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Total Quality Management as an OD Intervention

7 pages
1674 words
Carnegie Mellon University
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The concept of total quality management began as assurances functions through inspection before dispatching or selling goods. Total quality management, a logical follow-up the concept of quality began receiving attention by many manufacturing firms (Sallis, 2014). With the current environment of concern for effectiveness and productivity as well as global opportunities and competition, numerous firms including both public and private firms are increasingly appreciating the need for enacting a quality conscious across their different business functions. Tata Steel is one such company which has made total quality management an important part of its culture. Tata Steel adopted the total quality management intervention in a bid to adapt to the changing global business environment which was becoming increasingly competitive (Garg, Mishra & Sehrawat, 2013). This paper uses the case study of Tata Steel to discuss the total quality intervention, citing its elements, its benefits to stakeholders and its consistency with relevant theory. Successively, the paper identifies the impact of the intervention on stakeholders, describes how the intervention is evaluated and make recommendations for improving the intervention.

Description of Total Quality Management Intervention

Total quality management is an organizational development intervention that comprises of organizational efforts to install a long-lasting environment in which a firm continuously improved its capability of delivering high-quality services and products to its customers (Talib ET AL., 2011). The main aim of total quality management intervention is to embed awareness of quality in all processes of an organization. Total quality management has four elements which include process proficiency, design efficiency, reliability, and market advantage (Agus & Abdullah, 2000; Ungar, 2012). The reliability and market advantage component allow organizations to make profits through augmenting revenue while process efficiency and design efficiency allows an organization to make a profit by reducing the costs of operation (Mitra, 2016; Anderson, 2017). Total quality management efforts usually draw heavily on the earlier established techniques and tools of quality control. The concept emphasizes the role of external and internal suppliers and customers, as well as the involvement of workers towards continuous improvement. Total quality management allows the organization to obtain a high level of differentiation (Wilson, 2005), on the one hand, strengthening its brand image and satisfying the needs of customers. And, on the other hand, to lower the costs of operations by improving the processes of the organization and preventing mistakes that would lead to time wastage (Sallis, 2014; Avey et al., 2008).

An intervention of total quality management comprises of and facilitates all functional systems, processes, and areas of firms including customer support production, development, and design. This facilitation is in a bid to maximize the satisfaction of customers by repeating activities in the interest of advancement and innovation (Oakland, 2014). Quality in a product or service ensures that it can meet the customers' present expectations while taking into account of their future needs. The enactment of total quality management is the main focus of the total quality management philosophy (Madu, 2012). Nonetheless, firms are required to define quality themselves, whether the whether the definition is designed to make a product that animates customers and which consumers would not think of buying from rival firms or making a product that meets engineering standards (Benson, 2006). After a clear definition of total quality management, the management of a firm can begin to focus on a target for change (Goetsch & Davis, 2014). The total quality management intervention of Tata Steel is based on four main pillars including continuous improvement, data-driven, team involvement and customer focus. Continuous improvement involves engagement in incremental enhancements continuously to affect the quality of the processes and products of the business (Conti, 2012). Customer focus embroils each employee identifying his or her customers and determining the best method to use to satisfy the needs of the customer.

Identification of The Need for Total Quality Management Intervention

The need for total quality management can be identified through various ways including audits of an organizations activities, rapid changes in the business environment or research into the issues facing an organization (Charantimath, 2011). Increased global competition if forcing firms to focus more on their customers (Talib, Rahman & Qureshi, 2011; Brown & Harvey, 2011). Customers demand high-quality products for their needs to be satisfied, forcing more and more firms to adopt total quality management intervention to their organizational production and structure (Woolcock & Narayan, 2000). The intervention means that the firm places more emphasis on delivering products to customers. Total quality management is important to organizational behavior since it pervades all areas of the performance of employees (Chiarini, 2011; Chermack, & Lynham, 2001). A firm that produces products of high quality must have all area of workers working towards the end outcome. Workers have to possess the ability to respond to the needs of customers quickly to keep enhancing quality (Williamson & Thomas, 2011).

