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Quality in business is a matter of culture

Quality at all costs. That is the law that reigns supreme in the modern business, and justifiably so, but that alone is not enough. Along side quality in both product and production processes, it also takes quality in culture, a changing of gears in management and for all those working in an organisation. This is easier said than done, but it is just as mandatory for a business that truly wants to grow and not just to survive.

The paper “TQM and Modern Marketing in Developing Countries – Theoretical and Conceptual Frameworks”, by three authors in three different countries (specifically, Tahir Iqbal of Jubail University College, David Edwards  of Birmingham City University Business School, and Eman El-Gohary of the AMAC Centre, Cairo), lays the groundwork for better understanding the relationship between Total Quality Management (or TQM, one of the most common approaches to achieving quality in production) and the organisational culture to be changed.  The study looks into the relationship between TQM and productivity in manufacturing, with an emphasis on businesses in developing nations, but – when it comes right down to it – the basic principles apply to any business in any nation.

The work begins with a review of the current literature on the topic and seeks to determine the ties to and changes in the organisation’s culture. “The initial literature review confirmed that quality has a significant impact on productivity,” the authors write. “Better productivity gives cost advantages over competitors, thus resulting in lower prices and higher profit margins for manufacturers.”

But where does corporate culture play the most important part? Not just in the application of the TQM approach, but also – and above all – in the acceptance of the approach psychologically speaking. The authors have found that the key to success in adopting TQM lies in the attitude of both senior management and the workforces as a whole. In order to better understand the approach, the study also provides a useful breakdown of the costs of quality and of the various aspects of a business that have an impact on quality.

But that’s not all. The authors continue by claiming that there needs to be an awareness that an improvement in quality will also translate in a greater need for goods and services and, above all, in the potential that a more productive organisation “would be able to pay higher wages, thus attracting more highly skilled and qualified employees”. In short, better quality is a good thing not only for the owners of a business and for profits, but for everyone concerned. So long as it’s understood.

TQM and Modern Marketing in Developing Countries – Theoretical and Conceptual Frameworks

Tahir Iqbal (Department of Business Administration, Jubail University College, KSA
David Edwards (Professor of Industrial Innovation, Birmingham City University Business School)
Eman El-Gohary (AMAC Centre Cairo, Egypt)

International Journal of Business and Social Science Vol. 5, No. 6(1); May 2014