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Role of TQM in the Present Business Scenario..
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Chrm Message From: CHRM Total Posts: 209 Join Date:
Rank: Coach Post Date: 01/07/2006 22:26:49 Points: 1045 Location: India

The techniques of total quality management (TQM) with the concepts of sustainable development have been applied to socioeconomic policy. It is applied primarily to the typical business concern.

Business, through local and international trade, has a profound impact on the ability of a culture to provide basic human needs, and other goods and services. Therefore, commerce and how it conducts itself internally and interacts with its operating environment is axial to the success of sustainable development. Long-term business management requires the successful management of losses and gains; and, so it is with sustainable development.

Sustainable development can be defined as the management of losses and gains resulting from the degradation of environmental factors that affect the ability of life, any life, to survive, now or in the future. The "winners and losers" of environmental impact are often defined by the decisions made directly from those entities conducting commerce.

TQM is a management philosophy that supports the process of continuous improvement within an organization and where total emphasis is placed on the customer. In the socioeconomic viewpoint, TQM defines the customer as all members of society and facets of environment that interact with the activities of the company.

A company that integrates sustainable development within its’ TQM management processes could set itself apart from the competition, and perhaps force its’ competition to include sustainable development within their own operational considerations as well, thereby benefiting society as a whole. This trend should also reduce the demand from society to governments for mandates controlling business practices.

The very nature of TQM, and how it is implemented, requires sustainable development policy consideration. If it is not considered, then quality management for that firm will likely fail, and it will probably lose its’ competitive advantage.

The major steps in the implementation of TQM yield a marked similarity to those processes for implementing sustainable development in Our Common Future. One of the first concerns suggested by Our Common Future is the development of long term strategies for achieving the company objectives for sustainable development. Before tactics can be applied, a definition of the goals, and time line, need to be established. In process of information gathering following question must be asked-

What is your company's definition of sustainable development?

If your company could make only one change towards sustainable development, what would it be?

What would be the major focus of sustainable development that our customers would like us to incorporate the most?

What do our customers think is best about our current socioeconomic policies? What do they think are the worst aspects?

What will our customers be expecting from us, in terms of sustainable development in two years? Five years?

What are the sustainable development policies and trends of our competitors?

What development policies would our associates or employees favor most? The least?

What is our company’s image and how will it be affected by development programs?

What is the main reason your company is considering to be sustainable?

This process of information gathering should be feasible for almost any firm to accomplish. The resource demands posed by each question can be kept as simple as necessary.

This leads to a second recommendation for implementation. It encourages the development of processes that will lead to greater cooperation between economic, public and other multinational entities. The creation of a government controlled data base as suggested above might serve as a corner stone of this goal.

Facilitating sustainable development as a feature of TQM requires that all decisions be made in reference to the customer. Cooperation in this process can deteriorate between the public and private sector when variations of the definition for the term customer occur.
It is suggested that the policies of sustainable development should be integrated into an existing TQM program. TQM organizations should have at least one quality circle management team established. A quality circle management team is made up of different stakeholders at all levels within the organization that share some common area of responsibility. The members of the team can change depending upon the objectives, function, size and organizational structure of the company.

The relationship between education and sustainable development is paramount education and the dissemination of knowledge as related to socioeconomic policies should occur on multiple levels:

Government sustainable development educational efforts directed specifically to business and society.

Professional sustainable development research efforts directed to all members of society.

Sustainable development educational programs directed to all members of the TQM quality circle.

TQM quality circle derived sustainable development educational programs directed to all stakeholders of the business entity.

TQM quality circle derived sustainable development educational programs directed to customers.

Stakeholder feedback to government agencies or other relevant non-government agencies (NGOs).

