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Quality leadership in quality management Essay Sample

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Quality leadership in quality management Essay Sample

Many experts believe that the key to successful quality management begins at the top of the organization. Several researchers pointed that in the total quality and management literatures are important for role of leadership in managing quality (e.g. Anderson et al., 1994; Dean and Bowen, 1994; Repenning and Sterman, 2002). Quality management plays an essential role within organizations who strive to meet the expectations of their customers and to continuously improve their processes and products. There are principles that are laid out in the ISO 9000 standard and increasingly followed by the leadership and management to help them implement quality management throughout their organizations.

The definition for the principles of quality management is as follows: “A quality management principle is a comprehensive and fundamental rule / belief, for leading and operating an organization, aimed at continually improving performance over the long term by focusing on customers while addressing the needs of all other stake holders”. The article presented about view of leadership responsibility and capability of managers in different level of organization as well as the principle of total quality management to address organizational concerns such as effectiveness, focus on customers and continuous improvement by continuously involving people.

The article also identifying the values, behaviours, and policies associated with total quality management and its associated philosophy to the examination of leadership. The role of leadership in quality management forms the backbone of any strategy. Leaders provide a unity of purpose while also establishing the direction of the organization. The responsibility of leaders consists of creating and maintaining the internal environment. From this situation, employees are able to become completely involved in achieving the organization’s goals and aims. In this way, good leadership is essential in order to improve quality across the organization, as the leading force that sets objectives and assists employees to implement these objectives.

The principles quality management can be deferent between various industries and enterprises, but there is a universal agreement about the importance of leadership for its achievement. The use of quality management encourages employees at all levels of the organization to participate not just in resolving the problem of quality but also in continual work improvement and achieving the projected goals.

In many problems in quality management has not redeemed its promises indisputably. Below are serious problems in the prevalent quality management approaches. These including: Business management is not involved or committed – quality is a specialist issue. Communication between business managers and quality experts is not effective. Quality initiatives e.g. building distinct quality systems – are not business-centered. People don’t recognize or understand not even experts the difference between quality management and quality assurance (ref. ISO 9000).

There are lots of different, distinct, and competing quality methodologies on which even quality experts don’t share the same opinions. Many other specialized managerial initiatives compete with quality management. Quality initiatives in organizations are certification emphasized and not enhancing business performance. Certification is commercialized and lost its credibility, and may even be considered harmful.

Often quality related actions are only reactive and very little proactive. Formal documentation is highlighted instead of a comprehensive management and application of business information and knowledge.

The access for initiation and accomplishment of quality management has to be adjusted to the nature of every organization separately. Often the companies get instant solution from consultants for achieving this goal which is
totally wrong. Many managers are impatient and don’t understand the importance of the existence of long-term goals that additionally interfere the implementation of the process. The organizational culture plays out a very important role in the transformation of an organization. The inability to change the organizational culture might lead the attempt for achievement of quality management to fail.

The managers focused on the transformation, forget to understand how to transform themselves. The lack of discipline in the organization inhibits its transformation. Quality management requires dedication from the managers on the inner processes in the organization. The biggest contradiction leys in the larger dedication on the inner, rather than the external processes, like maintaining continuous contacts with consumers, losing perspective of their perception, and losing their affection which is a big loss for every company. In many cases the managers don’t realize the real importance and nature of the relation between consumers and suppliers.

This relation opens the possibility for establishing mutual trust and support. This is the key to success. Getting a certificate for quality achievement in an organization doesn’t indicate the end of the process for achieving in quality management. Often managers have the feeling that they achieved work quality by getting the certificate but the process needs to be maintained continuously. The quality needs to be understood at the same way between managers and employees from every level in the organization, or the implementation of quality management will be difficult.

Dr. W. Edwards Deming stressed the importance of management’s role, both at the individual and company level, in the delivery of quality. According to Deming, 80-90% of quality problems were under management’s control, emphasizing organization-wide cultural change and worker/management cooperation as the path to achieving high quality. Deming performed the PDSA cycle, as a methodology for pretesting and perfecting before implementation and for continual improvement with the goal of reducing the difference between the customer requirement and process performance.

