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Adaptation and Implementation of Total Quality Management

There seem to be disparities in the implementation of management strategies in both the public and private sector. Whiles Dent et al. (2004) claimed that the private sector organisations have adopted strtaegies that makes the productive and can effective and efficiently maximise their resources, Moore (2004) argue that the public sector is denied of the performance and private maximisation tool afforded to the private sector. The issue raised is that will both sector experience varying degree of increase were the public sector is to implement and exploit modern management practices. Focusing on the management dissimilarities between the public and private sector and the prevailing organisational structure, the aim of the dissertation is to illustrate the trend of the public sector to adhere to inefficient management models compared to the best practices models adopted within the private sector.

The gap between the private and public management styles is justified through reference to organisational structural disfferences. Even though there may exist structural differences between the private and public sector organistaions, the dissertation takes a contrary position whereby the differences are not to prevent the successful execution of the paradigms in public sector and private sector management strategies. The literature on the public and private sector organisations and contemporary management strategies will be reviewed to validate the statements and arguments to be discussed and then solidified through the results of the field study.


The study intend to examine the differences and similarities between the private and public sector to determine if private sector management strategies will withstand successful adaptation to and working in the private sector, from within a framework of research questions. The research questions are:

Can management tools, paradigms and strategies connected to the private sector be applied to the public sector?

How can TQM as a strategic management concept be introduced successfully in the public sector?


The primary purpose of the dissertation is to demonstrate the possibilities and essentials of the public sector’s embracing of private sector management strategies. The dissertation which focuses on total quality management obtains greater primary significance considering the relationship between the private and public sector organisations. Flynn (2002) stated that private and public sector do not operate separated from each other or do not occupy different spaces but rather the sectors operate within the space, market, community and economy with continuous interaction with each other on a business level. The study is important because it will acknowledge the comparison between the public and private sector and deem necessary to remove the bottlenecks to the effective and efficient operation of the public sector.


As the aim of the dissertation is to explore the private and public sector strategy, the author will conduct four interviews within two organisation (both the public and private sector). The field research will be limited to the semi-structure interviews.


The dissertation will comprise of six chapters.

Chapter one is for the general introduction of the study, which outlines the nature of the study.

Chapter two will present reviews from the extensive literature on modern business management strategies as in the private versus public sector organisations and then outline and discussing the theoretical principles and its implementation which will be attention to TQM.

Chapter three will present and defend the methodology selected for the dissertation.

Chapter four will present the findings of the field research, discuss and analyse the research results in light of the objectives.

Finally, chapter five will conclude the study through an articulation of the research findings, a discussion of the implications of these findings and presents some recommendations out of the findings discussed.




The growing intense of the hyper-competitive market coupled with the relentless quality requirements from customers is shaping the business landscape whereby quality has become the order of the day. Quality is defines as the totality of the features of a product or service that bears on its ability to satisfy implied or stated needs (Render and Heizer, 2009). MaAdam et al. (2004) assert that the private sector organisations in the industrialised world especially both the West and UK have accepted the significance of management programme of which they have either implemented or are in the process of implementing whereas greater majority of the of some public sector organistaions and government entities who have pledge to quality management programmes have not implemented it (Lawrie et al., 2004). The result is the lower efficiency level of the public sectors’ operations compared to the private sector. Consequently, Rosenbloom et al., (2001) are calling for the public sector to implement strategic management tools such as TQM due to their poor performance as measured through their strategic business outcomes.

The transfer and implementation of the private sector management tools and strategies to the public sector are not expected to be seamless or successful, rather thep must be implemented based on the features and needs of both sectors as well as the organisation in question. Considering the expression of the distinction between the prevailing management methodologies and private and public sector organisational structures, the literature will look for the significance of the growth stage, the decision making and the essentials of using strategic management tools.

Private and Public Sector Organisational Management

Features of Public Sector Organisations

Weber determined the public sector organisations as largely modelled organisational structure after traditional bureaucratic organisational structure. The bureaucratic traditionalist management theory seem to shape the organisational structure into four components namely; span of control, decision-making, labour division and departmentalisation (Chandler and Barry, 2004). Within the public sector organisation, the labour division is highly specialised. The employees are hired and furnished with their job description and assigned to a specialise task because based on their limited initial skills (Bourn and Bourn, 1995). Bourgeois (1984) stated that the explicit job descriptions specifies the employees understanding to the job to be performed as well as the territories of their professional duties whiles the specialisation of the employees denotes their job is been match to their skill-sets.

