Total Quality Management In Construction
The major new element in world market competition is quality. During
the 1970's and 1980's, the Japanese and their U.S. companies demonstrated that
high quality is achievable at lower costs and greater customer satisfaction. It
was the result of using the management principles of total quality management
(TQM). More and more U.S. companies have demonstrated that such achievements
are possible Using TQM as a new way to manage. Such companies also found that
they were recognized with everyone pulling in the same direction. Improvement
had become a way of live.
Improving competitive position and profit has always been the
responsibility of management. Before the 1980's, U.S. management was broadly
successful. Until then the dominant management model was that of the autocrat.
Management, primly senior management, decided how the business was to operate,
including what the policies and objectives were; how it was organized; what jobs
were established; and how should they be done. It was an unquestioned axiom
that if everyone did what the upper management required, the business would be
Organizations are composed of the people in them and the managers who
lead them. People respond strongly to leadership expectations and rewards. If
they are given little power in their jobs, they have little interest in
improving them. If leaders exhort the members for better output but reward
(promotions, bonuses, recognition) for mostly higher output, they get the
behavior they reward. Quantity over quality has been a common management
philosophy in the United States.
The first step in implementing TQM requires the an upper-management
change in both philosophy and behavior. Managers must adopt the objectives of
customer satisfaction and continuous improvement. They must implement the
change to achieve these objectives through their personal and continuous
involvement and in the reeducation of everyone in the organization in TQM
principles and practices. The past philosophy of management can work reasonably
well if a company dominates world markets. When markets become complex and
worldwide with more and stronger competitors, a new model is needed. Asian
companies and some in the United States have demonstrated that there is a more
effective way to manage, quite different from the autocratic model: It is
employee involvement in quality improvement. These companies also introduce
high quality at lower cost as a competitive element, thereby changing the
competitive equation for everyone.
TQM is a way to continuously improve performance at every level of
operation, in every functional area of an organization, using all available
human and capital resources. Improvement is addressed toward satisfying board
goals such as cost, quality, market share, schedule, and growth....