Deming’s 14-points serve as his complete philosophy of management, a plan that he believed applied to any size or type organization: 1. Create constancy of purpose towards improvement of product and service. 2. Adopt the new philosophy. No longer live with commonly accepted levels of delay, mistakes and defective workmanship. 3. Cease dependence on mass inspection. Instead, require statistical evidence that quality is built in. 4. End the practice of awarding business on the basis of price. 5. Find problems. It is management’s job to work continually on the system. 6. Institute modern methods of training on the job.

7. Institute modern methods of supervision of production workers. The responsibility of foremen must be changed from numbers to quality. 8. Drive out fear, so that everyone may work effectively for the company. 9. Break down barriers between departments.

10. Eliminate numerical goals, posters and slogans for the workforce asking for new levels of productivity without providing methods.
11. Eliminate work standards that prescribe numerical quotas.
12. Remove barriers that stand between the hourly worker and their right to pride of workmanship.
13. Institute a vigorous program of education and retraining.
14. Create a structure in top management that will push on the above points every day

In addition to Toyota, Deming’s principles have contributed to the global success of Proctor & Gamble, Ritz Carlton, Harley-Davidson and other well-know organizations.

Figure 1: PDCA Cycle

Dr. Joseph Juran was a contributor to the Japanese quality movement and become a figure in the evolution of quality management in the U.S. In addition to creating the “Pareto principle” for identifying vital processes (80% of the return comes from 20% of the effort), he wrote the first reference work on quality management, the “Quality Control Handbook”. Outlining the sequential steps to achieve breakthrough improvement, Juran’s book, “Managerial Breakthrough” serves as the basis for Lean, Six Sigma and other important quality initiatives. Dr. Juran describes quality from a customer viewpoint, where the degree of quality achieved is proportional to  the number of features that meet customers’ needs, especially in design, availability, safety, conformance and use.

Rather than just focusing on the end customer, Juran believed that each person along the chain, from internal “customers” to the final user is both a supplier and a customer. While Juran developed numerous quality theories, two concepts in particular serve as the basis for establishing a traditional quality system and to support strategic quality management – Juran’s Quality Trilogy for managing quality (quality planning, quality control and quality improvement) and his Quality Planning Roadmap. Juran identified 8 milestones as integral to a quality planning roadmap:

1. Determine who are the customers.
2. Determine the needs of those customers.
3. Develop a product that responds to those needs.
4. Optimize the product features to meet your needs as well as customer needs.
5. Develop a process that is able to produce the product.
6. Optimize the process.
7. Prove that the process can produce the product under operating conditions.
8. Transfer the process to operations.

In Japanese industry, “Kaizen” is a core principle of quality management in general, and specifically within the methods of TQM and ‘lean manufacturing’. While Kaizen teams analyze systems to find opportunities for continuous improvement, most importantly, Kaizen is a philosophy embedded in the organization’s values. As such, Kaizen is lived rather than imposed, employing the following key concepts: 1. Improving everything that everyone does in every aspect of the organization in every department, every minute of every day. 2. Evolution rather than revolution: making 1% improvements to 100 things is more effective, less disruptive and more sustainable than improving 1 thing by 100% when need becomes critical.

Everyone involved in a process or activity, however apparently insignificant, has valuable knowledge and participates in a working team or Kaizen group. 4. Everyone is expected to participate, analyzing, providing feedback and suggesting improvements to their area of work. Management facilitates this empowerment. 5. Every employee is involved in the running of the company and is trained and informed about the company, fostering commitment, interest and job satisfaction. The leader must be a highly credible role model. Thus the leader must see leadership as responsibility rather than as rank and privilege and also realize that they need to develop themselves. Good leaders need strong subordinates and, by providing positive feedback, they can achieve very high performance levels in staff.

Therefore leadership is about coaching and constantly exhorting a challenge of the status quo in a search for improvement. This coaching needs to be given in an unbiased way recognizing that able people tend to be ambitious. The leader should take responsibility for the mistakes of their subordinates, and see the development of their staff as their triumphs, rather than as threats. Sometimes even a bad decision is better than no decision at all. Some leadership perspectives emphasize the pivotal role of emotional connectedness in leadership (emotional leadership or emotional intelligence).

The implementation of leadership within quality management can be comprised by following factors: Be proactive and lead through example rather than dictating – true leaders lead in a way that is active in implementing and following through on actions, rather than simply dictating actions without leading by example. Understand and react to fluctuations in the external environment – the external environment is every bit as important as the internal environment, which is why leaders need to fully comprehend and correctly react to various changes within this environment. Consider the wants of all stake holders, from customers to owners, employees, suppliers, local communities and the general public – these stake holders form a vital part of the quality management process, and can greatly affect the organisation’s success if there is no relationship and understanding from a leadership point of view.

