The article analyses Business Excellence (BE) and its relationship with TQM. It describes a model of quality movement from the monitoring of processes to quality control and TQM. The authors identify the aspects of TQM that support models of BE and trace the role of TQM in business excellence.
The article describes the transformations of quality management from simple inspection to current quality management approaches such as ISO standards, EFQM model, and the Six Sigma methodology. The authors indicate that the shift from inspection to prevention approach contributed greatly to quality management in the manufacturing process and later to all company activities and lately, with a focus on customer needs. By identifying the history of quality management, the authors trace the transformation of TQM from the inspection of the manufacturing process to BE. The authors also describe a model for evaluation of BE based on three factors, viz. quality, price, and delivery. These factors interact to achieve excellence, which means an improvement in the quality of goods and services, efficiency, and quality of a service or a product. A different perspective of BE is also provided in this article, viz. the approach focuses on technology, business, and organization as aspects of continual improvement. The authors conclude by outlining the principles of the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) in promoting excellence and the similarities of EFQM in the European context and TQM principles.
The article relied on both primary and secondary sources to provide an overview of TQM models worldwide. The business performance improvement and the European Foundation for quality management provided information on EFQM and EFQM excellence models in the European context (Ionica et al., 2010). The study also relied on articles that examined BE in the Romanian context including private and state-owned companies. The articles that analyze the transition from inspection to quality control and assurance in Romania as well as the factors that hamper the implementation of State Quality Control were also used.
In this article, the analysis of the excellence models revealed a shift to quality assurance at all levels of an organization. The authors found that the principles of EFQM when applied to organizations results in improved results in terms of expertise management (Ionica et al., 2010). In the Romanian context, ISO certification should incorporate a TQM implementation to achieve quality and business excellence. Additionally, the authors note that a combined approach that integrates different quality assurance models such as EFQM, US Baldrige, and TQM will help in promoting quality and business excellence for most organizations. By borrowing from different conceptual approaches and models applied at both national and international levels, an approach for business excellence can be designed for an organization. The traditional approach to implementing one model does not allow organizations to achieve excellence. The authors further note that by combining the basic concepts and principles of TQM models worldwide, it is possible to define a BE model that is specific to an organization and achieve sustained business excellence.
In their conclusion, the authors note that business excellence is not a goal, but an on-going process of continual improvement that promotes organizational performance. This assertion underscores the implementation of TQM approaches. In the Romanian context, the article reveals that some organizations in this country have implemented quality improvement measures. In a bid to achieve excellence, relevant TQM models and concepts should be analyzed for possible application in a specific case. As such, it is important for organizations to understand the essence of the continual and sustained process of quality improvement in organizational excellence, which should start from the top executives and spread to all workers in the organization.
Ionica, A., Baleanu, V., Edelhauser, E., & Irimie, S. (2010). TQM and business excellence. Economics, 10(4), 125-134.