Total Quality Management

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Introduction:

In the early 1980s, a new concept entered managerial discourse: Total Quality Management (TQM). TQM was heralded by governments, major corporations and the business media as the most effective and elegant way out of the economic crisis and into the global market.

TQM claimed not to be a set of techniques but a philosophy of management (Sashkin and Kiser, 1993). Some commentators have argued that TQM is little more than an attempt to enhance management 's control over labour (Delbridge et al., 1992; Sewell and Wilkinson, 1992; Parker and Slaughter, 1993; Boje and Winsor, 1993; McArdle et al., 1995).

Thus, on one hand we have the 'gurus ' who argued that TQM is an effective method for improving organizational performance and on the other hand, we have its 'critics ' consisting of academics who spend time questioning current and emerging management theories.

TQM also earned its share of detractors who accused it of being merely a fad. Several authors pointed out that while total quality approaches have met with considerable success, their failures, though less publicized, have been even greater (Achire, 1996; Dreyfuss, 1988; Hammonds, 1991; Krishnan et al., 1993; Roberts and Corcoran-Nantes, 1995; Schaffer, 1993; Sherwood and Hoylman, 1993; Spitzer, 1993). Others questioned TQM 's conceptual soundness, its applicability and its ideological basis (Schaffer and Thomson, 1992; Dean and Bowen, 1994; Hill, 1995; Tuckman, 1995; Wilkinson et al., 1991).

Several authors have also described the confusion created by the existence of distinct definitions of, and perspectives on, quality management (Chatterjee and Yilmaz, 1993; Dean and Bowen, 1994; Wilkinson and Willmott, 1995). For example, Dean and Bowen

concluded, "Despite thousands of articles in the business and trade press, total quality remains a hazy, ambiguous concept. The difference among frameworks proposed by writers such as Deming, Juran and Crosby have no doubt contributed to this confusion"



References: Ahire, S.L. 1996. "TQM Age Versus Quality: An Empirical Investigation." Production and Inventory Management Journal (first quarter):18-23. Aubert, N. and V. de Gaulejac. 1991. Le cout de l 'excellence. Paris: Seuil. Atkinson, P. (1990), Creating Cultural Change: The Key to Successful TQM, IFS publication, Kempston. Braverman, H. 1974. Labour and Monopoly Capital: The Degradation of Work in the Twentieth Century, Monthly Review Press, London. Burawoy, M. 1979. The Manufacture of Consent, Chicago University Press, Chicago, IL. Becker, S.W. 1993. "TQM Does Work: Ten Reasons Why Misguided Attempts Fail." Management Review (May). Chatterjee, S. and M. Yilmaz. 1993. "Quality Confusion: Too Many Gurus, Not Enough Disciples." Business Horizons (May-June). Collins, D. 2000. Management Fads and Buzzwords Critical-Practical Perspectives. Routledge, London & New York. Delbridge, R., Turnbull, P. and Wilkinson, B. 1992. "Pushing back the frontiers: management control and work intensification under JIT/TQM regimes", New Technology, Work and Employment, Vol. 7. Dreyfuss,J. 1988. "Victories in the Quality Crusade." Fortune (October 10). Dean, J.W. and Bowen, D.E. 1994. "Management theory and total quality: improving research and practice through theory development", Academy of Management Review, Vol. 19 No. 3. Dawson, P. and Webb, J. 1989. "New production arrangements, the totally flexible cage", Work, Employment and Society, Vol. 3 No. 2. Eldridge, J.E. 1968. Industrial Disputes, Routledge and Kegan Paul, London. Hammonds, KH. 1991. "Where Did They Go Wrong?" Business Week, Quality 1991. Hill, S. 1995. "From Quality Circles to Total Quality Management." In Making Quality Critical-New Perspectives on Organizational Change. Eds. A Wilkinson and H. Willmott. London: Routledge. Harari, O. 1993b. "The Eleventh Reason Why TQM Doesn 't Work." Manat Review (May). Hochschild, A.R. 1983. The Managed Heart- Commercialization of Human Fee&W, University of California Press, Los Angeles, CA. Juran, J. 1988. Juran on Planning for Quality, Macmillan, London. Krishnan, R, AB. Shani, RM. Grant, and R Baer. 1993. "In Search of Quality Improvement Problems of Design and Implementation." Academy of Management Executive 7. Kogan, M., Henkel, M., Joss, R. and Spink, M. 1991. "Evaluation of total quality management in the NHS", Centre for Evaluation of Public Practice, Brunel University, Uxbridge. Kanji, G.K. and Asher, M. 1993. Total Quality Management Process: A Systematic Approach, Carfax, Oxford. Macdonald, J. 1994. "TQM - does it always work? Some reasons for disappointment" 10th Israel Society for Quality Conference, 14-17 November, Jerusalem. Oakland, J. 1989. Total Quality Management, Heinemann Professional Publishing, Oxford. Parker, M. and Slaughter, J. 1993. "Should the labour movement buy TQM?", Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 6 No. 4. Peters, TJ. and RH. Waterman. 1982. In Search of Excellence-Lessons from America 's Best-Run Companies. New York, NY. Roberts, K and Y. Corcoran-Nantes. 1995. "TQM, the New Training and Industrial Relations." In Making Quality Critical-New Perspectives on Organizational Change. Eds. A Wilkinson and H. WIllmott. London: Routledge. Reed, IL, DJ. Lemak, and J.C. Montgomery. 1996. "Beyond Process: TQM Content and Firm Performance." Academy of Management Review 21. Sewell, G. and Wilkinson, B. 1992. "Someone to watch over me: surveillance, discipline, and the just-in-time labour process", Sociology, Vol. 26 No. 2, May. Schaffer, RH. and HA Thomson. 1992. "Successful Change Programs Begin with Results." Harvard Business Review (January-February). Schaffer, D.S. 1993. "Why Total Quality Programs Miss the Mark." Journal for Quality and Participation (September). Sherwood, JJ. and F.M. Hoylman. 1993. "The Total Quality Paradox." Journal for Quality and Participation (March). Spitzer, RD. 1993. "TQM: The Only Source of Sustainable Competitive Advantage." Quality Progress (June). Smith, S. 1990. "Transforming culture", TQM Magazine, August. Tuckman, A. 1994. "The yellow brick road: total quality management and the restructuring of organizational culture", Organization Studies, Vol. 15 No. 5. Tuckman, A. 1995. "Ideology, quality and TQM", in Wilkinson, A. and Willmott, H.C. (Eds), Making Quality Critical, Routledge, London. Wilkinson, A., Allen, P. and Snape, E. 1991. "TQM and the management of labour", Employee Relations, Vol. 13 No. 1. Wilkinson, A., Marchington, M., Goodman, J. and Ackers, P. 1992. 'TQM and employee involvement ', Human Resource Management, Vol. 2 No. 4. Webb,J. 1995. "Quality Management and the Management of Quality." In Making Quality Critical-New Perspectives on Organizational Change. Eds. A. Wilkinson and H. Willmott. London: Routledge. Wilkinson, A. 1992. "The other side of quality: soft issues and the human resource dimension", Total Quality Management, Vol. 2 No. 3. Wilkinson, A. and Witcher, B. 1991. "Fitness for use: barriers to full TQM in the UK", Management Decisions, Vol. 29 No. 8.

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