Critical Factors of TQM: An Update on The Literature

International Journal of Applied Quality Management (ISSN: 1742-2647) Volume 2 Issue 2

Dr. A. Al Nofal
Research Associate

Dr. N. Al Omaim
Research Associate

Prof. M. Zairi
European Centre for TQM


It is often argued that Total Quality Management (TQM) should be tailored to an organisation’s needs (Robin and Dennis, 1995). This view has also been supported by the work of a number of quality practitioners who argue that TQM needs to take account of the different technology histories and backgrounds of organisations. Other differences include different markets that are served with different products and the workforce which may comprise people from different cultures (Atkinson, 1990). Basic characteristics of the organisation, its culture and climate (Kanji and Yui, 1997), affect the implementation of TQM (Van Der Akker, 1989). The drive to improve quality, therefore, has to be managed differently. This paper presents the most important factors of TQM implementation often stressed by researchers, supported by the writings of quality gurus

A wide range of elements of TQM are covered in this paper. They are leadership, internal stakeholder’s management including employee involvement, middle management role, training and education, rewards and recognition, team work, and the role of employee unions, policy strategies, resource management, communication management, managing supplies, cost of quality, benchmarking, self-assessment, quality control techniques, organisational climate, culture, continuous improvement, innovation culture, and TQM sustainability.

The paper concludes with a perspective on how to use critical factors as the ‘foundation’ for driving transformational orientation in order to create a sustainable performance culture and reap out commercial and competitive benefits on a continuous basis.

Key words: TQM, Critical Factors, Implementation, Sustainability, Transformational Orientation, Leadership, Policy & Strategy

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