Breaking Through the Barriers to TQM Effectivness: Lack of Commitment of Upper-Level Management

Soltani, Ebrahim and Lai, Pei-Chun and Gharneh, Naser Shams (2005) Breaking Through the Barriers to TQM Effectivness: Lack of Commitment of Upper-Level Management. Total Quality Management and Business Excellence, 16 (8-9). pp. 1009-1021. ISSN 1478-3363. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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This paper examines the importance of senior management commitment to successful implementation of TQM initiatives. Subsumed under the general heading of senior management commitment will be the issues of employee commitment and, in consequence, the TQM success. The interrelationship between CEO commitment, employee commitment and effectiveness of TQM programmes is usually a very close and linear one, not least because, if a TQM organization wishes to improve and achieve success it has no choice but to be committed fully from top to shop floor. As commitment of senior management and employees are not substitutable, it is difficult to study either issue in isolation. The paper opens with an attempt to offer a clear explanation of TQM practices, and goes on from this to outline the importance of a highly-committed CEO and his or her senior management team as a test of whether an organization considers TQM initiatives as a managerial panacea towards competitive advantage or just another management fad. The implications of management commitment for employee motivation and wider aspects of TQM success are discussed. The paper then examines the evidence that ‘mobility of management’ – Deming's fourth deadly disease – has a negative effect at both aggregate and company levels, and instances the ways in which world-class organizations utilize senior management commitment to act as a spur to the adoption and successful implementation of TQM programmes. The changes in CEOs or other top executives that have recently taken place are surveyed, and it is argued that the evidence indicates the centrality of ‘mobility of senior management’ to TQM failure. Following on from this, some potential problem areas in terms of current causes of low commitment of senior management and why CEO commitment dropped off so dramatically, are discussed, followed by a number of general organizational factors adduced to explain these barriers to TQM success. The paper concludes with some brief remarks about prospects for the highly-committed senior management of TQM organizations, and the need for further empirical research on the factors that impedes transition to a stable total quality (TQ) environment.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > Kent Business School > Management Science
Depositing User: J. Ziya
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2010 15:31
Last Modified: 06 May 2014 09:54
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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