Quality is now one of the most important factors being used as a competitive weapon by organizations. In fact, quality may be one of the most important ways a manager can add value to products and services to see them apart from those of competitors. Business success including customer satisfaction, product efficiency and talented workforce are important features and quality management. Total Quality Management is considered a very important factor for the long-term success of an organization. Total Quality Management (TQM) implementation has been an important aspect for improving organizational efficiency. The links between total quality management and performance have been investigated by numerous scholars. While examining the relationship between total quality management and performance scholars have used different performance types such as financial, innovative, operational and quality performance. Recent research on total quality management has examined the relationship between total quality management (TQM) and organizational performance. This paper discusses the origin of total quality management, the implementation of total quality management, principles of total quality management and benefits of total quality management. By conclusion, total quality management is recommended for all social and economic organizations for the overall well-being of Nigeria as a component of the global system.
Keywords: Total Quality Management, Organizational Performance, Quality Practices.
In today's world of increasing business competition, the long term survival of any organization depends on its continuous ability to satisfy customer's need and expectations in respect of the quality of the services provided or products functionality and performance. No organization can afford to ne competitive if it does not continuously improve on its products or services, processes and people.
During the past decade, quality improvement has become one of the most important organizational strategies for achieving competitive advantage Improving the quality with which an organization can deliver its products and services is critical for competing in an expanding global market,.
Quality management practice has been described as an integrated organizational effort designed to improve quality at every level, this as quest for excellence, fitness for use, value for money, customer satisfaction etc. ( Dean aand Bowen, 1994).
Despite the large number of articles and books on Total Quality Management (TQM) TUM still remains a hazy and ambiguous concept. This may be due to the fact that the term Total Quality Management means different things to different people Quality “
That the term Total Quality Management means different things to different people Quality “ Gurus such as Deming and Juran have proposed their own frameworks.
Prior studies suggest that total quality management (TQM) strategy that focuses on increasing customers levels of satisfaction does have a significant and positive impact on performance. The links between total quality management and performance have
been investigated by numerous scholars. While examining the relationship between total
quality management (TQM) and performance, scholars have used different performance types such as financial innovative, operational and quality performance. It is no wonder that Sadgrove (1995) pointed out that without total quality management (TQM) you have to pray that your competitors remain incompetent. He went on to say that use total quality management properly and your success is guaranteed.
Although, the effect of Total Quality Management on various performance types are inconsistent , quality performance generally indicated strong and positive relations. But it is quite unfortunate that despite the landmark achieved in total quality management, so many organizations has not been able to align with this phenomenon. It is against this backdrop that this paper is being put forward to create the awareness for the need for organizations most especially in Nigeria to imbibe the introduction of total quality management; this study is also carried out in other to ascertain the impact of total quality management on service and product delivery.
Origin of Total Quality Management (TQM)
Total Quality Management evolved from the quality assurance methods that were developed during the First World War. The war effect led to large scale manufacturing efforts that often produced poor quality. To help correct this quality anomaly, inspectors were introduced on the production line in order to minimize the level of poor quality of products and services.
At the end of the First World War, quality inspection became more common place in manufacturing environments. This led to the introduction of Statistical Quality Control (SQC), a theory developed by Dr. W. Edwards Deming. This quality method provided a statistical method of quality based on sampling. This is where it is not possible to inspect every item, a sample was tested for quality.
At the end of World Wall II, the industrial manufacturers in Japan were producing poor quality items. To this end, the Japanese Union of Scientist and Engineers invited Dr. Deming to train engineers in quality processes. By the 1950th quality control had become an integral part of manufacturing companies in Japan. This concept was then adopted by the levels of workers within every organization.
In the early 70's the notion of total quality became an issue of concern. Total quality was seen as a company- wide philosophy which involves all employees, from management to the bottom, ensuing quality control. The new wave of quality control became known as Total Quality Management, which was used to describe the many quality focused strategies and techniques that became the centre of focus for quality movement.
The early concepts of quality management was limited to improve the quality of various product and service only but has been extended to other concepts like marketing, finance design, as well as customer service. Total Quality Management (TQM) works on one belief that mistakes can be avoided and defects can be prevented.
Concept of Quality and Total Quality Management (TQM)
Quality has been defined by Hornby (2001) as the standard of something e.g. products or services when it is compared to other things of similar nature, how good or bad something is, goods of a high standard. Deming defined quality as “multidimensional to produce a product and or deliver a service that meets the customer's expectations to ensure customer satisfaction” (Deming, 1986, p 54). Marcouse, et.al (2005), define quality as “fit for use”. According to Callaghan (1994), quality is about people and their attitude rather than simple methods and system of production. According to Khanka (2002) quality is viewed as a continuous improvement in performance to satisfy the customer's needs and expectations. In a related way, Juran (1970), sees quality as “fitness for use or purpose”. Quality is often using to signify 'excellence' of a product or service. Quality can also be defined as assessed from the following terms, innate excellence, convenience of use, performance, reliability, value for money, fitness for purpose, durability etc.
