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Deming pointed out what he saw as flaws in the traditional model of "management by objectives" which emphasizes a chain of command in which objectives are translated into work standards or quotas. He cautioned that if the performance of the employee is guided and evaluated according to numerical goals. As a result, workers, managers and supervisor get caught up in protecting themselves. Looking good overshadows a concern for the customer or the organization's long term success. Employees, desperate to meet quotas, lose sight of the larger purpose of work. A common example is when sales people are pushed boost business and make promises production can't keep.
With the change in focus, the roles of workers and managers are reformed. A manager's role is to enable employees to do the best job possible foreseeing and eliminating barriers that get in the way. Workers learn to apply the expertise they have gained working with the processes and customers on a daily basis.
Total Quality management, often called TQM, is a mindset and a set of well proven processes for achieving the mindset. The mindset is that everyone in your organization understand what their customer's expectations are and they meet those expectations everytime. Understanding and meeting customer expectations is a challenging proposition and requires processes that support continuing progress toward the goal of meeting customer expectations the first time, everytime.
Successful Total Quality Management requires both behavioural and cultural change. A successful Total Quality Management system brings two other management system together with a behavioural and cultural commitment to customer quality.
Thus Total Quality management becomes a system within itself by default or by choice. There are three management system aligned to meet TQM iniative:
a. OM (organizational management system)
b. HRM (human resource management system and
c. TQM (total management system)
Hope this gave you a clear idea for TQM.
Manufacturing More Effective TQM: Implications for the Management of Human Resources
Adrian Wilkinson, Mick Marchington & Barrie Dale
This paper examines the issue of Total Quality Management (TQM) and the management of human resources. It suggests that while TQM has been identified as a major innovation in management practice, there has been a preoccupation with the “hard” production-oriented aspects of TQM, rather than the softer HRM elements. However, increasing attention is now being paid to HR issues. Drawing on research sponsored by the Institute of Personnel Management in the United Kingdom, the writers discusses three manufacturing case studies so as to explore the TQM/HRM issues. They discuss a number of critical human resource issues arising from these cases and point to an enhanced role for the personnel function.
Total Quality Management — The HR Problem
Total Quality Management (TQM) is now widely recognised as one of the major innovations in management practice over the last decade. For the most part, however, the principal contributions to the analysis of TQM and its operation have come from people in the Operations Management area (for example, Oakland, 1989, Dale & Plunkett, 1990, Dale, 1994). Arguably, this has led to a preoccupation with the so-called “hard” production-orientated aspects of TQM as opposed to its “softer” Human Resource Management (HRM) characteristics. This means that less attention has been focused on people-management issues such as appropriate supervisory styles, compensation/payment systems, teamwork, industrial relations and the implications for different managerial functions.
Ishikawa (1985) referred to TQM as a “thought revolution” in management. Similarly Oakland (1989) has described it as a “new way of managing” and has claimed that after the industrial revolution and computing revolution of yesteryear “we are now without doubt in the midst of a quality revolution”. However, whilst TQM has been much talked up by gurus/consultants and indeed practitioners promoting their companies, there is growing evidence of its spreading influence if not of its effectiveness. For example, a British Institute of Management survey analysing the future of middle managers found 60% of managers and employers saying it was being implemented. Almost half of corporate respondents and over one-third of individual managers agreed that of the suggested techniques and managerial changes, the biggest impact on the future would be TQM (Wheatley, 1991).
A subsequent Institute of Management survey reported that 71% of respondents claimed they had a Quality Management Campaign, and a further 11% were planning to introduce one. The phenomenon is a recent one with only 10% having a campaign dating back more than five years (Wilkinson, Redman & Snape, 1993).
Yet there is increasing evidence that TQM has not fulfilled its promise (see recent surveys and reports eg Kearney, 1992, Miller, 1992, Cruise, O’Brien & Voss, 1992, The Economist Intelligence Unit, 1992, Wilkinson eta!, 1993). Furthermore many of the problems arising appear to have been those relating to Human Resource (HR) issues such as management style, attitudes and culture. One possible explanation for this is that TQM has developed from a quality assurance ideology and consequently focuses on the “hard” measurable aspects such as costs and production/operation performance to the relative neglect of the so- called “soft” aspects. Thus the limitations of TQM can be at least partially attributed to the neglect of human resource policies in the organisation and a failure to align the HR policies with TQM to ensure integration. These critical “soft” issues are apparent from most reports and research yet remain relatively unexplored in comparison with the use of quality management tools and techniques and quality systems (Wilkinson, 1992).
In recent years, TQM has been taken up by a number of HR writers who have seen it as an opportunity for the function to play a strategic role. Until recently the personnel profession appears to have been slow to see the implications for the function. This may have been because they saw it as refashioried quality circles (with which they had negative experience) or more likely because it was seen as essentially quality control/assurance and consequently regarded as a job for operations managers (Wilkinson, Marchington, Ackers & Goodman, 1992).
