Barrier To Successful Implementation Of Tqm Construction Essay

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In the research done by Haupt and Whiteman (2004), it founds that the generation of too much paperwork through implementation of TQM as the most inhibiting issue to its success since most construction projects initially already involve large amounts of paperwork. Haupt and Whiteman further states that the paper work include contract documents, records of plans and amendments, architects' instructions ,schedules, orders, delivery and movement of material, plant and labour, and material safety data sheets. In other words, intensive paperwork generated from TQM implementation might burden the workload of employees.

2.3.2 TQM regarded as irrelevant by employees/inadequate training at all levels

Haupt and Whiteman (2004) founds that the workers on construction regarded TQM as irrelevant to their performance. The workers viewing quality as merely an overhead that might be contributes to this workers' perception (Shriemer et al, 1995). This may be caused by inadequate training at all levels from upper line to down line in an organization. According to Leonard and McAdam (2002), employees may confuse on the TQM system and think it is the boring procedures as they need to keep typing record and report. Employees need to be trained and taught the way to reallocate their time and energy to study their processes in teams, searching for causes of problem, and correcting the causes (Low and Jasmine, 2004). However, Low and Jasmine (2004) further pointed that employees tend to remain and may be resistant to changes which make TQM education and awareness more difficult.

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Construction companies must provide TQM training to employees at all levels and the comprehensive training included the technical expertise, communication skills, small-team management, problems solving tool, and customer relations (McCullough and Benson, 1993). According to Reo et al. (1996), TQM training should be given at all levels of organization since the TQM processes mastered by top management and that can serve as models for down lines that resist changing instead of break down barriers within the organizations. McCullough and Benson further points that the power of any construction TQM program comes from front-line managers who get worker involved in developing and implementing solutions.

2.3.3 Subcontractors and supplier not interested in TQM

In the construction industry, cooperation from all the parties is crucial to the successful implementation of TQM. The cross-functional communication in the construction must include subcontractors and supplier as well as necessary to solve quality problems (Reed et al, 2000). However, it may be more difficult to implement TQM in construction industry due to the other parties instead of contractor himself are involved in the project team that may resist to TQM process (Low and Jasmine, 2004). Therefore, poor coordination between contractor and both domestic and nominated subcontractors will influence construction quality assurance (Low and Goh, 1993).

It is rather difficult to implement TQM in construction industry because the other parties in the project may resist to TQM process (Low and Jasmine, 2004). Toma et al. (1998) argue that all parties including subcontractors and supplier must mutually set goals that lead to effective teamwork instead of just contractual arrangement itself. As the subcontractors and supplier having the same target or goal with the general contractor, the implementation of TQM could be more efficient. According to Wong and Fung (1999), the development of quality team which includes the subcontractors and supplier will be more responsive to the needs of general contractor, thus lead to more cooperative situation and better performance.

2.3.4 Lack of adequate budget

Biggar (1990) pointed out that the cost associated with the implementation of TQM system could be large amount which depending on the size and nature of the company. Initial costs of implementing TQM are perceived to be high even though these costs may be offset by lower quality costs in the long run Low and Jasmine (2004). The reason is due to a substantial changes and education of TQM knowledge toward all parties might be costly and uneconomical.

2.3.5 Nature of the construction process

The nature of construction projects are very large, seldom situated in the same location and labour intensive (Sommerville, 1994). Sommerville further states that the workforce in the construction tends to be temporary; having fluctuating demand and it is subject to customers' perception of the value of construction project. In another words, the nature of construction tend to be large and unstable which will cause the TQM implementation to be difficult.

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2.3.6 Non-standardization

The construction industry is characterized by its non-standardization (Rowlinson and Walker, 1995). Mahmood et al. (2006) states that no universal standard or specification can be applied to the construction products and that leads to difficulties in quality assurance. In others word, there are difficulties in measuring quality and no clear definition toward the quality standard where normally the contractors only focusing on the minimum standard set by the local authorities. According to Low and Peh (2004), Contractors are usually more focus on the profit generation rather than quality improvements especially when they have met the minimum requirement for quality.

2.3.7 Many parties involved in construction process

TQM require a well communication among every party involved in the process of quality management. Basically, the construction industry primarily consisting of 3 major participants: employer, consultants, and contractor. However in reality of construction industry, there are many parties that involved in the construction process which affect the effectiveness of TQM programs. Generally, parties that involved in the construction process such as employer, designer, contractors, subcontractors and supplier, especially the subcontractors is varying from ironworkers to carpenters, masons to plumbers, electricians to roofer etc. (Hoonakker, 2008). Communication between so many parties may lead to inefficient communications and therefore reduce the effectiveness of TQM implementations.

2.3.8 Poor plan and specifications

According to Low and Goh (1993), the discrepancies found in between consultants' drawings due poor specifications resulted in poor co-ordination during construction. Any discrepancies or inconsistencies found may lead to wrong interpretation and causes conflict thus affect the TQM. It is complex and difficult industrial undertakings to the design and construction of a building or civil engineering project (Low and Peh, 1996). Low and Goh (1993) further states that designers always overlook the buildability problem in their design. The designers should when designing the drawing considers also the technology possess by local contractor and also the buildability of the design.

Besides that Low and Goh also states that contractors unable to plan and control the works on site due to the reason lack of skills to interpret the design and cannot produce the end products in accordance with the design and specifications. Poor planning skill also from contractors to establish an appropriate quality system to control the works is further pointed out by Low and Goh (1993). According to Low and Peh (1996), in order to build the structure fit to its purposes, it is important to predetermine quality standards which requires planning, organizing, budgeting, controlling and careful adherence to overall project management.

2.3.9 Low bid subcontracting

Haupt and Whiteman (2004) reported in a research that low bid subcontracting introduce a serious challenge to the successful implementation of TQM on construction sites. This is supported by Lahndt (1999) that point out the construction industry's inherent competitive bidding process has led to a stress on quick work and short time horizon and lack of long term quality.