Total Quality Management (TQM) refers to management methods used to enhance quality and productivity in organizations, particularly businesses.
Total Quality Management can be defined as a holistic management philosophy that strives for continuous improvement in all function of an organization and it can be achieved only if the total quality concept in utilized from its acquisition of resources to customer services after the sale.
Total Quality Management is an effort that involves every organization in the industry in the effort to improve performance. Total quality management focuses on process improvement, customer and supplier involvement, team work, and training and education in an effort to achieve customer satisfaction, cost effectiveness and defect free work.
The Implementation of Total Quality Management (TQM)
Total Quality Management talks about the satisfaction of customers, suppliers, employees, etc. and it requires continuous improvement. If the workers of an organizational are efficiently working, then their morale will go up. Total Quality Management (TQM) requires very high co-operation. Here management plays the role of a father, while the employees play the role of children.
Okolie (1996) identified some factors crtical to the successful implementation of total quality management programmes. They are:
Top Management: Commitment and leadership top management needs to act as “ role models” in the change process, thereby encouraging subordinates to participate in quality improvement activities.
Strategic Orientation: There is always is always the need to define clearly the goals the total quality management programme is intended to achieve for the organization. The organization should develop value; mission and vision will ensure proper focus and procedures of its activities.
Time Frame for Goals: The goals to be achieved should ideally be medium to long-term and must have realistic time frames for achieving them. It should also decide whether the programme will be in phases, unit by unit, or company while at the very beginning.
Setting of Objectives and Targets: Objectives and target must be specified, quantifiable and achievable within a given period of time. Objectives must be clear understandable and measurable.
People Management: Total quality management is about changing the mind-set in an organization and it is the responsibility of top management to ensure that everyone is committed to the programme.
Top Quality Training: Training and retraining programmes should be organized to empower all staff with new skills necessary for improved performance.
Development of Good Communication System: For the success of total quality management, the communication system must be open and muilti-directional team benefits should be employed to get all the staff activity involved in total quality management project right from its inception.
Control System: For Total Quality Management to be efficient, it must have a monitoring and feedback mechanism so that implementation and results are known. This is very necessary so that deviations and errors are detected and corrected immediately and expected results assured.
Challenges of Implementation
Implementation of TQM in an organization faces many resistances: people resist change because it is seen as threat to familiar patterns of behaviour as well as to status and financial reward. According to Walkhim (2002), whenever there is a move by management to innovate or introduce new policies or to change priorities, some individuals will anxiously grasp opportunities presented while others will resist. Even some will not listen to any form of discussion and will vehemently oppose the proposed change. Also, if TQM is introduced on a pilot basis or only in particular programme, it will bring about resistance in other parts of the organizations. Besides, resistance will come as a result of the fact that TQM, is also a change in an organizations culture, norms, values and belief systems on how an organization functions.
Resistance can also come from the management. The management may be resistance to the employee's empowerment. They may see it as if employees have more involvement in decision making while management will have lees. Other forms of resistance include economic fears, such as loss of money, threats of job security, competence fears, (that is ability to cope with new demands or to acquire new skills), threat to interpersonal relationship and uncertainty about the likely impact of TQM Principles of Total Quality Management (TQM)
Organizations that have achieved total quality have done so by adopting all the principles of Total Quality Management. These principles include:
- Delight the Customer: Delight means being best at what matters most to customers and this changes over time. This first principle focuses on the external customer and asks what would delight them? This implies understanding the needs-both of product and services. The core concepts of total quality that relates to delight the customer are customer satisfaction and internal customers.
- Management by Fact: If we know the current performance level of our products or services in our customer's hands and of all employees, it is a stage of being able to improve our products and services and if we know where we are starting from we can measure our improvement. Having the facts necessary to manage the business at all levels is the second principles of total quality management.
- People –Based Management: Knowing what to do, how to do it and getting feedback on performance is one part of encouraging people to take responsibility, recognizes that systems, standards and technology themselves will not mean quality. Therefore the role of people is important. The core concepts that relate to people-based management are team- work and people make quality.
- Continuous improvement: Total Quality Management is a management process that recognizes that however much we may improve, our competitors will continue to improve and our customers will expect more from us. Here, continuous improvement must be aim of all who wish to move towards total quality.
- Produce at lowest Cost: This means that quality is built into products and services at relatively lower costs than other producers. This includes preventing failure from occurring and eliminating financial time wasted.
