Total Quality Management Theory

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Most organizational management theories descend either from Frederick Taylor’s scientific management theory or from Elton Mayo's human relations model. Total Quality Management (TQM) theory grew out of existing organizational management theories, in part, as a response to the problems in those theories. Edwards Deming and Joseph Juran are most responsible for the development of TQM. Deming and Juran began work on TQM in the 1930s and continued shaping the management model into the 1990s. During the 1930s, Deming and Juran studied with Walter Shewhart who developed Statistical Quality Control (SQC) theory. SQC argued that “as quality improves, costs go down and productivity increases.” SQC provided for continuous improvement of quality and productivity by using statistics to identify areas for improvement. As a theory of organizational effectiveness, Total Quality Management (TQM) theory hold that “performance is enhanced by designing products and services to meet or exceed customer expectation by empowering workers to find and eliminate all factors that undermine product or service.” TQM promotes organizational effectiveness through 1) promoting stakeholder satisfaction; 2) pursuing continuous improvement; and 3) fostering proactive leadership. This essay will introduce these principles and assess the relevance of TQM as a theory of organizational effectiveness for the School of Information Systems Admissions Office (IS Admissions), an organization committed to excellence. Promoting stakeholder satisfaction

TQM theory holds that “quality can only be defined by those who receive the product or service, including stakeholders.” Accordingly, public managers should engage their staff in identifying the organization’s internal and external stakeholders and by determining the criteria that each uses to judge the organization to be successful. This process suggests that the effective public organization is one that satisfies the expectations of key stakeholders in addition to the citizenry at large. This is accomplished in a “balanced fashion while staying within the parameters set by constitutional principles and legal mandates.”

Pursuing continuous improvement

TQM theory also holds that “quality is a moving target and the search for ways to improve performance is a never-ending quest.” Accordingly, managers should encourage employees to constantly question how well they are doing and learn lessons from their experiences, and use lessons learned to improve organizational success. Doing this assures to motivate employees who desire personal growth, provides them a sense of accomplishment, and offers opportunities to make a difference. This also allows public managers focus on achieving meaningful results rather than focusing on avoiding politically embarrassing mistakes. Continuous improvement means that quality becomes “the way the office does business.” Promoting proactive leadership

TQM theory also holds that “quality is less determined by individual behavior than by system variables.” Accordingly, “quality is ultimately the responsibility of top managers because they create the systems that largely determine performance outcomes.” The concept of interdependent work systems redirects managers’ efforts from controlling and directing employees’ behavior to improving the systems within which employees work. Moreover, rather than blame employees when things go wrong, managers should seek to facilitate ongoing, collective, problem-solving. This practice holds that while there will always be above and below average performers, when the system itself is improved, then the organization’s performance improves. Human Relations Theory as a theory of excellence for a college admissions office TQM is a participative management model that focuses on satisfying customer expectations by continually improving the way business is conducted or services delivered. TQM promotes a “customer-first...
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