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Total, Quality, Management [TQM]

Total Quality Management (TQM) is an approach to business, which looks critically at the

products and services of a company in order to obtain complete customer satisfaction. The name

includes the word ‘total’ because it involves everything the company does: all its processes and

employees at every end in the company at all times.

TQM is the sum of three attributes, namely Total + Quality + Management.

1. Total: Any decision or action transpiring in a particular department is not confined to that department but in turn influences the entire system of that organisation. Hence, every matter should be studied as a whole.

2. Quality: Quality is the integration of quality in production, quality in services, and quality in management process.

3. Management: Management is an art of accomplishing actions through others.

TQM is a continuous improvement approach and it is founded on the tenet that quality can be

managed and that it is a process. Quality is a way of managing, not a technical activity. Quality means

something more than just the basics outlined in ISO 9000 or ISI.


TQM is the foundation of activities to attain the goal of error-free work most of the time. The

assertion is expressed in various ways: right first time, zero defects. The idea is to strive for

perfection in work. Zero defect production is the result of emphasis on prevention and careful use of

measurement, process controls and elimination of waste and error. It serves as a goal for continuous

improvement. Some points related to TQM are as follows:

• Prevention as the aim of all quality assurance.

• Quality as the single greatest factor in achieving market success for the company.

• Reducing products and services cost

• Following ‘Just in Time’ techniques

• Customer Satisfaction

• Processes, not people, being the problem

• Quality improvement as a continuous activity

• Management of quality at all costs

• Reduced variation


The concept of TQM focuses on the following five principles:

• Perform quality work at the initial stage itself.

• Customer focus is of prime importance.

• There should always be a strategic approach to improvement.

• Attempts for improvement should be continuous process.

• Team work and mutual respect should be encouraged.


It will enrich the total quality of work, product and services and person.

The employee will grow to be self-dependent and self-managed.

The employee as a person will turn out to be quality conscious.

The employees will develop self-discipline.

Another hidden objective is that if we work with love and devotion, the glow of blissfulness will be bequeathed by God.

Indian Insight into TQM

In the Indian context, TQM indicates that mind is the most significant dynamic of total

excellent performance in any organisation. It gives the direction to the management to establish

vision, mission and business definitions. It is the intellectual strength of human beings that controls

the quality of human resources and processes.

Indian ethos entails thought process, perception, attitude and implementation actions, which

maintain the quality of products and services. A perfect human being is the one who accepts

everyone as a part of himself as an individual. Such a quality person in any organisation can best

establish TQM. There are some factors discussed here for quality in a person:

• Attitude towards work

• Cooperation that peers, seniors and sub ordinates impart to him

• Leadership skills

• Top Management

• Family, mentor and ideals

• Teachers and Gurus

The Indian insight indicates that human mind is the master for improvising the quality of performance in any domain. Quality of mind essentially improves the quality of products and services.

We have the “7M” framework, which includes:

• Mind

• Motivations

• Mission

• Money

• Machines

• Material

• Manpower

Principles of TQM in Indian Context:

• Follow the divine principle 'Work is Worship'.

• Work is supreme in that merely work can lead to total quality.

• Commitment is essential for action.

• Sense of belongingness to the organisation is crucial.

• Focus towards each and every activity leads to betterment.

• Selfless actions towards work accomplish a lot.

• Total perfection and quality must be the objective of every single employee.