the Cultural Differences That Exist Between Traditional Management Organizations Versus a Tq Companies.

the Cultural Differences That Exist Between Traditional Management Organizations Versus a Tq Companies.1. Building and sustaining excellence in organizations is not an easy task. Discuss two major reasons why companies adopt total quality. Describe and explain the cultural differences that exist between traditional management organizations versus a TQ companies.

Total Quality Management (TQM) is a managerial approach aiming at achieving quality in broad sense. Today’s environment urges TQM to be a managerial approach and style so as to achieve customer satisfaction and global competitiveness. TQM approach has the following characteristics: strategically based, customer focus (internal and external), obsession with quality, scientific approach to decision making and problem solving, long-term commitment, teamwork, continual improvement of people, processes, product, services, and environment, education and training, freedom through control, unity of purpose, employee involvement and empowerment and peak performance as a top priority.

Quality management aims at conducting the inherent managerial elements of planning, control and improvement, called The Juran Trilogy. The expected results of TQM are better organization performance, increased productivity, more effective and efficient processes and more competitive product.

Two major reasons why companies adopt total quality:-
a. Customer Focus

Quality is defined as meeting or exceeding customer expectations to achieve customer satisfaction and global competitiveness. The goal is to first identify and then meet customer needs. Therefore, quality management considers the customer as a basic value that guides an organisation’s activities. The customer can be both internal and external customer. External customer define the quality of the product or service delivered. Internal customer help define the quality of the people, processes and environments associated with products or services. Since an organisations accomplishes a particular job in a network of interdependencies, an employee who recieves an input, naturally, it is an output of the preceding process.

TQM recognizes that a perfectly produced product has little value if it is not what the customer wants. Therefore, we can say that quality is customer driven. However, it is not always easy to determine what the customer wants, because tastes and preferences change. Also, customer expectations often vary from one customer to the next. For example, in the auto industry trends change relatively quickly, from small cars to sports utility vehicles and back to small cars. The same is true in the retail industry, where styles and fashion are short lived. Companies need to continually gather information by means of focus groups, market surveys, and customer interviews in order to stay in tune with what customers want. They must always remember that they would not be in business if it were not for their customers.

TQM directs that an organisation’s objectives, structure and managerial process should be established on such a way that it serves the customer. For these outcomes to be achieved, management is required to invest in quality programme by training people, establishing new infrastructure, delegating managerial duties to others and the implementation of quality concepts broadly, throughout the organization, whereas planning, process and products are included as well as suppliers, employees and customers are considered in the whole quality programme.

Customer listening is a continuous process, but in many respects, it is usually not well interpreted in many organizations. The idea is to find a way to create an atmosphere of cooperation throughout the organization. In this cooperative environment, employees are encouraged to stay focused on the needs of the customers. The focus on the customers will improve the organizations image in a way that would enhance its profits and success. The strategy for improving customer satisfaction is not just only about planning and executing a massive and transforming project in organizations; it’s also about doing little things every day with every customer, to make their experience better. It makes an enormous difference in how customers perceive the business; therefore, the owners and leaders of the business must be truly committed to it.

b. Teamwork

Teamwork is a term used in daily organizational life today. In the literature of organizations and management theories, it is often referred to as participative management. The underlying principle of participative management is that goal-setting, decision-making, and other managerial activities should be involved in virtually all levels of organizational hierarchy, including among employees.

The "partnership" approach does require that the traditional adversarial relationship between employees and management be abandoned to foster a climate of understanding, conflict resolution, and team building in order to enhance the total social welfare. It is a philosophical perspective from which management conducts the organization's business and survival on a long-term basis, a perspective that also provides guidance for day-to-day actions. This philosophy is driven by the force of quality and focuses on the "continuous improvement" of all processes to improve quality. Therefore, it is not a quick fix management technique. Rather, it is an organizational way of life.

Many forms of participative management have been used in public and private organizations. The underlying principle of teamwork is that employees have more to bring to the job. Deming believes that everything and everyone could work together because every job is equally important. In his famous 14-points, Deming pushes teamwork and cooperation instead of incentive programs, such as commissions, because ultimately such programs turn into individual profit centers, thus leading to the collapse of the system.

