The Evolution of Total Quality Management

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The Evolution of Total Quality Management

A useful way to begin to understand the evolution of TQM is to link it to show how the industrial world was developing at the time TQM was evolving.

Until the industrial revolution in the mid 18th century, most goods were custom made. Industrialisation brought about a fundamental shift from cottage industry production to large scale manufacturing. Simultaneously, industrial activity underwent extensive mechanisation. As explained by Ho, ‘craftsmen were diminishing and being replaced by mass production and repetitive work practices.’ The aim with the new industrial era was to produce large numbers of the same product which required processes to be put in place to control quality as it could not be
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So gradually, during the post-war years (as Cali explains) “… a sea change began taking place in American management philosophy.” as managers began to understand that work of employees needed to be acknowledged and that workers needed to be consulted if quality was to be improved.

In Deming’s book ‘Out of the Crisis’ he explains in his fourteen principles that inspection is not the way forward if a businesses is to ensure quality. He says “Cease dependence on inspection to achieve quality. Eliminate the need for massive inspection by building quality into the product in the first place”

It is around the time that we begin to see the emergence of quality assurance with more emphasis focused on the training and development of staff, recording of data and the accuracy in which things were measured. Brown et all describes how “In the 1980s, leading-edge corporations sparked a revolution as they implemented Total Quality programmes across entire organisations. In such a programme the responsibility for quality is with the whole workforce. Each employee is responsible for the quality of their own job, their own actions. It could be said that responsibility for quality lies with 100% of the workforce.

Another TQM guru, Joseph Juran also influenced the thinking at this time by promoting the need for education and training in the
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