Title: Ethical dimensions of total quality management

Authors: Enzo Gentili, Alan Stainer, Lorice Stainer

Addresses: Universita Degli Studi di Brescia, Via Branze 38, 25123 Brescia, Italy. Middlesex University Business School, Bounds Green Road, London, N11 2NQ, UK. University of Hertfordshire Business School, Mangrove Road, Hertford, Hertfordshire, SG13 8QF, UK

Abstract: Total quality management (TQM) ought to go beyond the traditional meaning of the quality of a product or service; it should include not only customer satisfaction, but also efficiency, productivity, quality of work life, commitment and loyalty within the organisation. It is also about more than just listening to the customer, which means that the organisation ought to integrate its quality performance targets within its corporate social responsibility strategy - that is, to analyse more the ||big picture||, which incorporates the important notion that the perceptions of the customer ought to equate to those of the supplier. Inevitably, quality and its continuous improvement take time. What is required is a long-term commitment to the fundamentals to be perceived more as a process than a one-off plan. Thus, the two basic elements highlighted are: (1) to ascertain a sound formula based on a careful examination of an organisation|s past performance and future goals and (2) to install a sophisticated programme of training for all levels of the organisation, emanating from the leadership. Total quality management is a key ingredient towards achieving business excellence, but must embrace an all-inclusive approach.

Keywords: total quality management; TQM; ethics; corporate social responsibility; continuous improvement; customer satisfaction.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBPM.2003.003251

International Journal of Business Performance Management, 2003 Vol.5 No.2/3, pp.237 - 244

Published online: 05 Aug 2003 *

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