Total Quality Management Practices and Business Excellence

TQM and BE

As specified by Adebanjo (2001), the orientation of many modern businesses was shifted from total quality management to business excellence thus changing some of the areas and elements that were seen as the focal point for a successful business. In particular, the business model that is followed by most businesses in the contemporary industries is the EFQM business model enforced and promoted by the European Business Excellence Award that represents the process of evaluating the level of excellence in organizations (Gomez, Costa & Lorente 2015). According to the description of the model, its major focus is placed on results, customer focus, and leadership (Business excellence models 2017). The nine categories of which the model is comprised do not mention or include quality as a separate element. In that way, there exists an opinion that quality might have been overlooked, moved aside, and marginalized in the modern business organizations and that the total quality management practices conflict with business excellence (Adebanjo 2001).

However, discussing the relationship between total quality management and business excellence, it is important to keep in mind that customer orientation is included in the excellence standards as one of the critical factors that determine the level of organizational performance (Stracke 2006). In that way, if both TQM and business excellence standards are focused on the needs of consumers, then the practices of the two types tend to pursue common goals and thus cannot clash with one another.

The harmony in which total quality management and business excellence practices can work together was confirmed by multiple pieces of evidence and best practices from real-life that were performed by some of the world’s most well-known and respected manufacturers and service providers. In particular, one of the examples of total quality management and business excellence of a high level was presented by the Japanese car manufacturer Toyota Motor whose success and growth after the Second World War still serves as a legendary example of the change in business orientation that produced fantastic results.

In fact, in that article by Toma and Naruo (2017), it is specified that the success of Toyota Motor that was driven by the placement of quality and customer focus at the core of business processes served as the major catalyst for the emergence of the modern business excellence models. In that way, it can be noted that the two types of practices belong to the same category and cannot exist without one another because they comprise the main components that influence organizational performance. Practically, the business excellence approach can be viewed as a holistic perception of the improvement of quality as one of the most critical elements of business success and performance (Zehir et al. 2012). This approach does not make the two types of practices mutually exclusive but puts them in the same team based on their common objectives.

To sum up, it is necessary to mention that there is an opinion that total quality management and business excellence tend to conflict with each other. This point of view is based on the observation that the latter type of practice is employed more commonly in the modern business industries and thus leads to the neglect and marginalization of quality. However, research and evidence show that the two pursue common goals and thus cannot be in conflict.

Book Chapter Summary and Understanding

In the chapter entitled “Process-oriented Quality Management”, Stracke (2006) explored the concept of quality management using approaching it from the points of view of both theory and practice. In particular, to review the changes that the contemporary organizations are required to make due to the changing industry and business dynamics, the author outlined four quality management concepts that play the most important roles in the generation of excellent performance. To be more precise, the author named the customer, process, and quality orientations as the major focal points of a business organization aiming at the creation of a high level of excellence and quality management.

Moreover, to emphasize that the aforementioned elements cover a very broad range of tasks and processes, Stracke (2006) specified that a holistic approach is required to address all of these goals at the same time. Also, a large portion of the chapter is dedicated to the explanation of the importance of process management regarding the generation of quality and excellence. In particular, explaining how process management works, the author uses the example of the success of Toyota Motors after the Second World War – a legendary case of brilliant strategic planning combined with the carefully selected and outlined business goals.

To explore and explain the diversity of quality management practices, as well and the versatility of tasks they cover and goals for which they work. Moreover, the author points out that there exist various directions of management that participate in the generation of quality. Also, focusing on quality management specifically, Stracke (2006) moves on to the exploration of different approaches such as Six Sigma, TQM, or TQC (total quality control), KAIZEN, and CIP, and BPR (business process reengineering). Each of the approaches takes a unique path towards the improvement of quality. However, all of them tend to pursue the same goals and be based on the same objectives and tasks. It is up to the organizational leaders to choose which approach suits their businesses and objectives the best and select the paths that can be the most beneficial for the quality improvement and align with business strategies.

Conclusion

Finally, the author moves on to the discussion of quality standards that are thoroughly maintained by several different agencies and systems to help organizations in pursuit of a higher level of quality and excellence. The standards provide the businesses and their leaders with structured pieces of well-organized guidance to lead them towards their quality and excellence goals based on the paradigms supported by practical and theoretical expert knowledge. The author concludes that the importance of quality and excellence in organizations is very high because they dictate the level of performance. As a result, modern businesses need to be able to achieve the required quality and excellence goals and become stronger competitors in their industries. At the same time, the all-consuming nature of quality and excellence drivers and the multitude of contributing factors call for a systematized approach that would guide organizations and their leaders. For this purpose, there exist quality standards and excellence models that are designed to lead the organizations through the process of change and improvement.

Reference List

Adebanjo, D 2001, ‘TQM and business excellence: is there really a conflict,’ Measuring Business Excellence, vol. 5, no. 3, pp. 37-40.

Business excellence models 2017, Web.

Gomez, JG, Costa, MM & Lorente, AR 2015, ‘EFQM excellence model and TQM: an empirical comparison,’ Total Quality Management and Business Excellence, vol. 28, no 1-2, pp. 88-103.

Stracke, CM 2006, ‘Process-oriented Quality Management,’ in UD Ehlers & JM Pawlowski (eds.), Handbook on quality and standardisation in e-learning, Springer, Berlin, pp. 79-96.

Toma, S & Naruo, S 2017, ‘Total quality management and business excellence: the best practices at Toyota Motor Corporation’, Amfiteatru Economic, vol. 19, no. 45, pp. 566-580.

Zehir, C, Ertosun, Ö, Zehir, S & Müceldilli, B 2012, ‘Total quality management practices’ effects on quality performance and innovative performance,’ Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, vol. 44, pp. 273 – 280