Authors, such as Kearny and Berman (1999) criticize the management of the public sector claiming that the obstacles towards the efficient and effective organisational functioning is as a result of their functional departmentalisation trend. The advantage of assembling employees based on a common set of skills is for departmental efficiency. On the contrary, the disadvantage rest on the narrowing departmental vision, communication and operations among the various departments (Gibson, 1966). This disconnection will prevent the functional leaders and employees from achieving their objective.

the above information indicates that there is a centralisation of authority and control in the traditional organisational structure typically of the public sector. In this case, the decision-making seems to be autocratic with the command from top – down. The final decions is made by the top management excluding the employees. So the vertical hierarchical structure distinguished the public sector from the private sector (Mctavish, 2004).

Bourgeois (1984) claim that the public sector organisations is problematic due to its bureaucratic tradition which leads to mechanistic organisations thereby weakening its operations. The mechanistic structure refers to the centralised control, repetition of task and rigidity of the public sector which makes the organisation unable to take action on external emergent demand or environmental changes. And it is under this stiff blueprint the employees are meant to implement the business strategies (Chandler and Barry, 2004). However, the implementation of the business strategies and task assign to the employees will not be effective even if they are carried out with a high degree of efficiency in the sense that the strategies will not tackle or influence the actuality of the external environment (Kearney and Berman, 1999).

It is evidently clear from the literature reviewed that the public sector management and organisational structure will not be able to continue to exist in the intense and dynamic hyper-competitive market due to its irregularity in its practice which fails to react quickly to the environmental forces.

Features of Private Sector Organisations

Birkinshaw and Hagstrom (2002) viewed private sector organisations as decentralised and flexible vertical structures that focus on specialisation with diversify sets of skills. They are of the opinion that it will be mistaken to presume that the organisational structure and strategic characteristics of the private sector are the same. And even though several workers are made to participate in the decision-making process, there will still be some variance within the public sector’s management, structure and strategy (Coglianese and Nash, 2005).

According to Erridge et al. (2001) the success of the private sector organisations is due to the visible variance of their management structure and strategies which are customise to create higher consistency in their internal structure as well as responding quickly to the emergent demand or external environmental forces. Moreover, its a small number of successful private sector companies who actively engage in the design of its model even if they carry out a blind adoption of existent management formats (Erridge et al., 2001).

In addition Kearns (1995) stated that the decentralisation, promotion of shared decision-making and the selection of the management business model based on the varied skill-sets of the employees within the private sector organisation are continuously re-articulated in consideration of their growth stage in order to design a flexible management structure and strategies.

Having provided a concise review on the features of the private and public sector, the following sections shall review literatures focus on organisational development stages and strategy. The justification of discussion is due to the prominent elements they contain in designing both the TQM hypothesis and private sector management strategies. There will be no ‘one-size fits all’ management hypothesis in the subsequent sections as the management hypotheses must be considered as a framework that offers organisations the necessary parameter in planning the management hypothesis that tackles their needs and requirements. Within that context, the TQM will not appears as a hypothesis but rather as a framework that offers organisations with the strategies and tools needed of the design of the TQM management hypothesis. Lots of factors would be considered in planning this model which are discussed below.

Development Stages and Challenges


Developing strategy generally is observed as two-dimensional process of formulatuion, rational and implementation. Though in reality its complex in relation to the interactive processes being influenced by organisational cultures, management values and politicians (Beaver and Prince, 2004).

Authors, Baker et al. (1993) conducted a survey on the benefits of strategic planning and this include:

Profitability 94% of companies reporting improvement

Decision making 93%

Communication and unity 93%

Marketing/product mix 93%

Industry leadership 93%

Operations management 92%

Motivation 92%

Controls 91%

Allocation of resources 91%

Asset growth 88%

Joyce and Woods (2003) discovered that the bigger the organisations become, the lack of monitoring process and a strategy building may become restrictive. This is regular with Churchill and Lewis (1993) growth model. However, Mumford (2000) emphasised that strategy ought to be observed as broad framework and not to be treated as thorough parameter for organisational action. And in such case, there will be harsh restriction on the oirganisation’s ability to react flexibly to the emergent environmental forces both internally and externally.


TQM was first introduced as a competitive challenge between the USA and Japanese companies (Prajogo, 2005). It is design to motivate organisational dynamism whether in the public or private sector. Saylor (1996) in his opinion express the parameters of TQM as;

Total refers to the whole human resources and personnel of an organisation with diverse responsibilities being worked to achieve quality.

Quality connected to the organisation’s ability to adjust continually to operate in order to satisfy the customers needs and expectation through understanding of the market knowledge and consumer research.

Management act as a model of and drive to motivate the attainment of excellent quality performance.

Harvey and Brown, (2001, p. 336) define Total Quality Management as “an organisational strategy of commitment to improve customer satisfaction by developing procedures to carefully manage output quality”.