However, the past few years has seen both a shift in emphasis to human resource issues within the quality area and the growing interest of personnel specialists. The former reflects two factors. First, a shift from quality assurance to TQM with a consequent greater emphasis being placed on issues such as employee involvement. Second, growing evidence which suggests that TQM has major problems in the so-called soft areas (Plowman, 1990, Kearney, 1992, Cruise O’Brien & Voss, 1992) and in particular culture, involvement and communication. According to Cruise O’Brien and Voss:
Quality depends on broad based employee involvement and commitment. New and innovative human resource policies were reported by managers in a number of organisations, but these were not often related to quality. . . . Divorce of human resources from quality, except in name, could seriously retard the spread of quality through the firm. (1992, p. 11)
This would appear to present the personnel function with a window of opportunity, even if it has little involvement from the start of TQM. In this sense, the shift of focus to human resource issues may not have come about at the behest of the personnel people but because others have recognised a need for their involvement, albeit at a late stage. Thus, a number of writers have begun to identify the opportunities which TQM might offer for the function. Giles and Williams argue that “Quality has a high personnel content. It gives strategic importance to policies and processes that personnel managers have traditionally considered to be their own patch” (1991, p. 29) and thus “quality management is pure strategy on a plate waiting for some personnel input” (1991, p. 30).
In this article, we discuss TQM’s development from quality control and the growing importance of quality management in the United Kingdom. Second, we describe the basic principles of TQM and examine its implications for HRM. Third, we draw from a programme of research on Quality and the Human Resource Dimension, outlining developments in TQM and HRM in three cases. These illustrate the diversity of TQM initiatives and their relationship with HRM. Finally, we discuss some of the key issues surrounding the relationship between TQM and HRM, and discuss the role of the Personnel Function.
What is TQM?
The problem of quality management is not what people don’t know about it. The Problem is what they think they do know. . . . In this regard, quality has much in common with sex. Everyone is for it (under certain conditions of course). Everyone feels they understand it (Even though they wouldn’t want to explain it). Everyone thinks execution is only a matter of following natural inclinations. (After all, we do get along somehow). And, of course, most people feel that all problems in these areas are caused by other people (if only they would take the time to do things right). (Crosby, 1979)
The TQM Approach
The major premise of the TQM philosophy is that quality, defined by Juran as ‘fitness for use”, is the key to business success and that this, rather than price or delivery, is the route to competitive advantage. Moreover, in addition to increasing sales and market share through quality improvements, TQM need not lead to increased costs, rather costs are likely to fall due to a decline in failure rates, rectification, warranty costs, returned goods and a reduction in the costs of detection. TQM is concerned with ‘building in’ rather than inspecting quality, with being the responsibility of all employees, rather than merely the responsibility of a specialist department. The benefits of such an approach are regarded as being potentially very significant. Dale and Plunkett (1994) estimate that quality costs in an organisation which is not committed to a process of improvement, range from 10—14% of annual sales turnover. Thus for many, the most compelling argument for TQM is that it promises to increase long-term business performance and profitability (Dale & Cooper, 1992). Quality is seen not as an option, but as a business requirement in the face of growing competition.
The origins of TQM are usually ascribed to Japan’s search for quality improvements in the l950s and its success in moulding ideas on quality into a coherent operating philosophy; by the 1960s this combined the ideas of Denning and Juran with the use of Statistical Process Control (SPC) and teamwork. In 1962 the first three quality circles were registered with JUSE (Japanese Union of Scientists and Engineers) and the quality movement spread o the workers with the extensive use of SPC. Both Denning and Juran were interested in the wider implications of quality control, and argued that quality control should be conducted as an integral part of the management control systems (in contrast to its traditional role as a policeman function). This developed into the notion that prevention not detection was the key and the concept was one of “managerial breakthrough” (Juran, 1965) whereby “continuous improvement” was held to be the ultimate goal. Furthermore, management was charged with responsibility since 85% of failures were regarded as the fault of inadequate management systems. (Ishikawa, 1985). By the 1960s the challenge to Western markets led to the adoption of Japanese methods of production within the Uiited States. In the 1980s, TQM was taken up by many American companies and Europe followed suit with it. The European Foundation of Quality Management was founded in 1988 to improve the position of European industry in the world markets (Wilkinson, Allen & Snape, 1991).
One of the problems in the discussion concerning TQM is the apparent lack of a generally accepted description of what it actually is. Until the articulation of definitions in BS4778 Part 2 (1991) and BS7850 Part I (1992) there were no national or international definitions for the term. As with the Human Resource Management debate there is eonfusion as to what different writers mean when they discuss TQM, although some of the buzzwords are now prominent in the management vocabulary, for example, Zero defects (Crosby, 1979), Right First Time (Crosby, 1979), Plan, Do, Check, Action (Deming, 1986), Fitness for Use (Juran, 1965).
