Problems in Total Quality within the Workplace

Unfortunately, this in itself has been a perplexing task since TQM has had various definitions for different people. The TQM philosophy revolves around assumptions that are manifested in people, quality, corporations and the role of top management (Hackman &amp. Wageman, 1995). The strategy outlines four core principles that bring about quality improvement. The first pertains to the process control and design which requires training at all levels of the organization (Hackman &amp. Wageman, 1995). The second pertains to elimination of uncontrolled variance in process standards (Hackman &amp. Wageman, 1995). The third relates to the methodical collection of data and finally, the fourth pertains to continuous improvement (Hackman &amp. Wageman, 1995).
However, the implementation of TQM and its application to industries is not as simplistic as its explanation. it is plagued by several problems. Recent research suggests that more than 80% of TQM efforts have failed to achieve desired tangible results since top management fails to set SMART goals (Kearney, 1992). Most organizations have failed to realize significant competitive edge through initiation of these efforts.
TQM requires a culture whereby organizations are devoted to increasing quality, often at the expense of short term profits. However, several profit organizations take a myopic view when they aim for short term profits rather than quality. In organizations in the public sector, the issue is that of excessive government intervention and influence on the organization’s activities (Sarkar, 1991). State run organizations are often bureaucratic in nature and tend to deviate from quality improvement activities. In such organizations it is difficult to embed the TQM culture.
Furthermore, in certain developing countries the culture is such that it negates change and does not encourage empowerment that is fundamental to the achievement