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Case Study on Knowledge Management and Its Impact on TQM and Its Relationship

Info: 4348 words (17 pages) Essay
Published: 23rd Sep 2019 in Management

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  1. INTRODUCTION……………………………………………………………………… 3
  3. TQM-KM RELATIONSHIP…………………………………………………………… 7
    1. THE STEPS INVOLVED FOR KM ………………………………………………10
    2.  COST ANALYSIS…………………………………………………………………11
    3. KM MATRIX……………………………………………………………………… 12
  5. BENEFITS AND SHORTCOMINGS……………………………………………………13
    1. BENEFITS…………………………………………………………………………..13
    2. CHALLENGES …………………………………………………………………….14
  6. CONCLUSION……………………………………………………………………………15
  7. REFERENCES……………………………………………………………………………16




The Knowledge management has been adopted, invented and refined concepts over a wide range of disciplines and practices. It is a critical source for an organization and total quality management is one of the most important elements which helps maintain customer satisfaction. This paper will discuss the importance of knowledge management on total quality management. Effective use of the knowledge in quality management helps in increasing the success rate on any organization. Few models and approaches pertaining to knowledge management are described. The organizational defects committed must be eliminated to consider the knowledge obtained is quality knowledge. There are positive and negative impact of knowledge management which are to be considered when applied in any process.


In a rapid changing economic and global environment, the organization should focus on sustaining a competitive advantage in industry over others. By achieving success goals, a company can satisfy the main motive of the company, which also includes satisfaction of customers as well as investors. Some organization only focus on profit of their products, they forgot the importance of quality is key indicator of customer satisfaction. Many such company can thrive and progress only for a short period of time. Quality is one of the important factor which can lead an organization to success in long run.

Growth and development of an organization are paralleled with company’s competitive advantages sources and important information that help in driving the driving the company growth and performance to achieve its success. By utilizing the variety of resources that can be accessed by the company. The knowledge and information which can be used as force to drive the company growth and performance to achieve the goal and vision. Most organization not only uses visible assets but also uses natural resources for smooth management, rather they also focus on monitoring, controlling and inspect the knowledge flow in the organization.

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Knowledge is important resource for any organization with respect to improving quality and smooth functioning. Also, an organization with bad record of managing knowledge and information which will end up in losing and cost of a variety of resources and in turn damaging the quality aspect also. From various research analysis and expert opinion, the knowledge is one distinguishing element of company resources that can be generated as competitive advantages through several step and processes that helps enhancing performance of firm. Knowledge management is not fully implemented in business world.

Quality management is considered as one of the solutions to competitive strategy in today’s marketplace. TQM emphases to continuous improvement process and practices within organizations to match customer satisfaction and requirements. TQM acts as guidelines by providing practices that highlights for maintaining quality and at same time reduce all the unwanted cost through brainstorming, group discussion, benchmarking and implementing reengineering which lead to high production in companies.


As the importance and effects of KM on quality increase, more organization are inculcating KM activities in their processes. Quality as a whole is a strategy focus on continuous improvement of manufacturing processes to enhance a product or services reliability and customer satisfaction. Firstly, we try to understand how knowledge works and then look forward to managing it effectively to enhance quality. Data is vital nucleus which when incorporated yields sensible information. The mixture of information is transferred in various ways and technology acts as a catalyst which enables it to do so. However, technology and computers are just enablers for transferring information. After the information is transferred, it is capacity to act on that information and utilize it. The knowledge of carrying out a process is done by a person after he masters the skills and it cannot be transferred artificially. It requires physical approach for that.  The two methods are:

(a)    Tacit knowledge: It consists of skills that are unwritten, unspoken and hidden knowledge held by practically every human being, based on his or her emotions, insights, gut feel, observation and intuition. Tacit knowledge is integral to entirety of an individual’s consciousness which is acquired largely through association with other people and requires shared activities to be imparted from on to another. Example – pareto rule which constitutes the bulk of what one knows and forms the fundamental framework that makes explicit knowledge possible. The tacit dimension also called informal knowledge.

(b)    Explicit knowledge: This type of knowledge are easily captured artificially through standard procedures and spread with others through books, training or courses. For example in ford, documenting the tasks that each team of works and everyone is performing task in assembly lines is a form of explicit knowledge. Since these documents provide a thorough description of how each task is to be performed, how long a task should be done, the order of steps to be followed in performing each task, and the steps to be taken by each operator.

Some of the definition given by knowledge management pioneers, scholars and authors are written below:

  • Knowledge management is the process of creating, sharing, using and managing the knowledge and information of an organization. Girard, J.P., & Girard, J.L. (2015).
  • Knowledge management (KM) is the process of capturing, developing, sharing, and effectively using organizational knowledge. (wiki)
  • Knowledge Management (KM) refers to a multi-disciplined approach to achieving organizational objectives by making the best use of knowledge.
  • “The capability of an organization to create new knowledge, disseminate it throughout the organization and embody it in products, services and systems. “Nonaka & Takeuchi, 1995
  • Stankosky (2001) defines Knowledge Management as the systematic leverage of intellectual capital to improve Organizational performance.