First the distinction needs to be made between quality control, quality assurance and total quality. Quality control is the control of quality during an operational process and at the post-process stage. Its characteristics are containment and inspection. Quality assurance is the achievement of specified levels of quality by the removal of the root causes of poor quality. Its characteristics are problem solving and prevention. Quality assurance is usually in the hands of a quality manager and a department, and quality is seen as a business function in its own right. Total quality is the application of quality assurance to every company activity, so that zero defects are achieved (or aimed for). Its characteristics are the application of good practice quality management principles, as popularised by the so-called quality gurus, principally the ideas of W. Edwards Deming (1986), Joseph Juran (1965), Philip Crosby. (1979) and Feigenbaum (1983). In essence TQM is a general business management philosophy, which is about the attainment of continuously improving customer satisfaction by quality led company-wide management. This goes beyond the mere application of total quality ideas to the whole organisation and its management by any one business function, to being a new approach to corporate management itself (Wilkinson & Witcher, 1991).
“Hard” and “soft” aspects of TQM
TQM has both “hard” and “soft” aspects. The former emphasizes systems, precise data collection and measurement and involves a range of production techniques, including statistical process control, changes in the layout, design processes and procedures of the organisation, and most importantly the seven basic TQM tools used to interpret data: process flow charting, tally charts, pareto analysis, scatter diagrams, histograms, control charts and cause and effect analysis. TQM is based on the premise that all activities in a firm contribute to quality. Thus it is important that a firm’s activities and procedures are documented so that their effects for quality are understood by everybody. The emphasis on the hard aspects reflects the production orientation of many of the TQM gurus.
The soft side of TQM gets a good deal less attention although it is by no means ignored. Hill (1991, p. 391) says “while solutions to the technical issues of designing appropriate systems and procedures are fully specified there are lacunae in the treatment of social factors”. Clearly there are implications for the workforce in the quality philosophy with the messagethat “quality is everyone’s business”, as firms are urged to move away from supervisory approaches to quality control towards a situation where employees themselves take responsibility. The soft side thus puts the emphasis on the management of human resources in the organisation and lays particular emphasis on the need to change culture. Thus, TQM has clear implications for human resources whether this he in terms of employees taking greater responsibility for quality (empowerment according to the quality gurus), having accountability for its achievement, or in terms of the introduction of tearnworking principles into organisations.
TQM appears to be consistent with a move towards human resource management, not only in the emphasis on employee commitment rather than compliance, and in theunderlying unitarist philosophy, but also it identifies line managers as having a key responsibility for the management of people. Both TQM and HRM call for the involvement of top management, and in this sense can be seen as requiring a more strategic approach to the management of human resources. However, it is commonplace in the literature to point to the failure to adopt such a strategic approach (Wilkinson et a!, 1991).
The Research Programme
The practice of quality management — via quality assurance and British Standards (BS5750) /International Standards Organisation (1S09000) alone or TQM — is now becoming much more widespread throughout the United Kingdom. Recent interest has focused on the shortcomings which are associated with the ‘hard’, systems-type initiatives, and their failure to pay sufficient attention to the ‘people’ elements in the drive for continuous quality improvement. There is a feeling, not just confined to those within the personnel function, that greater emphasis needs to be placed on the human aspects of quality management.
This led the U.K. Institute of Personnel Management (1PM) to commission a project into Quality Management and the Human Resource Dimension in order to give guidance to members (and others) on the challenges posed for people management. This consisted of three separate but interrelated pieces of research — a questionnaire to organisations in the United Kingdom, a telephone survey of personnel and human resource managers throughout mainland Europe and a case study analysis designed to provide in-depth data at the organisational level. We were responsible for conducting the third of these elements of the programme over the summer of 1992, while 1PM undertook the other two elements and coordinated the whole project. The findings are reported in IPM (1993).
The case studies were undertaken in 15 organisations during the summer of 1992, drawn from different sectors, size bands of employer and regions throughout the United Kingdom. These organisations were chosen so as to provide a diverse mix of experiences, and not just those cases which were known as exemplars in the quality field.
A variety of research methods were employed in order to obtain data from each organisation. This included the collection of documentary information both from published and internal reports, and interviews with a range of staff from different functions, including the Chief Executive/General Manager in most cases, as well as line managers, personnel practitioners and (as appropriate) trade union representatives. We interviewed around ten people in each organisation of whom the vast majority were not personnel practitioners. In the next section we draw upon the research findings from three cases to illustrate the issues relating to TQM and the management of human resources. These cases are drawn from manufacturing which is appropriate since this is seen both as the best testbed for TQM initiatives and also in so far as manufacturing companies are usually regarded as the ‘mainstream’ companies for HRM (Storey, 1992). Hence manufacturing provides a good basis to examine the interrelationship between TQM and HRM and our three cases are chosen to reflect quite different patterns of existing HRM within manufacturing — namely those of the automotive components supplier industry, electronics and chemical industries. This, therefore provides quite different starting points and contexts for the development of TQM.