The processes of educational training might be one of the more costly areas of implementing sustainable development. Fortunately, training is a continuous function of TQM. Sustainable development should become another extension of that training. Along with the principles of sustainable development, TQM quality circles will also need to be trained on the decision making processes best applied to the management of sustainable development

The process of evaluation is critical to successful management. Our Common Future encourages the evaluation of three phases for managing towards sustainable development:

First, evaluate your company’s activities in terms of ecological impact; then implement a plan towards sustainable development policy.

Then, evaluate the success and failures of your policy.

Finally, evaluate potential reorganization strategies for increased ecological considerations within activities associated with trade, energy usage and other operating factors.

"A systematic, documented, periodic, and objective evaluation is needed of how well the organization is performing in the area of sustainable development, not only to facilitate management control practices but also to asses compliance with company policies, including meeting regulatory requirements. Sustainable development reporting is a demanding concept that and goes beyond environmental reporting. It requires that companies asses their performance in both the environment and the economy in terms of quality of life today and for future generations.".

As we have seen, the processes of gathering information, cooperation, organizational structure, training and evaluation are major areas of concern within the framework of managing a sustainable development program. The brainstorming of even the simplest socioeconomic program can usually produce a process of unlimited freedom in design as compared to other typical operations within the business entity. Such freedom can create policies, which if not carefully designed, will expose the business entity to consequences of higher risk.

The TQM quality circle must consider the theme of risk management not only in its traditional management functions but also in the design evaluation of its sustainable development programming. Our Common Future suggests that a sustainable development program is a complex system, which should be designed in consideration of risks. These considerations should include human factors safety design, accident prevention, and liabilities for unintended damages, sabotage, and ecological or economic damages as a result of improper integration.

TQM is offered as a management tool that can be used for organizational and sustainable development implementation. The characteristics of TQM closely parallel the objectives for managing towards sustainable development as outlined in Our Common Future.

Business is recognizing the adoption of sustainable development policy as a competitive advantage. TQM quality circles must consider sustainable policy management as a necessary feature of each product or service life cycle. Sustainable development policy should become a key aspect of the marketing mix and will be allocated and financed as a promotional expenditure.

TQM is offered as a systems approach for implementing sustainable development. The methodology of TQM should reduce the risks associated with the administration of socioeconomic policy and provide a way to achieving the goals of sustainable development.




"To must stay in the game" - Claude Bristol

Chrm Message From: madure Total Posts: 278 Join Date:  
Rank: Coach Post Date: 03/07/2006 20:19:08 Points: 1440 Location: India

Total Quality Management (TQM)

Guidelines for Quality Improvement Essential elements of any TQM programme are:

• continuous improvement
• involvement of people
• focus on the customer
• use of quantitative methods.

Industry-specific and in-house standards

Other options are either to work to industry-specific standards, such as QS9000 which is a variant of ISO 9000 used by the automotive industry, or to develop in-house standards. These will often incorporate elements of ISO 9000 or IIP or other standards, but have the advantage of focusing only on the specific requirements of that organisation, and possibly saving time and money. There is however a risk that, without an external target, the programme will lose focus.


In order to assist with benchmarking and to provide a focus for quality improvement or TQM programmes some organisations work towards quality awards, of which there are now several, including:

The Malcolm Baldrige award scheme which was established in 1987 as an annual US National Quality award examining:

• leadership
• the quality of information and analysis
• quality planning
• human resource utilisation
• quality assurance of products and services
• quality results
• customer satisfaction.

The European Quality Award (EQA) which is the European equivalent of the Malcolm Baldrige award.

The UK Quality Award for Business Excellence which is organised by the British Quality Foundation. There are five award categories covering a range of company sizes and types. Award winners are chosen on the basis of a self-assessed application against the Business Excellence Model followed by a visit to the organisation.

How long will it take and what will it cost?

   In general, time and cost depend on:
• organisation size and operational complexity
• state of current systems, documented procedures etc
• level and amount of quality expertise within the organisation.

Estimates for achieving ISO 9000 certification range from 6 months to 2 years. The time between commitment and recognition for Investors in People is from 6 to 18 months. Once initial certification or recognition is achieved, the organisations must continue to meet the standards in order to be successful at periodic re-inspections.