Establish a clear view of the organisation’s prospects – a clear view of the organisation’s future is essential in order to accurately plan ahead, by continuously changing goals and milestones in the future. Establish common values and ethical role models throughout the organisation – leaders instil a sense of values and ethics that are entrenched in the organisation’s mission statement, acting as role models to inspire employees to be a part of quality management initiatives based on these common values. Develop trust and eradicate fear – a good company relies on effective leadership to develop trust across internal and external environments, without the need to use fear as a motivating factor.

Equip employees with the needed resources and freedom to strive for duty and accountability – with a well-developed range of strategies that include all levels within the organisation, along with resources that equip employees to meet the organisation’s goals, the entire organisation can be involved in improving quality across the board. Inspire, motivate and recognise contributions from all levels of employees – the ability to inspire and motivate staff across all levels allows employees to be actively involved and invested in quality management initiatives.

Open and honest communication – communication is essential in order for all levels within the organisation to work together to implement improvement strategies, and as leader, the role is to foster open communication from all employees. Teach, train and coach employees – through learning and coaching on various improvement strategies and other initiatives, employees are able to garn a better understanding not only on what they are doing, but why they are performing their tasks. Develop challenging objectives and targets – through goal setting, leaders are able to foster constant growth and development across the organisation, by continually improving the standards of goals within each department.

There is a lot of doubts and frustration about quality related initiatives in many organizations. Major reasons for this kind of harmful development obviously include lack of innovation to take radically new approaches, and busyness of business people. Especially traditional quality management practices have not been enough flexible to accommodate to the needs of modern business environments. When striving for competitiveness in these circumstances one could underscore the following aspects:

Recognizing business performance excellence instead of a narrow quality thinking Striving for flexible realization of quality of management and leadership instead of distinct and vague quality management (i.e. management of quality) Adopting organizational learning instead of continual improvement Applying the “systematicity” (systematic approach) of the quality of management and leadership instead of formal and distinct quality systems Using business-related principles and actions of the quality of management instead of formal and general quality assurance requirements only Setting stretched business objectives for quality of management instead of minimum standard requirements Aiming at innovative and unique solutions instead of stereotyped systems.

Relying on genuine and effective internal business performance self-assessments instead of third party audits and certifications of “artificial” quality systems Getting advantage of tacit knowledge and collaborative learning instead of only records of explicit data and information Having genuine impacts on the organization’s quality approach and success by the behaviour of the top management. Using company’s own internal expertise and effective cooperation with world-wide quality experts’ network instead of external consultants

The 8 principles of quality management can be determined as follows: 1. Customer-Focused Organisation – in order to continue customer relationships, organisations should fully understand current and future customer needs, meet customer requirements and strive to exceed customer expectations at all times. 2. Leadership – leadership plays a crucial role in organisations, ensuring unity of purpose and direction of the company that allows leaders to create and foster an effective internal environment. This in terms allows employees to become fully involved in achieving the company’s objectives. 3. Involvement of People – as the most valuable resource within any organisation, involvement of employees at all levels is the essence of the company.

Full employee involvement ensures that each person’s abilities can be used for the entire organisation’s benefit. 4. Process Approach – another critical component of any quality management strategy, the anticipated result is achieved more competently when related resources and tasks are managed as a process within the company. 5. System Approach to Management – in order to implement a system approach, it is essential to identify, understand and manage interrelated processes for a specific objective to increase the organisation’s efficiency and abilities. 6. Continual Improvement – striving for continual improvement should be a primary objective of any organisation, to consistently perform tasks and duties at the highest level of efficiency at all times.

7. Factual Approach to Decision Making – to ensure that all decisions are made fairly and effectively, decisions need to be based on the analysis of data and information rather than an emotional level or unproven hypothesis. 8. Mutually Beneficial Supplier Relationships – a company and its suppliers are mutually dependent, which means that a favourable relationship augments the capacity of both supplier and company in order to create value and foster quality management within the workplace.


