In this case study, the laboratory of Cooke and Lewis provide a calibration and testing system for industry. The system they made enable companies meet the quality at each stage in processes. With the diverse development of business, Cooke and Lewis were not able to satisfy the demands of those organisations. Two attempts were made for the company, top-down approach and multi-disciplinary approach. The employee involving approach showed the internal customer satisfaction and a high level of enthusiasm while the top-down approach failed.
The top-down approach is the decision made by owner or top managers who determine the objectives and how the business will work to accomplish those objectives. Further more, this approach is defined as a hierarchical and autocratic style. In this case, only senior manager took part in the quality improvement program while the understanding employees were excluded from the entire program. By contrast, the multi-disciplinary approach means members of different professions and positions to solve issues and get a new understanding.
Carrier & Kendall(1995) state multi-disciplinary as :”implying a willingness to share and indeed give up exclusive claims to specialist knowledge and authority, if the needs of clients can be met more effectively by other professional groups”. In this case, the company reconsidered and re-launched their initiative of quality management system. From the director, trained facilitator to the volunteers of employee, all of whom were made up a quality steering committee.
In one word, the biggest difference between top-down approach and multi-disciplinary approach is who make the decision. For the top-down approach none of the employees have the right to join into the decision make. Specifically, top-down approach is more like a leadership style; multi-disciplinary approach is groups from diverse disciplines to implement solutions.
The top-down approach is able to let the company see bigger picture clearly. When top manager making decisions, the first thought is always profit. Thus, by doing top-down approach can guarantee organasitions running well. Besides, the risk of copying by competitors can be reduced. The less people know, the safer. Moreover, senior manager who normally high level educated more likely to find out which way is good for their development. In addition, the top managers are easier to get new information and policy. Whereas, there may have some problems, first, once the high-level management goals have settled, the low-level employees may not able to understand the detail objectives. Second, none of those senior managers have that plenty of time managing the program go exactly the way they want. The gap of understanding between high and low level management will come up. Third, the senior managers usually do not know the real issues should be improved, or lack of knowledge of those aspects.
This kind of issue never exist within those employees who fully aware of the whole process. It also can be realized in early phases. Moreover, the employees know right resources they are needed better. According to Easterly (2009), wasting of resources is the greatest failure of international development, which because of the lack of comprehensive knowledge. By doing this way, the motivation of employee has maximized driven up, together with the satisfaction of internal customer. In addition, involving the employees in decision-making can motivate organisition’s continuous improvement. However, to set up a multi-disciplinary approach takes time, which lead to higher cost. The more people involved, the hard decision to make. Truly they know the detail objectives, but it is difficult to think for the company benefits.
The quality management system (QMS) is basically focus on the processes of business. It is what the customer wants and needs from organisitional structure, policy, procedure, and all the...
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