and closer relationships with suppliers.
In her study, Dr. Gomathi Viswanathan listed objectives of TQM : -Meeting the customer's requirements is the primary objective and the key to organisational survival and growth. -Second objective is continuous improvement of quality. The management should stimulate the employees in becoming increasingly competent and creative. - Third, TQM aims at developing the relationship of openness and trust among the employees at all levels in the organisation. Furthermore, she states the importance of TQM lies in the fact that it encourages innovation, makes the organisation adaptable to change, motivates people for better quality, and integrates the business arising out of a common purpose and all these provide the organisation with a...