Issues faced in total quality management


Gore (1999) pointed out that the product of information, situational factors and interpersonal interactions can influence the knowledge generation process at an individual level. Organisational knowledge is primarily a build up of knowledge from individuals and will determine the level of achievement in times of change.

Suitable organisational perspective and positive culture of knowledge creation are vital factors in ensuring an effective knowledge management. Drucker (1993) strongly feels that knowledge is the most important resource to a company. Toffler (1990) further supported his idea by stating that knowledge is the key to the company's competitive edge over their rivals.

A structured procedure for managing the knowledge is the key goal of the modern organisation. The need to acquire new skills and information is important but effectively abolishment of outdated knowledge will further facilitate the relevant knowledge creation process.

To initiate the process, Gore (1999) expressed the need to categorise the knowledge into respective 'explicit' and 'tacit' group.The trigger of knowledge creation can be due to individual's personal social interactions, availability of new technology and formalisation of skills and abilities of individual into work procedures.

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He provided some techniques to enhance creation of knowledge, like pre determined self autonomy of individual and an organisational vision that is clearly passed down to employees of all levels. The vision should be able to express the criticality of the organisation's need to get, create, pass down and enhance knowledge.

The case study provided by Gore (1999) illustrated the importance of creation of new knowledge but also showed the criticality of how an effective management of knowledge from individual level to organisational level will result in a positive improvement.

(252 Words)

Critical Evaluation

The author of the journal, Gore has clearly illustrated and demonstrated why human capital is considered the most valuable resources by drawing a distinctive link between the rapidly advancing technology and need for a competitive edge over rival companies. His style of writing is concise and the use of simple words makes it comprehensive to people of all levels. The build up from individual aspects to organisational aspects allow readers to follow his train of thought. He then goes on to the individual level of contributions improvement and the various pitfalls of the potential ineffective transformation of knowledge from individual to the organisation level. He had structured his writing by first explaining the need for knowledge management and linking it to the human capital value.

However, Gore failed to elaborate on the possible roles of the organisational leaders, how it will influence the effectiveness knowledge management. The balance of the journal is tilted more towards the positive effects of the application of knowledge management. The lack of insights of perspective from a negative consequential is clearly lacking.

Gore bought out a important point that useful in understanding effective organisation in learning perspective. More often than not, management of organisations fail to see the need to abolish outdated knowledge. The vision of the management must be firm and precise and there is no room for ambiguous or multiple conflicting practises.

His recommendations of techniques to enhance knowledge creation can be clearly link to High-Performance Work Practises (HPWP) Perspective which can be also used to measure the effectiveness of an organisation.

( 239 Words )

Article 2

Linking improved knowledge management to operational and organizational performance.

Brian S. Fugate, Theodore P. Stank, John T. Mentzer.

Journal of Operations Management. 27 (2009), 247-264


Fugate (2009) cited that there are abundant of proof from previous research that knowledge management is one of the critical factors of successful operations process integration.

The effective communications of newly created knowledge resulting from the interaction of dynamic business environment can be pivotal in the determination of success in an organisation.

In order to achieve and maintain a competitive edge over business rivals, Zack (1999), insisted that a successful management of knowledge which stems from human intellectual property is required.

Fugate (2009),linked the importance of the need for an effective two-way communications on knowledge management aspects of acquiring, analysing, sharing and acting on the new information about the business situation by citing (Droge 2003).

The comprehension of the extensive links between the various activities in an organisation will facilitate in the effective communications. That can in turn bridge and synchronise the different valuable individual knowledge of people who are involved in the chain of activities.

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Fugate (2009) elaborates the importance by citing (Hult 2003), the acquisition and effectively passing down of knowledge cannot influence the effectiveness of an organisation unless a set of new structured action are formulated based on it.

Fugate (2009) illustrated the possible combinations of different levels of acquiring, disseminating, reaching a common understanding of and reactions to knowledge of the environment.

From his research and data collection, Fugate (2009) supported his idea of the importance of a common mutually agreed response from the organisation over just a merely comprehensive knowledge sharing in the measurement of effectiveness in an organisation.

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Critical Evaluation

The author of the journal, Fugate (2009)'s claims and ideas were sufficiently supported by both references from other articles and documents and also a very well organised framework of data collection.

The major point that give me a vivid impression is the introduction of the fact that people nowadays tend to over use the advance technology and failed to realise that effective communications cannot be achieved by electronic mail nor text messages through mobile. Fugate (2009) pointed out that members of the organisation must make a conscious effort to ensure that their knowledge is being comprehended and correctly disseminated rather than just " throwing information over the wall". It is a very common practise that is happening around us that most people can relate to.

