TQM: Just what the ethicist ordered
Total quality management (TQM) has become a basic business practice in organizations throughout the world. Implementation of TQM in these organizations has been driven by the desire to increase profits in the highly competitive business world. Total quality management techniques are designed to improve performance.
Concurrently, organizations are striving to eradicate the concept that the termbusiness ethics is an oxymoron. Corporate codes of conduct have been developed to indicate the outside boundaries of acceptable organizational behavior and companies are espousing and enforcing the ideals contained within these codes.
It is our contention that these two business trends are intimately related. TQM encompasses concepts and practices that are in the best organizational interest for all stakeholders. Additionally, TQM promotes activities that encourage high moral behavior. To support this notion, consider the following six important concepts that provide a foundation for TQM:
Empowerment of employees Throughput that is prompt and without defects Helpfulness of managers and employees in task accomplishment Integrity of products, services and people Change in process and behavior Stakeholder emphasis (stockholders, customers, and equity)
Viewed in the above form, TQM is simply good ethics put into practice.
KeywordsEconomic Growth Management Technique Business Practice Organizational Behavior Important Concept
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