History of Total Quality Management (TQM)

Although there is evidence to suggest that the concern for quality has existed throughout the history of organised production, we will concentrate on the more recent historical evolution of the Quality Movement and the era of Total Quality Management (TQM).

This will be expanded on later in the unit, but it is worthwhile to note at this point the difference between quality control and quality assurance so you can begin thinking about these concepts.

Briefly, quality control focuses on detecting, rectifying, and controlling problems at various stages of the production line.

It involves testing product samples for compliance to specifications, e.g. inspection and testing.

Quality assurance expands on this function to incorporate elements of planning and improvement to manage quality outcomes through management of organisational processes.

This places the responsibility for quality with every person in the organisation. It involves every stage of the organisation’s processes and aims to prevent quality problems in products or services.

Although now an internationally recognised concept, not all countries developed a the same time or along the same paths.  Let’s take a look at how quality was introduced into some of the major countries and we will meet the quality Guru’s along the way.

Towards the end of the 1940’s and into the early 1950’s, Japan began to focus on gaining access to the world markets from where they had previously been excluded.

Japan had attempted to produce cheap imitations of Western consumer goods which did little for their reputation as producers.

Some of you may recall the earlier references to ‘Japanese junk’ which is far from the case today.

With the help of American quality Guru’s, Joseph Juran and W. Edwards Deming, Japan began to develop into a major industrial nation. Japan adopted Juran and Deming’s theories of Organisational Management and Behaviour to regain their position and status within international markets, and also gain a competitive advantage over Western Countries.

Japan had set the stage for Total Quality Management (TQM) in the 1950’s where most other economies didn’t really follow until the 1980’s.

LMIT delivers the Diploma in Quality Auditing and the Diploma of Quality Management online, so contact us today for a free information pack.

Published by: LMIT

Leave a Reply