KISII UNIVERSITY COLLEGE
COURSE : TOTAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT
CODE : BCOM/BBAM 472
FACULTY : COMMERCE
TASK : ASSIGNMENT
INSTRUCTOR: MRS. ODERO
TOPIC: BARRIERS TO TOTAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT
PRESENTED BY: DAVIS KARANJA EBUSA C12/60316/08
KANYIMBO PETER MASONGO C11/60213/08
JOSEPH NGIGE MUNGAI C12/60279/08
MOSES WAFULA MORI C12/60285/08
JOAN WAMUYU MUNENE C11/60180/08
JOSPHAT KAMUNYA WANGECI C11/60183/08
ANGELA KASERA NYANJOM C12/ 60299/08
MOSES KANDAYA C12/60315/08
FRED BETT C11/60231/08
ODHIAMBO BENEDICT ATARO C12/ 60309/08
TQM is management philosophy that seeks to integrate all organizational functions (marketing, finance, design, engineering, production, customer etc) to focus on meeting customer needs and organizational objectives.TQM views an organization as a collection of processes. It maintains that organizations must always strive to continuously improve these processes by incorporating the knowledge and experiences of workers.
Implementation of Quality
The implementation of total quality is similar to that of other decentralized control methods. In developing TQM, companies need to understand how consumers define quality in both goods and services offered. If a company pays more attention to quality in its production processes, fewer problems are bound to occur when the product is in the customers’ hands. Management should make a commitment to measure the performance of a product relative to its quality through customer surveys, which can help managers to identify design, manufacturing or any other process that has a bearing on the quality of a product or service, and therefore provide an opportunity for continuous improvement.
An obstacle is an object, a thing, an action or a situation that causes an obstruction. Obstacles can be physical, social, economic, technological or political. There are a number of barriers that face the process of TQM implementation.
Discussed below are some of the barriers or obstacles that total quality management face during implementation. Most scholars who have researched on the subject choice to focus on the specific industries like the construction, Agriculture e.t.c and specific economies. What we came up with are general barriers that are likely to cut across the economic board.
1. Competitive markets
A competitive market is a driving force behind many of the other obstacles to quality. One of the effects of a competitive market is to lower quality standards to a minimally acceptable level. This barrier to quality is mainly a mental barrier caused by a misunderstanding of the definition of quality. Unfortunately, too many companies equate quality with high cost. Their definition leads to the assumption that a company can’t afford quality. A broader definition needs to be used to look at quality, not only in the company’s product, but in every function of the company. All company functions have an element of quality. If the quality of tasks performed is poor, unnecessary cost is incurred by the company and, ultimately, passed to the customer. TQM should work by inspiring employees at every level to continuously improve what they do, thus rooting out unnecessary costs. Done correctly, a company involved with TQM can dramatically reduce operating costs. The competitive advantage results from concentrating resources (the employees’ brainpower) on controlling costs and improving customer service.
2. Bad attitudes/abdication of responsibility/management infallibility
The competitive environment, poor management practice, and a general lack of higher expectations have contributed to unproductive and unhealthy attitudes. These attitudes often are expressed in popular sayings, such as “It’s not my job” and “If I am not broke, don’t fix it. Such attitude sayings stem from the popular notion that management is always right and therefore employees are” only supposed to implement management decisions without questioning. Lethargy is further propagated through management’s failure to train employees on TQM fundamentals that build better attitudes by involving them in teams that identify and solve problems. Such training can transform employees from being part of the problem to part of the solution. This will foster motivation and creativity and build productive and healthy attitudes that focus employees on basic fundamentals, such as: keep customer needs in mind, constantly look for improvements, and accept personal responsibility for your work.
3. Lack of leadership for quality
Excess layers of management quite often lead to duplication of duty and responsibility. This has made the lower employees of an organization to leave the quality implementation to be a management’s job. In addition, quality has not been taken as a joint responsibility by the management and the employees. Coupled with the notion that management is infallible and therefore it is always right in its decisions, employees have been forced to take up peripheral role in quality improvement. As a result employees who are directly involved in the production of goods or delivery of services are not motivated enough to incorporate quality issues that have been raised by the customers they serve since they do not feel as part of the continuous process of quality improvement. Moreover, top management is not visibly and explicitly committed to quality in many organizations.
4. Deficiency of cultural dynamism
Every organization has its own unique way of doing things. This is defined in terms of culture of the organization. The processes, the philosophy, the procedures and the traditions define how the employees and management contribute to the achievement of goals and meeting of organizational objectives. Indeed, sticking to organizational culture is integral in delivery of the mission of the organization. However, culture has to be reviewed and for that matter re-adjustments have to be done in tune with the prevailing economic, political, social and technological realities so as to improve on efficiency. In adequate cultural dynamism has made total quality implementation difficult because most of the top level management of many organizations are rigid in their ways of doing things.
5. Inadequate resources for total quality management
Since most companies do not involve quality in their strategic plan, little attention is paid to TQM in terms of human and financial resources. Much of the attention is drawn to increasing profit margins of the organization with little regard as to whether their offers/ supply to customers is of expected quality. There is paltry budgetary allocation made towards employee training and development which is critical for total quality management implementation. Employee training is often viewed as unnecessary cost which belittles the profits margins which is the primary objective for the existence of businesses and as a result TQM has been neglected as its implementation “may not necessarily bring gains to the organization in the short term”.
6. Lack of customer focus.
Most strategic plans of organizations are not customer driven. They tend to concentrate much on profit-oriented objectives within a given time frame. Little (if any) market research is done to ascertain the product or service performance in the market relative to its quality. Such surveys are regarded by most organizations as costly and thus little concern is shown to quality improvement for consumer satisfaction.
