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Total Quality Management

Total quality management determines that the quality of products and processes is the responsibility of everyone involved in the product. This requires the involvement of management, the workforce, suppliers, and customers. Cua, McKone, and Schroeder identified nine total quality management practices: cross-functional product design, process management, superior quality management, customer involvement, information and feedback, committed leadership, strategic planning, cross-functional training, and employee involvement.¹

Total quality management can then take on many different approaches, each with their own sets of benefits and drawbacks. Though there is no widely-agreed upon best approach, all of them follow these general concepts:

  1. Quality should be defined by the customers' requirements.
  2. Top management has direct responsibility for quality improvement.
  3. Better quality is a result of improved work processes and systematic analysis.
  4. Quality improvement is a continuous effort.²


1. Cua, K.O.K.E., McKone, and R.G. Schroeder, 2001. Relationships between implementation of TQM, JIT, and TPM and manufacturing performance. Journal of Operations Management, 19(6), 675-694.

2. Houston, Archester (December 1988), A Total Quality Management Process Improvement Model, San Diego, California: Navy Personnel Research and Development Center, pp. vii–viii, OCLC 21243646, AD-A202 154, retrieved 2013-10-20. 

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