Knowledge is an important part of quality management process to accomplish continuous improvement and excellence in performance. Without knowledge input in any company, QM cannot survive. Within the framework, KM states the processes of collecting data, information sharing and knowledge creation.

There are three main dimensions of knowledge in KM. They are knowledge acquisition, dissemination and applications.

  • To start, it’s important that the firms acquire knowledge from the dealers, employees, and the customers frequently to ensure continuous improvement in both product and services. This leads to piling up of knowledge and at same period ensuring that the assurance of quality is met in every sense.
  • Then to ensure that quality is being maintained in the company’s employees must contribute in the distribution of knowledge by actively performing.
  • Finally, the knowledge earned and shared is to be implemented and there should always be a to keep track on quality. It helps in effective managing of errors and rectifying it. Hence, overall processes of company increase and final products produced also improves.

Alrawi and Elkhatib developed a model for knowledge management which shows the difference between knowledge creation, sharing and acquisition. The model involves the early stage of KM cycle creation, sharing and acquisition of new knowledge to substitute the existing knowledge with new content which can give major impact to both internal and external environments. Creating new knowledge depends on culture and behavior of management that helps creating long time strategies. Apart from that embedding, reusing knowledge and also creating lively capabilities. The utilization process can be done through embellishment and thoroughness in order to facilitate innovation, learning, and problem solving.


The relation between TQM and KM is abstracted in different ways. Gaining knowledge and distributing them provides quality environment which leads to efficient quality management application. The role of KM is nonstop improvement which shows that continuous improvement by utilizing the available data already within the database of company. KM subsidizes to innovation through TQM. In other words, KM is antient for TQM and innovation. Efficient use of knowledge in quality management increase efforts of quality management. Knowledge allocations ensures continuous improvement in TQM. Knowledge and ability of an induvial employee are benefited more when he is strengthened in quality improvement attempts. Which helps employees spread their knowledge within the organizational structure. It denotes the attempt to improve quality towards total quality management.

The main mark in approach of TQM is ever changing. More information can be help process management. Total quality management entirely changes main tradition of company. The main idea behind TQM and KM is to make a trustworthy environment in organization by adding an effective structure where knowledge is implemented in an organization. The main motive for effective organizational learning can be summarized as ever learning, explicit, implicit, behavior and responsibility. 




Many research have been made by several scholars which suggests leaders plays a vital role in developing and maintain an culture of learning in an organization. They say leaders must inculcate high value of knowledge, encourage the reason of questioning, build trust and help facilitate experimental learning of tacit knowledge.  Leaders should focus on beginning a culture that respects knowledge, promote their people, and strengthen the loyalty of induvial and organization. At the same time they should have continuous evaluation of the knowledge possessed. They should also help navigating through a changing environment. It is interactive and self- management leadership way that has clear and mindful strategy to take advantage of knowledge available in improving efficiency, productivity and top management.

Strategic development

Establish organizational goals and tactical objectives to get an link with knowledge management. Classify the KM plans which help to achieve your goal and objectives. We should prioritize for each strategy when implementing with KM. Process mapping should be done for each of stratergy. We should set roles needed and skills required for these roles. You can also implement DMAIC technique to measure and control the process.

Customer focus

Every day is not same , it is very clear that needs, wants and demand of customers is ever changing. It is imperative  that a organization gather and analyze the data  from customers, to study the expectations and improve their process. The relationship between KM critical factors performance and helps drives people to transform customer requirement to functional requirement. Below mentioned flow chart is example taken from a case study done by Sentosa Ilham.

Source for figure : Managing for quality in Knowledge management




Process management

Process control is stability which enhances a company’s KM. SPC in TQM can help review and update the changes of the knowledge management processes. KM process are always managed and organized to handle systematically.


Information and analysis

It is important element in TQM which supports KM process of a company. Technology helps in searching, retrieving and finding the information which can be useful to firm. A assembly of technologies exists such as data mining, analytics that support the processes in KM. these technologies have potential to help in creating one of a kind KM experience. Customer relation management are implemented in many industries which enables the company to develop appropriate upgrade stratergies to sell more commodities and services with improved quality by analyzing and utilizing the input from the customers.


You don’t have specific name for approaches, techniques and work methods. Methods can vary from functional background to management approaches. To effectively manage knowledge resources, organizations need to evaluate them. Current drifts help organizations to help transfer knowledge resources effectively evaluate them. It is though proposed KM framework that helps continuous improvement of process and products. It is used as a measurement system to ensure knowledge management have key role in quality improvement.

4.1 The steps involved for KM

Organization’s focus should view knowledge as an asset and manage it effectively. Skill acquisition and development will either make or break a quality strategy successful. Below shown steps in a management process.