Traditional Management Versus TQ companies

Under this traditional philosophy, the view of quality is as follows:
a. Productivity and quality are conflicting goals. Improving quality consumes additional corporate resources that are needed to maintain productivity. Therefore, quality can be improved only at the expense of productivity.
b. Quality is defined as conformance to specifications or standards. Such conformance pays no attention to incorrect specifications or obsolete standards that are prevailed in most companies.
c. Quality is measured by degree of nonconformance. It is usually measured by the defect count in "parts per million"— the famous six-sigma measurement. Such measurement focuses on the degree of non-conformance instead of customer satisfaction.
d. Quality is achieved through intense product inspection. Such inspection consumes much of the corporate resources. If a product fails the inspection, it needs to be reworked or scraped. Some defects are allowed if a product meets minimum quality standards. This implies that customers are willing to pay for a “buggy” yet working product.
e. Quality is a separate function and focused on evaluating production. It is assumed that the production group will welcome such independent quality function.
f. Workers are blamed for poor quality. However, replacing a worker does not mean improving quality. Furthermore, poor quality may come from the supplier side.
g. Supplier relationships are short-term and cost-oriented. There is no way to control the quality of raw materials or parts delivered by the suppliers.

Under TQM philosophy, the view of quality is very different from the traditional one:
a. Productivity and quality are not conflicting goals. Productivity gains can be achieved through quality improvements. Better quality of product and process will reduce rework, errors, and waste. This, in turn, improves the productivity.
b. Quality is correctly defined requirements that satisfy user’s needs. The ultimate quality of a product is its ability to satisfy user's needs. One should take one step further to get the consumer involved in defining the product requirements. It is plausible to say that quality is defined and judged by the customer.
c. Quality is measured by user satisfaction as well as by continuous process and product improvement. Just as one would expect, customers prefer to purchase software that fits their needs and performs beyond the quality standards. The TQM practice shuns the old adage of “don’t fix it if it ain’t broke.”
d. Quality is achieved by effective product design and process controls. Relying on product inspection implies that errors will definitely be made. Quality cannot be achieved by inspection. It should be built in, not added on. To build in quality, one must perform effective product design and process controls.
e. Defects are prevented through process control techniques. Zero defect and perfection of processes should be the goals if a company wishes to keep improving quality.
f. Quality is a part of every function in all phases of the product life cycle. It simply does not make sense to go about production haphazardly or without a quality-laden plan and expect a quality good or service and a happy customer for that matter.
g. Management is responsible for quality. Only management has the authority to change the working conditions and processes, and only management has the knowledge to coordinate quality function in all phases of the product life cycle. Therefore, management should be responsible for quality, not the workers.
h. Supplier relationships are long-term and quality-oriented. Suppliers are just as an important part of the team as any other members. Since management is responsible for quality, it must also take charge of building long-term and quality-oriented relationships with suppliers.

TQM has basically changed the culture and the thinking patterns of the organization. When talk about organizing for Total Quality Management, its mean preparing and organizing people in such a manner that they could work according to the philosophies and practices of TQM. One such way is to compare the traditional organization and the organization based upon TQM philosophy.

The traditional organization of employees in a company is based upon cascading of authority that can best be illustrated in a pyramid, on the apex of which lies top management, then comes middle management, functional management, supervisors, and employees. This organization of employees, though traditionally accepted and most appropriately defined way to express the employee organization in a company, does not fit well with the TQM philosophy.

Interestingly, when viewing at the organizing of staff based upon TQM philosophy, the traditional pyramid turns upside down. This is because TQM is highly customer focused philosophy. If we look at the inverted pyramid, we would notice that customer comes first, which is followed by the employees, front-line supervisors, and so on and so forth. The organization need to give particular emphasis on the development of its front-line staff and supervisors since they are the company in the eyes of their customers. For example front-line staff may be a flight attendant, the bank taller, the sales person and a call center operator.

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