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Total Quality Management
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DescriptionIt is very crucial for an organization to understand the relationships between the business and financial performance impact for its continuous success. Therefore analysis of these is a valuable means to ensure an integrated approach to measure the overall performance and to allow us to understand the company's core financial strength.
Total Quality Management in Libraries.
WHAT IS TQM?
In the 1950s, the Japanese asked W. Edwards Deming, an American statistician and management theorist, to help them improve their war torn economy. By implementing Deming's principles of total quality management (TQM), Japan experienced dramatic economic growth. In the 1980s, when the United States began to see a reduction in its own world market share in relation to Japan, American business rediscovered Deming. Quality management experts, Joseph Juran and Philip Crosby, also contributed to the development of TQM theories, models, and tools. TQM is now practiced in business as well as in government, the military, education, and in non-profit organizations including libraries (Jurow & Barnard, 1993).
TQM is "a system of continuous improvement employing participative management and centered on the needs of customers" (Jurow & Barnard, 1993). Key components of TQM are employee involvement and training, problem-solving teams, statistical methods, long-term goals and thinking, and recognition that the system, not people, produces inefficiencies. Libraries can benefit from TQM in three ways: breaking down interdepartmental barriers; redefining the beneficiaries of library services as internal customers (staff) and external customers (patrons); and reaching a state of continuous improvement (Jurow & Barnard, 1993).
A library should focus on providing the best services possible, and be willing to change to serve its customers. To determine if changes need to be made, a library administrator might ask: What are our niche markets? What do the customers come in for? How can I look at the efficiency of my library? How do we serve the current customers that exist today? (Total Quality Management, 1995). First learn about the customer, then solve the problems.
14 STEPS TO TOTAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT
Based on his work with Japanese managers and others, Deming (1986; Walton, 1986) outlined 14 steps that managers in any type of organization can take to implement a total quality management program.
1. Create constancy of purpose for improvement of product and service. Contancy of purpose requires innovation, investment in research and education, continuous improvement of product and service, maintenance of equipment, furniture and fixtures, and new aids to production.
2. Adopt the new philosophy. Management must undergo a transformation and begin to believe in quality products and services.
3. Cease dependence on mass inspection. Inspect products and services only enough to be able to identify ways to improve the process.
4. End the practice of awarding business on price tag alone. The lowest priced goods are not always the highest quality; choose a supplier based on its record of improvement and then make a long-term commitment to it.
5. Improve constantly and forever the system of product and service. Improvement is not ...
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