Total Quality Management

September 12, 2008

Organizing for Total Quality Management: Structures and Teams

When we talk about organizing for Total Quality Management, we mean preparing and organizing people in such a manner that they could work according to the philosophies and practices of TQM. One such way is to compare the traditional organization and the organization based upon
TQM philosophy.

The traditional organization of employees in a company is based upon cascading of authority that can best be illustrated in a pyramid, on the apex of which lies top management, then comes middle management, functional management, supervisors, and employees. This organization of employees, though traditionally accepted and most  appropriately defined way to express the employee organization in a company, does not fit well with the TQM philosophy.

Interestingly, when you view organizing of staff based upon TQM philosophy, the traditional pyramid turns upside down. Why? because TQM is highly customer focused philosophy. If you see the inverted pyramid you would notice that customer comes first, which is followed by the employees, front-line supervisors,and so on and so forth.

Why is that so? The answer is simple. The organization need to give particular emphasis on the development of its front-line staff and supervisors since they are the company in the eyes of their customers. For example front-line staff may be a flight attendant, the bank taller, the sales person, a call center operator, etc. (more…)


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