TQM principles

The definition of TQM is centred on three principles including; customer focus, teamwork and continuous improvement which should be embedded into the activities of the functions of an organisation (Ishikawa, 1985). Customer focus is the first principle of TQM. According to Slack et al. (2007) the main objective of an organisation is to provide the goods and services that satisfies their customers needs. And then organisations have the chance of increasing their profits and revenues through customer loyalty by means of maximising their customers satisfaction. Cardy and Dobbins (1996) recognises the customer focus as the key element in measuring the performance and determining the standards the employees offers to the customers. So employees are should be in the position to anticipate customer’s expectations which also enables the employee to use such information to change those operations.

The second principle of TQM, teamwork emphasize on the performance of work through collaboration. Teamwork is geared topwards all employee involvement in achieving organisational goal which is quality (Spencer, 1994). Dean and Bowen (1994) opine that teamwork also invoves the organistaion’s suppliers. Teamwork involves sharing of information between members, collaborative decisions making and agreeing on how to evaluate the quality of work. Finally, continuous improvement which is the third TQM principle focuses on finding better ways of distributing goods and services through continuous review of the administrative and technical processes. The employees throughout the organisational functions are to be trained to use tools in controlling the processes so that greater customer satisfaction is achieved (Cardy and Dobbins, 1996). It is important to note that the three principles can be used as guide by the employees in checking their work-related decisions and behaviours.

Theoretical Underpinning

TQM is observed as broad organisational management system which is dependent on the combination of many managerial theories, perspectives and approaches (Easton and Jarrell, 1998). However the implementation of TQM does not mean it may support the desertion of or replace strategic planning and project management tool, instead TQM should compliment the management systems (Longo, 2000). These validate TQM as a management philosophy categorically embraces numerous organisational development theories and usefully utilize their tools and strength for the formulation of a single management philosophy. Shingo (1986) and Savage (1990) recognised TQM as several theoretical approaches including project management, strategic planning, system manangement and perforamance measurement. As a means of explaining and structuring the theoretical parameters of TQM, the theoretical approaches shall be defined.

Total Systems Theory

TQM is essentially founded based on the total system theory perspective. The management scholars Kast and Rosenzweig (1972) define total system theory as an inherently scientific approach to organisational management, immediately drawing from set up and indisputable biological concepts and the physical sciences.

Upon agreeing to the above, Chen (1975) argue that the total system approach to organisational management acknowledges the fact that units disconnected from one another results in some level of inefficiency within an organisation since organisations as a whole operates based on well specified goals and objectives. And the adoption of the total system is the keystone for an organisation to function as a whole. This approach allows the each and every organisation to be handled distinctively, but a whole, organism, that eventually permits the creation of management ideas, strategic goals and objectives as well as taking into accounts the distinct culture of the organisation, features of its human resource and talents, and the external context of its operations. Furthermore, the approach leads to internal harmonisation and departmental amalgamation in an intra-organisation whereby each unit executes particular function for the benefit of the organisation as a whole (Chen, 1975).

Mealiea and Lee (1979) claim that the total system theory is an exceptional organisational management idea that recognises the co-dependency among the quality in organisational functioning and performance and the integration of intra- and extra-organisation. Management schoilars such as ............ opine that TQM and total system theory are extremely intertwine and that the they provide the creation of dynamic organisations capable of responding to customers requirements and needs satisfactorily (Goyal and Gunasekaran, 1990).

Having recognise that TQM principles embraces the essentials of the total systems theoretical approach (Flood, 1995), Rwelamila and Hall (1995) in supports assert that the total systems establishes the appearance of management philosophy which is modified for each and every organisation whereby TQM happens as an malleable management idea. Furthermore, Manz and Stewart (1997) stated that the features of TQM enable it to endure its adoption within any given industry.

According to Westphal et al. (1997) TQM also affects change from within as it works from within the matrix of the existent human resources and managerial competencies and talents and from within the limitations of the organisational culture. This implies that TQM can be used as a strategy for internal and independent organisational change and an organisational management philosophy because it motivates change from within Easton and Jarrell, 1998).

Proceeding from the principle that TQM is flexible (Walton, 1997), Vadera et al. (1998) re-emphasise that TQM can be adopted within any organisational context. In support of this Reed et al (1996) opine that the positive effect on the effectiveness and efficiency of the implementation of TQM in enhancing the performance of organisation is based upon the organisation distinct internal environmental features. Nevertheless the possibility for succeeding exceedingly is high if the human resource capabilities and constraints, management operative ideas, organisational structure and extra-human resource availability are considered and used to inform the TQM hypothesis under design (Reed et al, 1996; Zberacki, 1998). This attest to the fact that TQM embraces the model guidelines particular to total systems’ theory.

Strategic Planning

Strategic management which is an essential componential part of the TQM philosophy is defined by Bryson (1998, p. 26) as “a discipline effort to produce fundamental decisions and actions shaping the nature and direction of an organisation’s activities within legal bounds”.

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