The study discussed above, namely leadership and quality management may appear at first unrelated, but in fact they share common principles: Quality improvement can only be effective if the basic processes have acceptable raw materials i.e. analytical systems with good precision, organisations with good staff. The results of the monitoring systems need to interpreted carefully and with a good knowledge of these systems i.e. QC rules, financial parameters, Key Performance Indicators. Leaders work within existing systems and organisation. Managers and analysts can only be effective at quality improvement activities if they know their systems (organisations or analysers).

The end result is the important factor and not the control process. Don’t concentrate on the quality management rules and lose sight of the actual result of the assay, or the bottom line of the organisation. Organisations have three essential features; a structure, some internal processes and people. Organisations and assays need input from outside to ascertain the expectations of clients. Quality management help to build efficient organisational structures. Managers need to behave like leaders.

Organisations have features that reflect the politically powerful staff in them, and these characteristics need to be understood before the organisation can be effectively managed. Quality system is a process where an appropriate group of rules with a carefully considered set of limits are applied in order to consistently deliver results with known levels of acceptable error. The management of this process involves an understanding of the rules, the limits and the expectation of all clients. Effective leadership also requires a deep understanding of an organisation, its processes, their limits and the expectations of all stakeholders.

Poor quality management can stand in the way of a successful project. The purpose of quality management is to first understand the expectations of the client in terms of quality, and then put a proactive plan and process in place to meet or exceed those expectations. Problems with quality show up in a number of areas. For instance: Rework

This is the primary problem caused by poor quality work. Rework means have to do the same work twice because the original effort was not satisfactory. For example, a software component in large application. Component walk-through or peer reviews are not considered rework, since they are part of building the component the first time. When the component is complete, the hope is that no more work is needed. However, if there are subsequent errors when component is tied into the larger application, rework is required. This is work that is required because the original construction and testing process was not thorough enough and errors still existed in the deliverable. Higher maintenance and support costs

If errors are caught within the development process, there is a cost associated with rework. However, many times quality problems surface after the project deliverables are completed and in production. This situation just hands the problem off to the support organization. High support costs from a poor quality solution are a sign that the team willingly delivered a less-than-acceptable solution, or else it did not realize the poor quality because the team’s testing process was also inadequate. Client dissatisfaction

If a solution is of poor quality, the client will not be happy. Some of this unhappiness may be transferred to the support organization. However, if the client has a choice, it may not buy again at a later date. Missed deadlines and budget

In many cases, projects that do not manage quality well end up with a lot of rework, which in turn leads them to miss their deadlines and exceed their budget. This can cause the business value to be delayed, or it may change the value proposition for the entire project.

Poor morale

No one likes to work for an organization that has poor processes or produces poor quality solutions. No one likes to work on projects that are missing their deadlines because of rework. People tend to find excitement and challenge in building a solution. However, the team’s motivation level will go down when it has to continually repair and rework deliverable that don’t work correctly. In addition to poor morale in general, specific costs can include increased absenteeism, higher turnover, and less productivity from the staff. Making quality improvements was once thought to be the sole responsibility of specialists (quality engineers, product designers, and process engineers).

Today, developing quality across the entire firm can be an important function of leadership. a failure on leadership’s part to recognize this opportunity and act on it may result in the loss of quality management implementation responsibilities to other departments with less expertise in training and development. The ultimate consequence of this loss is an ineffective of the quality management. Thus, leadership should act as the agent necessary for the successful of quality management.

The greatest value from any quality system is achieved when the processes being improved align with the strategic and financial plans of the business. So, the key in selecting and implementing a methodology is approach to exploit strengths of the business and concentrate on weaknesses. Another important factor in success is the motivation for implementing a quality management system in the first place. Very often management’s expectations are disproportionate to the amount of resources devoted to the initiative. Below is compiled input from quality professionals on why quality management system initiatives have failed, including: Lack of Vision

Lack of clarity in business objectives
No urgency for growth
Lack proper understanding of customers and competition
Lack of Management Support
Lack of understanding/interest in quality concepts within the organization Lack of interest/commitment from top management
Weak management and leadership
Failure to allocate proper resources
Incorrect timing
Implementation of a QMS without building the quality culture Incorrect approach
Not properly understanding customer demands

The development of leadership theories and quality management practices share the common objectives of improving organizational performance and enhancing the work experience of organizational members. It is unclear what specific leadership styles are most effective in organization pursuing quality management. It is however evident that the role of leadership is a key factor in effective quality management in organizations as all excellence models include leadership as an enabling driver. The role of leadership includes long-term commitment to innovation and creativity. Managing human resources is a strategic issue that requires managerial capability. Knowledge is an important organizational resource, and leadership plays a key role in facilitating the acquisition of that knowledge. This is possible through leader, who has the capability to inspire and direct subordinates.

