Free «Summary: Understanding the Obstacles to TQM Success» Essay

Summary: Understanding the Obstacles to TQM Success

A lot of research studies focus on total quality management (TQM), which is growing nowadays. The main question of researchers is “What makes TQM work?” Also, many researches studied the obstacles to TQM.

Sometimes TQM is considered to be out-dated; though, many firms still use it. Moreover, ISO 9000:2000 is based on eight principles of TQM. They are customer focus, leadership, involvement of people, process approach, systems approach to management, continuous improvement, and factual approach to decision-making and mutually beneficial supplier relationships.

Different scholars define and study different factors of TQM. The most commonly studied factors are top management commitment, social responsibility, strategic planning, customer focus and satisfaction, quality information and performance, benchmarking, human resources management, training and others.

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Several researches are devoted to the obstacles to making a successful transformation to TQM or quality management. The current research concerns this issue, too. The second aim of this study is how these obstacles relate to figures that measure the appreciated success (or failure) of TQM efforts.

The information was gathered using a mail questionnaire. 872 managers from the membership listing of the American Society for Quality (ASQ) were mailed. The questionnaire consisted of two main sections: the background information section and the section that obtained respondents’ opinions about barriers to TQM and benefits of it (Sebastianell & Tamimi, 2003).

Standard descriptive statistics were used to summarize the responses. The most significant barrier to TQM was a failure to connect management’s compensation to achieving quality goals. The other important obstacle was a failure to benchmark the best products or practices. The third significant issue was that employees were not trained properly. However, managers are likely to give more significance on the issues as it should be because they believe that others make things go wrong.

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The most significant obstacles to TQM were outlined at the end of analysis. They include: lack of planning, lack of leadership, lack of customer focus, and inadequate human resources development and management.

Current research extends previous researches. It focuses on barriers that are associated with managing the quality transformation, while previous researches focused mainly on ineffective change management. Moreover, this paper studies how these obstacles influence potential undesirable outcomes of failed TQM. Thus, five main obstacles to TQM were identified:

1) inadequate human resources development and management;

2) lack of planning for quality;

3) lack of leadership for quality;

4) inadequate resources for TQM;

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5) lack of customer focus.

These five factors help to understand main management-related obstacles to TQM. In addition, the influence of these factors on TQM success (or failure) can be evaluated. The most essential factor was found to be “inadequate resources,” together with “inadequate human resources development and management” and “lack of planning” (Sebastianelli & Tamimi, 2003). Such a ranking of obstacles may be useful as direction and guidance for developing strategies to increase the success of TQM can be made.

The empirically derived constructs for barriers to TQM can be useful for other researchers. They can build structural models and test hypotheses connected with TQM. Thus, this research provides useful models and information for other scientists who will study problems of TQM.

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To my opinion, the research was successful and useful. It brought many fresh ideas to TQM study. It is useful not only for further researchers, but also for common managers. They can use the results of the research to see the mistakes in TQM development in their corporation and eliminate them.

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