The concept of total quality management is not new in the business world. The formal process has been around since the 1920s. There have been three main people who have driven the importance of total quality management. Walter Shewhart invented total quality management in the form of statistical control in 1923. Along with Joesph Juran, it was implemented at Western Electric Company in 1926. Both Shewhart and Juran released several publications regarding total quality management. W. Edwards Deming brought it from the United States to Japan in the 1950s. Due to these efforts, Deming is referred to as the “father” of quality management (Unknown – Encyclopedia, n.d.). The concepts of Juran and Deming were initially more widely accepted in Japan than the United States. Due this acceptance, Japanese firms that implemented total quality management saw a large increase in product quality. The increase in demand for Japanese exports led companies in the United States to look more at total quality management, in order to stay competitive in a market that was becoming more and more global.
There are seven basic elements of total quality management:
1. Policy, planning, and administration
2. Product design and design change control
3. Control of purchased material
4. Production quality control
5. User contact and field performance
6. Corrective action
7. Employee selection, training, and motivation
Today, the belief is that in order to implement total quality management participative management, continuous process improvement, and the utilization of teams is required. The idea of participative management is a change from the business model found 100 years ago. No longer is there a strict top-down approach to how busi...
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...nizations had with it, beginning in the 1950s. While the culture in the United States does not support what total quality management requires to work, organizations in the country have noticed the positive impacts it has.
While total quality management has a lot of benefits, it is not for all organizations. Due to the costs and the time associated with implementing total quality management, small organizations can’t support it. The time and patience it takes to implement is different than the cultural norm in the United States. With the pressure to meet earnings for shareholders every quarter, upper management is often focused on the near future, rather than long term implications. If a cultural shift can take place in the United States, total quality management can help businesses compete better in the future, as the market continues to become more and more global.
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