TOTAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR
Total Quality Management (TQM) is a management approach which seeks to establish zero defects in any part of an organization, and which uses teams, worker empowerment and creative problem solving to accomplish this aggressive goal. Originally developed for the manufacturing sector, TQM programs are now found in many different types of organizations, including marketing, production, finance and customer support. A TQM program encompasses all aspects of an organization's operations, including its hiring and promotional practices, the way the company itself is structured, and the culture that the company develops. In some cases, TQM programs are implemented in organizations that already have some quality emphasis; in other cases, TQM programs are laid into organizations totally lacking a commitment to quality. The way in which TQM is implemented can be critical in whether the program is an eventual success or failure. This research considers the advantages and disadvantages of TQM and its applicability to the public sector.
As its name suggests, Total Quality Management is an attempt to maximize quality within and throughout an organization. It requires that various departments be seen as "internal" customers as well as considering the needs and requirements of external customers (the company's traditional customers). By combining techniques such as just-in-time inventory (JIT) control, quality circles (QC) and other innovative management approaches, the goal is to maximize productivity and bring defects to zero. As a result, the entire organization is brought into the TQM process, from procurement through manufacturing and including accounting.
Because TQM encompasses the entire organization, it requires that all employees be committed to the TQM process. In small organizations, getting all employees to be involved in the process can be accomplished through internal communic...