Total Quality Management: Its Relationship to Administrative Theory and Organizational Behavior in the Public Sector

By Ehrenberg, Rudolph H.; Stupak, Ronald J. | Public Administration Quarterly, Spring 1994 | Go to article overview

Total Quality Management: Its Relationship to Administrative Theory and Organizational Behavior in the Public Sector


Ehrenberg, Rudolph H., Stupak, Ronald J., Public Administration Quarterly


INTRODUCTION

New frontiers are opening for Organizational Development (OD) practitioners as experience in both the public and private sectors demonstrates the enormous potential of Total Quality Management (TQM) to meet today's organizational challenges. This emerging evidence suggests that a new thrust of TQM encompasses and integrates many elements of organizational development and change theory. In short, TQM and OD reinforce one another. When implemented together, they are a powerful approach for dealing with the organizational challenges facing today's public sector managers.

This article identifies, summarizes, and evaluates research regarding theories and principles applicable to the implementation of the Total Quality Management philosophy. The analysis considers change theories, culture, leadership, design, organizational structure, systems theory, strategic planning, and the principles of TQM. It addresses in greater detail those elements that relate organizational change and TOM. It discusses the evolution of TQM relative to administrative theory and organizational behavior, culminating in how the implementation of TQM can be made a reality in the changing context of the pubic sector in the United States.

ORIGINS OF TQM

The idea of providing quality goods and services based on customer needs and expectations is not new to the late twentieth century. Centuries ago, when early communications and transportation systems created the village marketplace, products became available to a wide range of customers. Each customer personally inspected the product for quality before purchase. Later, as craftsmen developed and refined their expertise and modified their products and processes, they became responsive to customer feedback on an individual basis. When the Industrial Revolution made independent craftsmen obsolete, many took their skills to the factory where specialization and standardization were the norm. In that era, quality was measured against the factory standards established by management rather than by customer feedback; emphasis was on high volume and consistency to factory standards and production goals.

SCIENTIFIC MANAGEMENT EMERGES FROM CLASSICAL ORGANIZATION THEORY. In the early twentieth century, the concept of "scientific management" championed by Frederick Taylor (1916) sought to increase productivity by analyzing and then standardizing each step of the production process. While workers were consulted in designing the standard or most efficient work processes, management was responsible for productivity and quality. Juran (1988), an expert on TQM planning and leadership, suggested that Taylor's system separated execution from planning and emphasized productivity at the expense of quality.

At about the same time, Henri Fayol (1916) developed the first comprehensive theory of management. It was intended to be universally applicable to all organizations, although it required some modification when used in the public sector which Fayol called "enterprises having no monetary objectives." While he made no mention of quality or customer expectations, Fayol did recognize the importance of a planning process that includes worker participation.

THE HUMAN ELEMENT. The human behaviorist movement, which started with the Hawthorne studies in the 1920s, increased awareness regarding the importance of individual values and the potential payoff of worker involvement in planning and execution. While many of the human behavior concepts are common to TQM--empowerment, constancy of purpose, emphasis on training, and elimination of organizational barriers--its initial emphasis was on the worker rather than on the customer, quality or teamwork.

QUALITY IN AMERICAN AND FOREIGN COMPETITION. According to Juran (1988), American manufacturing had developed some quality departments during the postwar period but the primary focus was on inspecting output and rejecting bad products. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Total Quality Management: Its Relationship to Administrative Theory and Organizational Behavior in the Public Sector
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.