7. Lack of effective measurement of quality improvement
TQM is centered on monitoring employees and processes, and establishing objectives that anticipate the customer's needs so that he is surprised and delighted. This has posed a considerable challenge to many companies. Measurement problems are caused by goals based on past substandard performance, poor planning, and lack of resources and competitor-based standard. Worse still, the statistical measurement procedures applied to production are not applicable to human system processes.
8. Poor Planning
The absence of a sound strategy has often contributed to ineffective quality improvement. Duran noted that deficiencies in the original planning cause a process to run at a high level of chronic waste. Using data collected at then recent seminars, Duran (1987) reported that although some managers were not pleased with their progress on their quality implementation agenda, they gave quality planning low priority. As Oakland (1989) said, the pre-planning stage of developing the right attitude and level of awareness is crucial to achieving success in a quality improvement program.
Newell and Dale (1990) in their study observed that a large number of companies are either unable or unwilling to plan effectively for quality improvement. Although many performed careful and detailed planning prior to implementation, not one of the firms studied or identified beforehand the stages that their process must endure. Perhaps the root cause of poor plans and specifications is that many owners do not understand the impact that poor drawings have on a project’s quality, cost, and time. Regardless of the cause, poor plans and specifications lead to a project that costs more, takes longer to complete, and causes more frustration than it should. Companies using TQM should always strive towards impressing upon owners the need to spend money and time on planning. If management took reasonable time to plan projects thoroughly and invest in partnering to develop an effective project team, a lot could be achieved in terms of product performance as these investments in prevention- oriented management can significantly improve the quality of the goods or services offered by an organization
9. Lack of management commitment
A quality implementation program will succeed only if top management is fully committed beyond public announcements. Success requires devotion and highly visible and articulate champions. Newell and Dale (1990) found that even marginal wavering by corporate managers was sufficient to divert attention from continuous improvement. Additionally, Schein (1991) reported that the U.S. Quality Council is most troubled by the lack of top management commitment in many companies.
Lack of commitment in quality management may stem from various reasons. Major obstacles include the preoccupation with short-term profits and the limited experience and training of many executives. Duran, for example, observed that many managers have extensive experience in business and finance but not in quality improvement. Similarly, Bothe (1988) pointed out that although the CEO does not have to be a quality expert, programs fail when the CEO does not recognize the contribution these techniques make toward profitability and customer satisfaction.
Top management should, therefore, embrace quality improvement programs no matter how far reaching the programs may appear the monetary implications therein. Competition alone should not be considered as the single factor that drives managers into implementing quality initiatives.
10. Resistance of the workforce
A workforce is often unwilling to embrace TQM for a variety of reasons. Oakland (1989) explained that a lack of long-term objectives and targets will cause a quality implementation program to lose credibility.
Keys (1991) warned that an adversarial relationship between management and non-management should not exist, and he emphasized that a cooperative relationship is necessary for success. A TQM project must be supported by employee trust, acceptance and understanding of management's objectives .Employees ,therefore, should be recognized by the management as vital players in the decision making processes regarding to quality improvement as involving them would have motivating effect on implementation of quality programs.
11. Lack of proper training/Inadequate Human Resource Development
There is evidence that lack of understanding and proper training exists at all levels of any organization, and that it is a large contributor to worker resistance. Schein (1990), for example, mentioned that business school failure to teach relevant process skills contributed to manager ineffectiveness.TQM requires a well-educated workforce with a solid understanding of basic math, reading, writing and communication. Although companies invest heavily in quality awareness, statistical process control, and quality circles, often the training is too narrowly focused. Frequently, Duran’s warning against training for specific organizational levels or product lines is unheeded. This has also been underscored by Newell and Dale who argue that poor education and training present a major obstacle in the development and implementation of a quality program. . For a company to produce a quality product, employees need to know how to do their jobs. For TQM to be successful, organizations must commit to training employees at all levels. TQM should provide comprehensive training, including technical expertise, communication skills, small-team management, problem-solving tools, and customer relations.
Conclusion and recommendation
The advantages of TQM have been widely discussed, but the challenges of implementation have received little attention. A quality philosophy is required for the successful implementation of a quality project. This philosophy must facilitate a long-term lifestyle change for a company. Commitment of top management is essential. Substantial inflow of resources, adequate training, workforce participation and effective measurement techniques are some of the key success factors. A successful TQM program is unique, and it should motivate middle management to focus on long-term strategies rather than short-term goals.
Teamwork is the key to involvement and participation. Groups should be encouraged to work closely and effectively, and should focus on quality improvement and customer satisfaction.
All organizations should focus on the following for successful TQM implementation:
i) Create consistency of purpose toward improvement of the product and service so as to become competitive, stay in business and provide jobs.
ii) Cease dependence on mass inspection; require, instead, statistical evidence that quality is built on.
iii) Adopt the new philosophy. We are in a new economic age. We no longer need live with commonly accepted levels of delay, mistake, defective material and defective workmanship.
iv) Improve the quality of incoming materials. End the practice awarding business on the basis of price alone. Instead, depend on meaningful measures of quality, along with price.
v) Find the problems; constantly improve the system of production and service. There should be continual rise in productivity and a decrease in costs.
1. Stephen George; (1998) Total Quality Management, 2nd Edition, Wiley, London.
2. Bill Creech; (1995), The Five Pillars of Total Quality Management, Plume , London.
3. David L. Goetz; Quality Management For Organizational Excellence, 6th Edition, Prentice Hall.
4. Vincent K. Omachonu ;( 2004) Principles of Total Quality, 3rd Edition, CRC Press, New York.
5. James R. Evans; 2004 Total Quality, 4th Edition, South-Western College.