Costs are incurred for:

• external assessors - charges depend on the complexity of the assessment
• external consultants, if required
• additional staff training. The Institute of Quality Assurance, amongst others, offers training courses including internal quality system auditing and writing manuals and procedures
• company time spent on management reviews and, for ISO 9000, writing procedures and performing internal audits.
For on-going programmes such as the Business Excellence Model, the higher level of self-assessment results in fewer external costs, but there still additional internal administrative costs.

Until recently, it was possible to obtain a contribution towards the cost of external quality consultants from the Department of Trade and Industry. This scheme is no longer in force, but it is always worth checking to see if a new initiative is being introduced.

What are the benefits?

The main benefit of working to any QMS standard is that it compels an organisation to consider seriously how and why it operates as it does. Very often the real value is in the ‘journey’ itself, rather than the final award.

Reported benefits for IIP organisations include:
• reduced absenteeism
• realistic pay settlements
• better morale
• fewer disputes
• readier acceptance of new technologies
In addition, the IIP laurel wreath logo has become a major selling point for companies searching for high calibre employees.

As with ISO 9000, some organisations are concerned that the IIP programme is too bureaucratic and expensive, and there is still a problem of converting IIP commitments into recognitions. Nevertheless, according to figures published by IIP in May 1998, approximately one third of the UK workforce is now working in companies which have either committed to, or been recognised by, Investors In People.

According to British Quality Foundation literature, applying for the UK Quality Award for Business Excellence:
• increases awareness of business excellence
• motivates staff to focus on continuous improvement
• fosters team working in operating to tight deadlines
• provides an exceptional development opportunity for all involved in preparing the submission.

Case study

John Thompson Associates Ltd (TAL) and its associated companies provide professional search, selection and assessment services to both the public and private sectors in the UK and internationally. In 1996, the MD decided that it would be beneficial for the organisation to seek ISO 9000 certification. There was no specific customer requirement for this, but he believed that it would enhance the organisation’s commitment to products, process and service. The group engaged a personally recommended consultant who produced a quality manual and advised on procedures, which were put in place over a period of 18 months. This extended development phase enabled TAL to undertake the necessary additional work using existing resources only. As the organisation is small and very client-focused, everyone was involved in the process, although one of the administrators was specifically nominated as Quality Manager, part time.

Once the quality system was in place, the consultant sought an assessor who was experienced in this type of service industry. Eventually one was found through LRQA (one of the main ISO 9000 certification bodies) and he made a pre-assessment visit in December 1997. According to the Quality Manager, Jane Moody, she was somewhat nervous at the prospect of this visit as no-one in the organisation had any experience of assessment procedures and they were not sure what to expect. In the event, the assessor was aware of the issues they faced and was very reasonable in his judgement of how the company was dealing with them. On the pre-assessment visit, he made a number of recommendations, as is usual. Changes were made and, in February 1998, the assessor returned for the formal assessment. Happily, this was successful and the company was awarded ISO 9001 certification in recognition of its design and provision of assessment services.

Although putting the procedures in place had at times been difficult and time-consuming, it had also been useful in showing up weaknesses in the system. Also, in spite of being inexperienced in conducting internal audits to begin with, this had proved to be a valuable exercise in finding and correcting inefficient working practices. Now that the quality system has been in place for some time, the staff recognise that it has resulted in a more organised approach to their business. Although there is more paperwork, this is not seen as a problem, and it has made keeping track of the work flow easier. The quality improvement process has not ended with the ISO 9001 certification. Having put a good framework in place, it became clear that some aspects of the operation were easier to control than others. Through a process of continuous improvement, the company is refining procedures for the difficult areas and Jane Moody will discuss these changes with the assessor on his routine return visit later this year.

Originally written by Jean Richards for CIPD records

Prof.Lakshman Madurasinghe

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