The TQM philosophy of management is customer oriented, with all members of the total quality management organization striving to systematically improve the organization through the ongoing participation by all employees in problem-solving efforts across functional and hierarchical boundaries (Schlenker). TQM incorporates concepts of quality products, process control, quality assurance, and quality improvement on an ongoing basis. TQM is the control of all transformation processes of an organization to improve customer satisfaction in the most economical way. The process is based on internal self-control embedded in each unit of the work system (technology and personnel). Problem-solving is pushed down in the organization, allowing the people who do the work to be responsible for quality control and to take corrective action where necessary in order to deliver a product or service that meets the needs of the customer.
There is no full agreement between the experts and managers on how best to implement TQM, effectively to their organizations, with some advising customer satisfaction as the driving force behind quality improvement, and others suggesting quality management is best achieved by internal productivity or cost improvemdnt programs (Schlenker). Other organizations see TQM as a means to introduce participatory management into their system.
Until recently, American organizations in general have emphasized the "cost of non-conference" and the importance of emp