- Company Culture: The culture of the company should aim at developing employees' ability to work together to improve quality.
- Training: Employees should receive regular training on the methods and concepts of quality.
Theory of Total Quality
Theory of total quality can be summarized as follows:
- Quality lead to lower costs as Defects are reduced.
- Quality is made in the boardroom; it cannot be instilled into floor without the initiative and commitment of top management.
- Most defects are caused by the system not the workers.
- Inspection is too late; aim to reduce defect during production, and eliminate mass inspection.
- Drive out fear of change from workers, institute a vigorous program of education, training, and retraining to help the workforce improve continuously and to increase their job security.
- Break down barriers between staff areas and abandon review systems that will destroy team work and create rivalry.
Benefit of Total Quality Management (TQM)
The benefits of the successful implementation of total quality management in an organization are numerous. Some of the benefits advanced by Stahi (1995) and Seye (in Evhorokhai (2003) are:
It increases products and services to make from products and services to make him comfortable, decreases cost of production, reduces the waste of resources, improves competitive advantage, it changes organizational culture and management behaviour, it boosts the moral of employees, and it increases the company's market share and profits.
Total Quality Management and Organizational Performance
Performance encompasses firm's set goal through co-ordinate individual or firm's team work. One of the main elements of achieving an effective organizational management processes is the performance measurement. Measurement of performance is considered as an essential element of all managerial approaches. Cost and quality are the two main measurements of organizational performance which is directly affected by the total quality management practices (Sadikogbu, 2009). He argued that applying various total quality management practices such as training, process management customer management etc. influences employees performance which then directly affect the whole organizations performance.
The performance of one organization can be directly related to its ability to achieve their strategic and financial objectives.
One fact must also be mentioned here in that the organization performance could be measured either depending on operational performance which is referred to the whole performance of one organization that include financial performance, customer satisfaction and effectiveness of product quality (Brah et.al 2000).
Total quality management (TQM) is recognize as a strategy that considered customers as the main concern, in which it directly aims to provide them with a high quality services and products through adding continuous improvements in the production processes (Harman and Paterson, 1990).
For measurement performance many scholars need financial as well as nonfinancial performance and others have considered customer satisfaction measures to capture performance benefits accrued from quality management practices.
Based on previous review researchers adopted the measurement of organizational performance in term of customer satisfaction, where this support by Deming (1986) confirmed the focus on quality will lead to outcome such as employee and customer satisfaction, efficiency and profitability.
Saizarbitoria (2006) clarified that total quality management directly impact the performance of organizations in positive way, but Dooyong et.al (1998) indicated that in some cases the implementation of total quality management cannot achieve the desired organizational goals.
According to Sila (2007), customers and employees satisfaction and streamlined processes together product improved operational and financial result which will eventually lead to business excellence.
According to SIla (2007), customers and employees satisfaction and streamlined processes together produce improved operational and financial result which will eventually lead to business excellence.
Lakhal et.al (2002) and Talha (2004) indicated that the practices of total quality management is directly contributing in enhancing the performance of organizations by minimizing costs, enhancing the performance of staff members, and increasing the degree of customer satisfaction.
Quality is, in facrt, largely a customer perception based on how well the product or services meets the customer's needs and expectations. Poor quality occurs when these needs are not met.
There is growing evidence that quality management implementation has improved organizations' performance and significantly impacted on most organizations.
Conclusion and Recommendations
This study was directly focused on examining the relationship between the Total Quality Management and organizational performance. It indicated that when one organization implements Total Quality Management in effective way, then its performance will be largely enhanced from several aspects.
Researchers provide evidence to show that effective Total Quality Management implementations improve long-term profitability and stock returns.
It has been found that Total Quality Management is positively related to operational performance, customer loyalty, and market and financial performance. This is because, if a firm knows the needs and expectations of the customers accurately and on time through frequent communication with and feedback from the customers, the firm can produce high quality, reliable, and timely delivered products or services. The strategy of Total Quality Management that concentrates on enhancing the customer satisfaction levels will directly improve the organizational performances and that leadership commitment is considered a key –element for guaranteeing a successful implementation of total quality management (TQM) practices at organization.
From the research analysis the findings above the following recommendations were made:
- Management should increase strategic planning as they would bring about checks and balances on the conception, production, inspection, and delivery of its products and services.
- Management should create adequate awareness so that employees can know the need for improved quality from their perspective and how it will affect everyone,
- Also, total quality management should be considered and seen as a process and not a programme by both the management and the employees.
- Management should put much emphasis on quality management practices as it is critical factor to consider when taking decisions to improve survival,, profitability and performance.
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