'Teamwork throughout any organization is an essential component of the implementation of TQM for it builds up trust, improves communication and develops independence.'
John S Oakland, Total Quality Management
TQM organizations discover the benefits of having effective teams at all levels. In many sectors of education, teams have been developed as the basic unit for curriculum delivery. This provides educational institutions with a strong platform from which to build a TQM culture.
However, the application of teamwork has often been limited to curriculum and management functions. To build an effective TQM culture, teamwork needs to be extended and must penetrate and permeate throughout the institution. It needs to be used in a wide range of decision-making and problem-solving situations. It must exist at all levels and across all functions and should include both academic and support staff.
A well-functioning institution should consist of a large number of overlapping teams. Teams should not consist exclusively of academic or support staff. Mixed teams of academic and non-academic support staff have an important role to play. Some teams will have a long life, while others take on short-term tasks.
Teams have the advantage of involving the maximum number of people in the total quality process. It is useful to think of the TQM institution as a