Fugate (2009) effectively listed some roles and actions that the management can adopt to unify the diverse and conflicting interest of different members of the organisation. The emphasis on the need to have a cohesive understanding of the vision and objective of the organisation for reaching a unified response that will alleviate the effectiveness and competitiveness of the organisation.

The mentioned of "open system perspective theory" which in many ways encompasses the "knowledge learning perspective" by Fugate (2009).

(200 Words)

Article 3

The Effectiveness of TQM: The Key Role of Organisational Learning in Small Businesses

Micaela Martinez- Costa and Daniel Jimenez-Jimenez

International Small Business Journal 2009;27;98


Small and medium size enterprises play an important position in the establishment of employment, creativity and social growth ( Martinez 2009). They are very much affected by both internal and external changes for the fact that they are not as well developed in terms of human and physical resource as compared to the large companies.

As a result, it is more critical that they are better prepared for crisis and to survive in the volatile business world. Martinez(2009) quoted G.S. Day (1994) by suggesting that organisation will have a higher accuracy and speed in predicting the trends if effective knowledge management is being utilised.

However, Martinez (2009) introduced the possible idea of knowledge management as a mere academic fab that is not a useful tool in an effective organisation by quoting Spender(1996).

Knowledge management routine does not encompass learning process, which is considered by Martinez (2009) as a consequence of putting the routine into practise.

Martinez (2009) carried out a research and data collection which concluded that organizational learning has a positive effect on the performance.

(172 Words)

Critical Evaluation

The choice of this article is to provide insights on a smaller scale organisation and the relevant effects in knowledge management. Martinez (2009) focused the article on total quality management systems which its routine practises foster the usage of knowledge management. The writing is relatively balanced with points being brought out from various aspects of the topic. However, the point on the possibility of knowledge management as just an academic fab and a unproven belief that originated from the shift to new information age, was not being further discussed.

Most journals and articles on the study of knowledge management in an organisation are written or researched upon big organisations or establishments; it is refreshing read especially with a focus on the relatively smaller scale enterprises.

The importance of not repeating or conforming to obsolete practises that are outdated by modern standards will trigger a positive chain process that involves active experimentation, reflection and corrective actions to fine tune the knowledge.

The data collected through the research can be more assertive if the multiple informants were used instead of single informants.

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" Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other " ( John F. Kennedy ,1963).

With reference to the above quote from John F. Kennedy, learning and the position of a leader is closely knitted. To facilitate members in an organisation to learn effectively, management leaders must first convoy the cohesive vision of how about the learning process should be implemented with the relevant systems, structures and methods being clearly presented (Fugate 2009).

The bulk of the idea of having a mutually accepted common goal is to be able to harness common interests, vision, past experiences and individual skills among the organisational members to promote collaborated learning (Dess 1999).

'Strategist of the century' named by Journal of Business Strategy, Senge (1992) incorporated shared vision and systems thinking and identified them as the pivotal disciplines that will enhance organisational learning. The management should ensure that the organisational environment is conducive for learning and instil a positive culture to promote flexibility for two way communications and timely feedbacks from members of all levels (Fugate 2009).

The need to understand that the study of organisational behaviour is not conformed to a single independent topic, all the various topics and theory can be interlinked. It is therefore important not to be myopically only focusing on each individual theory when researching on any particular topic (Stonehouse 2004).

In a similar tone, the link from learning perspective as a measure of effectiveness in an organisation can be illustrated by learning influences behaviour and equity theory. To illustrate, the alignment of equity, expectancy and goals in an individual will bring about more often than not a motivated and productive worker. The worker who is motivated to strive and achieve greater results will create new knowledge that will improve efficiency in work which is the organisational learning perspective theory(Gordon 1999).

To achieve alignment in the equity theory, the management can choose to adopt different measures. One possible method can be to apply the reinforcement theory, using the most suitable channels of either to remove aversive stimulus to achieve a negative reinforcement effect or to present positive stimulus to get a positive reinforcement. Nonetheless, all these methods are used only in hope to achieve a preferably behaviour in the members of the organisation, the critical aspect will be to maintain the positive behaviour.

Nielson (1996) has identified three maxims of productive process management which is namely the individual learning, team learning and organisational learning which can considered an enforcement of Senge's (1992) five discipline. Nielson (1996) placed strong emphasis on the importance for a successful management to study the output of the dynamic reaction of people, process and purpose.

The effectiveness of a management has often being measured upon the 'crisis time' management capabilities rather than the 'peace time' management. Majority of the organisational behaviour theories available are what is often termed as textbook answers which cannot be applied completely without the need to customise to different situational circumstances. The fact that problems or crisis do not happen as a textbook question, a intelligent, flexible and timely application of a collective of methods stemming from the theories will be required.