Thursday, May 19, 2011

Total Quality Management (TQM)

Total Quality Management, or TQM, is a leadership philosophy originating in business from Edward Deming and implemented as a strategy for post WWII Japan. Total Quality Management (TQM) is a philosophy that says that uniform commitment to quality in all areas of an organization promotes an organizational culture that meets consumers' perceptions of quality.  (, 2011)  The premise is that everyone is a customer, including employees, and they have a stake in the quality of the product.  Through explicit understanding and training of the job roles, every member of the organization contributes to the outcome of the product.  When the customer wins, you win. (eHow, 2009)

In education, this means that parents and students are customers and have a stake in the quality of the product, their education.  Teachers are also customers of the administrators, so they have a stake in the quality of PD, curriculum and instruction, and facilities.  Administrators are customers of the suppliers of goods and services for the school, such as books and technology.  The leader explicitly indicates the performance levels that each is to be held accountable so as to ensure quality for the process (teaching and learning) and the product (student achievement). 

Deming's 14 Point Plan for Total Quality Management
  1. Create constancy of purpose
  2. Adopt the new philosophy
  3. Cease inspection, require evidence
  4. Improve the quality of supplies
  5. Continuously improve production
  6. Train and educate all employees
  7. Supervisors must help people
  8. Drive out fear
  9. Eliminate boundaries
  10. Eliminate the use of slogans
  11. Eliminate numerical standards
  12. Let people be proud of their work
  13. Encourage self-improvement
  14. Commit to ever-improving quality
Waldman organized those into 5 basic factors
  1. Change Agency - Professional development to examine improved processes
  2. Teamwork - Working together to accomplish
  3. Continuous Improvement - Examine current processes and data and ensure each step is improved, thus improving the whole
  4. Trust Building - Do your job well and trust that your teammates have the same dedication
  5. Eradication of Short-Term Goals - eliminate quotas and minor individual accomplishments and focus on the successful outcome of the product

Works Cited (2011, May 19). Total Quality Management (TQM). Retrieved May 19, 2011, from,articleId-8931.html
eHow. (2009, May 19). Business Strategies : Benefits of Total Quality Management. Retrieved May 19, 2011, from
Lakshman, C. (2006). A Theory of Leadership for Quality: Lessons from TQM for Leadership Theory. Total Quality Management, 41-60.
Marzano, R. J. (2005). School Leadership that Works. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.


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