What Is Total Quality Management ?

Total Quality Management principle concentrates on the quality of product or service delivered by the organization using various systems, tools, and processes. One of the core principles of TQM is to involve all the members of the organization for producing best quality products and cement their position in the global market. TQM focuses on meeting stakeholder expectations in an efficient manner. TQM always ensures that products and services are delivered to the customer correctly in the very first instance. TQM principles can be applied to all the levels of an organization. If we look at an ISO initiative, it only focuses on the processes used for delivering the final product. TQM also focuses on the other aspects such as culture, ethics and attitude which ISO does not cover.

History of Total Quality Management

If we look at the history of quality management, it was designed and developed way back in 1920’s, but it was implemented by few organizations in 1940. The Japanese firms wanted to improve their quality of their products and increase their exports to gain economic stability, which was severely affected during the second world war. For this the Japanese invited an American statistician W. Edwards Deming, who designed and developed Statistical Quality Control (SQC) to Japan and spoke to their engineers and scientists for producing better quality goods.

The American statistician explained to Japanese engineers and scientists about his fourteen-point philosophy of management. After learning about Deming’s fourteen-point philosophy of management, the Japanese understood that for producing a quality product it is important that people from all levels of an organization have to participate in the production process and share a collective responsibility which would result in producing high-quality products. This philosophy was implemented by many Japanese firms.

Though, Deming’s philosophy was fruitful to Japanese firms, they wanted to increase their market share, and, for this reason, they invited Joseph Juran to explain about quality concepts that Juran mentioned in his Quality Control Handbook which were published in the year 1951. According to the historians, Juran’s visit to Japan was considered as the next phase in the quality management history. Though there’s been a lot of similarity between Deming’s and Juran’s views, but Juran also believed that the quality has to be embedded into every aspect of the business in order to nurture and develop the culture of quality within the organization. Juran also gave an explanation to the Japanese entrepreneurs that the quality comes at a cost which can affect their business which can be either positive or negative.

The American businesses also suffered financial jolts during 1970’s, and after studying the Japanese methodologies, the American also started implementing the principles of Total Quality Management. These principles were followed by some big companies such as Motorola and General Electric. These American giants regained their market share in the global market after implementing TQM principles.

TQM Principles

Today, Total Quality Management principles are practiced by many companies across the globe, and some organizations have made some minor alterations to the principles so that it can be easily adapted by the organization. The primary philosophy which is based on the continuous improvement model remains the same that is to provide top quality service and products to the end customer or client. The companies can achieve this through the following methodology:

  • Allowing employees to involve in every level of the production process and work towards improving the quality of the product.

  • Every alteration or change in the production process must be made in order to enhance the quality of the product and also customer satisfaction.

  • If there are any defects in the products they must be thoroughly investigated and ensured that they are not repeated.

  • The employees must be trained on regularly and which will enhance their understanding about the process and quality principles.

Benefits of TQM

  • Total Quality Management principles stress on the decentralized structure, which encourages creativity and leadership traits within an organization.

  • One of the major advantages of introducing TQM is that it brings in a change in the behavior of the employee, which is useful for the organization as the employees feel more responsible and deliver better goods and service.

  • According to a survey, most of the successful companies across the globe have more functional integration and fewer layers of hierarchy.


When a company implements Total Quality Management principles within their organization, they will gain a competitive edge over their business as rivals. These principles give rise to a new culture within the organization that will help in organizational growth and longevity. TQM helps in creating a work environment, that encourages in building partnerships and co-operation.

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Melissa James