Total quality management tries to identify ways that can continuously lead to quality improvements. The three factors that are considered by an organization to determine if the change is needed include whether the idea of change will improve the use of the firm's resource (Conley, 2015). The third factor is whether the change will make the outcomes faster for the customer or organization and whether the change will make the customer response better generally (Sallis, 2014; Cummings, 2008; Cummings & Worley, 2009). If the answer to these factors is yes, the idea of change should be implemented to enhance product and general organization quality. In the case of TATA Steel, the need for total quality management was identified after rapid changes in the steel industry which forced TATA Steel to think outside the box (Singh, Jha & Kumar, 2010). The changes mainly involved still competition from rivals in the same industry who had already implemented total quality management and the changing needs of customers. It became necessary for the company to redefine its business elements including plant location, input materials products and processes, management techniques and tools as well as its business priorities.

Consistency of Total Quality Management Intervention with Relevant Theory

Psychology enables human beings to understand themselves, the interactions between them and circumstances, interactions between workers and leaders, and any management system (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2014; Cummings & Worley, 2014). Individuals are different, and leaders are supposed to know these differences and utilize them to optimize the inclinations and abilities of every person. Numerous managers conduct activities under the assumption that all individuals are the same and as a result, treat them as interchangeable parts of a process (Performance Theories, 2009). Nevertheless, individuals learn in different ways, perform at different levels and different speeds (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2014; Pettigrew et al., 2001). Leaders are obligated to make alterations in the management system that will lead to improvements in the firm.

According to Webley (2011), the nine psychology motivations of total quality management include internationalization, group dynamics, development, rationality, instrumentality, consensus, quality, equity, and identification. For instance, the process of identification with the organization by workers starts with the display of a healthy, precise corporate image via its external presentation of products and premises (Anderson, 2017; Theories of Development, 2010). Additionally, the image is fostered by the use of a clear mission statement and use of slogans secured with consistent management behaviors (Webley, 2011). Similarly, there is a commitment to the management of an organization by consensus, where the employees and the management team share the same vision and goals (Diamantopoulos & Siguaw, 2006). In effect, the firm reoriented and redefined itself in the dynamic environment.

Individuals possess an innate need for relationships with other individuals and also for respect and self-esteem. Situations can provide some individuals with self-esteem and dignity and retract them from other people. Individuals inherit the right to enjoy work and psychology enable them to preserve and nurture the positive innate attributes of people (Talib et al., 2011). The third party of Profound Knowledge is a theory advanced by Deming to explain total quality management (Fleck, 2006; Ramnarayan & Rao, 2011). Deming places emphasis notion that there is no knowledge without theory. If one copies an example of success without trying to understand it using theory the results may be disastrous (Ripley, 2003). Theory prompts questioning and can be validated to explain why (Mitra, 2016). Numerous consultant methods that have been productive are based on theory, and hence managers have a responsibility to understand and apply theory.

Demings explanation of total quality management places emphasis on the three aspects including learning the new philosophy, understanding inspection, and management commitment (French et al., 2005; Rothwell & Sullivan, 2005). Under the management commitment component, it is recommended that businesses would not just exist for profit, but their principal aim should be to serve their employees and outcomes (Mitra, 2016; Rothwell & Sullivan, 2005). To achieve this, the organization has to take a long-term view and invest in research, training, and innovation. Hence, a firm needs a statement of purpose and a clear mission. In learning the new philosophy, it is explained that the Taylor system forms a basis for the Western management subsystem. The Taylor system has resulted in adversarial work relationships, quotas and number-driven production (Chiarini, 2011; Gallos, 2006). The traditional methods of management create anxiety, fear, and mistrust with an emphasis on satisfaction instead of optimization. Removing the defects is not enough (Thomas, 2015).

The achievement of success in the current global economy needs a customer-driven approach that is based on cooperation between management and labor as well as the continuous cycle of improvement (Goetsch & Davis, 2014). All individuals in the firm, therefore, have to learn the new philosophy of quality management. The element of understanding inspection proposes that routine inspection helps identify defects and also adds to the product of a firm (Sallis, 2014; Shuck et al., 2014). Rather, it encouraged defects because another person identifies and corrects the problem and this reduced productivity while increasing costs. Employees have to take responsibility for their work and possess the capability of taking suitable action to guarantee good quality (Oakland, 2014; Goldstein & Ford, 2002; Harrison, 2012). Managers need to understand how variation impacts firm processes and then take measures to lower the causes of variation. In total quality management, the inspection should be used as a tool for information gathering and enhancement but not as an end in itself (Waclawski & Church, 2002).

Impact of Total Quality Management Intervention on Stakeholders

The stakeholders of a firm...

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