When striving for practical and effective solutions for quality management, all recognized references emphasize integration and innovation. An innovative quality approach is needed in market driven business environments. There are no single solutions to business challenges. Integration implies: Implementing effective and efficient quality principles and methodology embedded within normal strategic and operational business management activities Enhancing business performance in a systematic way and collaborative learning in the organization Acting against building distinct ”quality systems”

As many commonalities as there are in the philosophies of the “quality gurus”, it’s important to realize there are also contradictions. As a result, there are many methods for quality improvement in use today that cover product, process and/or people-based improvement, including: ISO – Guidance on use for process improvement and process capability determination. Kaizen – Japanese for change for the better; the common English term is continuous improvement. Zero Defect Program – created by NEC Corporation of Japan, based upon statistical process control and one of the inputs for the inventors of Six Sigma. Six Sigma – combines established methods such as statistical process control, design of experiments and failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA) in an overall framework.

PDCA – Shewhart/Deming’s plan, do, check, act cycle for quality control purposes. Six Sigma’s DMAIC method (define, measure, analyze, improve, control) may be viewed as derivation of this. The Toyota Production System – reworked in the west into “Lean manufacturing”. TQM – total quality management is a strategy aimed at embedding awareness of quality in all organizational processes. First promoted in Japan with the Deming prize, it has been adapted in the U.S. as the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and in Europe as the European Foundation for Quality Management award (each with their own variations). BPR – business process reengineering, a management approach aiming at ‘clean slate’ improvements (abandon existing practices).

Six Sigma is a business concept that is based on a disciplined improvement of quality, where the accent is on quality of process, in terms of increasing quality and reducing costs of their implementation, by reducing variation and defects. Due to the fact that it is implemented through methodology for process improvement, which assumes discipline and dependence on information, the Six Sigma concept, as well as the improvement projects that are implemented within, has a great probability for successful implementation. The Six Sigma concept, in a way, is the successor of Total Quality Management since it involves the same principles and tools, it also has features that make it different. The most important are: Identification, reduction and prevention of defects and variations, within the defined specification. Existence of experts for the implementation of Six Sigma projects and precisely defined roles of employees, Promotion of the Six Sigma business culture.

Continuous improvement of relationship with customers
TQM concept are an apathy of leadership: when it comes to quality, quality leaders are managers who are committed to quality improvement, advocate for quality improvement, and take measures to raise the quality of the business to the next, higher level; however, if top management support is missing, and they express skepticism for the ideas of leaders, these ideas may remain exactly that, just ideas, with no possibility for implementation; in such enterprises, where top managers’ support is missing, quality improvement is only temporary assignment.

In the Six Sigma – leadership as a predecessor: the ideas of leaders are only the prelude or introduction to quality improvement process because Six Sigma implies that top managers must understand the necessity of change, and the necessity of quality improvement for continuity of successful business; only with the support of top managers, ideas of leaders and other employees can become a reality. However, the results of organizations that have implemented Six Sigma concept testify about its superiority. The advantages or, at least, the elements in which Six Sigma is different compared to Total Quality Management are: the attitude about defects, the relationship with customers, leadership and business culture.

Anttila, J. (2010). New Principles, Tools, and Infrastructures For Quality Management In Modern Changed Business Environment. Academician, International Academy For Quality (IAQ) Lund University, 1-11. Headquaters, P. (2011). Quality Management: Then, Now and Toward The Future. PP&S Headquaters, 1-5. Reviews, T. C. (2003). Quality Leadership and Quality Control. The Australian Association of Clinical Biocheist, 81-93. Serafimovska, R. (2010). The Impact of Leadership On Achieving Total Quality Management . Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Macedonia University, 50-62.

1. Kaziliunas, A. (2012). Problem While Implementing Quality Management System For A Sustainable Development Of Organizations. Economic Journal, 90-98. 2. Lakshman, C. (2006). A Theory of Leadership For Quality: Lessons From TQM for Leadership Theory. Total Quality Management, 41-60. 3. Peter Hoonakker, P. C. (2010). Barrirers And Benefit Of Quality Management In The Construction Industry: An Empirical Study. Total Quality Management, 953-969.

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