  • Arresting or creating knowledge (Plan): Steps involving capturing knowledge from competitive intelligence, vendor judgements and study and also internal sources like customer profiles, reports and meetings.
  • Sharing knowledge (Do):  involves different ways to share knowledge with the help of e-media or hard copies as means of communication.
  • Keep a check on effects (Check): tracks the success of above activities with the help of outcomes.
  • Learning and educating (Act): analyzing the reports and results help continuous improvement using TQM philosophy which lead the organization to have success.

A measurement system is very powerful tool used helpful for organization to understand principles of quality and improve the process. KM gives correct decision to employees and promote continuous improvement for quality. These performance measures help contributing towards better product manufacturing cycle time with enhanced client relation and maybe better lead times to suppliers. These improvement helps improving working condition of employees and have job satisfaction.



COST model is method of analyzing the various elements to be restrained. A small explanation for cost model is given below:

  • Customer: It emphasis on customer problems and solutions, reviews and on how we can enhance the learning and can master it.
  • Organization: This includes goals needed to be successful and techniques for binding and sharing the skills and comparing it with their competitors.
  • Suppliers: linkage between suppliers and whether the organization achieves optimum quality at low cost and delivery service from supplier themselves. Also, keep check whether companies are conducting quality programs for supplier.
  • Technology: This involves information transfer. It helps to keep track on number of computer terminals linked to transfer one available employee and are effectively done within the organization.








Source for figure – Methods in KM

Example- A organization which applies cost benefit analysis in their organization the key processes they focus are –

  • Knowledge cultivation and idea generation
  • Knowledge validation
  • Integration of best practices
  • Knowledge storage
  • Spreading knowledge and reuse


KM matrix is matrix which determines the pathway of KM objectives and study which studies the success at various steps and helps giving a process change. It acts as an “gage” help level of achievement KM strategies have achieved. For example – KM matrix learning tells various KM phases indicating the success of each phase which leads to overall evaluation of any of its activities. The implementation of KM matrix is a key role for any organization to rate the KM process.

More examples on how KM matrix works –

Assessment – “indicator” matrix in any organization focuses on achievement of KM process. This will act as the “result indicator” and developing any change in KM process. It will allow you to implement any outcomes in each process steps.

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Matrix will act as line of control – starting with an indication available at each level of activity which clearly indicates the design change and implementation. It indicates control and measure phase activities. Various quantitative measurements show change, resolving issues before something goes wrong.

Tracking the process – Matrix continuous highlights the activity deviation away from the path. It gives right spread and analyzes each phase before giving complete insight and better picture of application. It can be implemented for change in KM process problems. Example for KM matrix is given below –



Example – R&D



Example- Benchmarking



Example – Audits



Example – Creative tension







It improves customer efficiency service which company in turn provides customer satisfaction. The key is to ensure people, particularly top management understands the advantage of having KM in their process to have fruitful output. Implementing knowledge management depends on type of employees, history, nature and domain of company. Future scholars should focus ways to overcome problems which includes all new way to develop service sectors such as travel, transportation, public sector and education to educate more about KM.

 5.1 Benefits:

  • Knowledge management enhances better and faster decision making. By providing relevant information at time of response stage KM can provide basis for making good decisions.
  • Customer satisfaction is the key focus of KM and it also impacts the efficiency customer services which company can provide. If customer doubts are the focus for having good customer satisfaction.
  • Experience and expertise advice are advantage in knowledge management. Team benefits from individual skills and ideas from each member of the council. The more matching the ideas of expertise, greater the power of the team.
  • KM provides methods template and techniques and examples to show it helps improve quality and ensure stable balance across the organization.
  • They focus on continuous improvement with existing process and develop new ideas to improve the quality of firm and processes. 
  • This can help an organization set benchmark against other competitors.
  • It also develops good communication skills among the organization. 


5.2 Challenges:

  • There can be more efficient ways to capture and record business knowledge and spread knowledge across the organization.
  • Resource of making information can be more easily recorded for business knowledge.
  • People can sometime find choosing and implementing knowledge management technology in their process.
  • Integrating existing process and information to from the knowledge management.
  • Delivering what people desire want from the organization that need a updated knowledge management daily. Organization can be mesmerized by benchmarking, thorough research and new initiative will not succeed if it does not meet the intended audience.
  • Getting top management leaders to give importance and educate others can be tedious job. Funds allocation for KM program can be limited sometimes.


 Using the knowledge management in organization helps in identifying ideas, represent and enable adoption and technique either embodied in individual or embedded in organizations processes. KM focuses on sharing knowledge and culture and technical and foundations which support their viewpoint. By best utilization of KM technology and services KM can be a key principle in success of TQM. However, there are some shortcomings in implementing principles of KM. It can be made successful when all levels of management join hands together and take part in process of KM. Hence, knowledge management is model with key principles telling how to manage knowledge through continuous improvement and spreading them.


  1. TQM: A facilitator to enhance knowledge management? A structural analysis by keng-Boon Ooi
  2. Sheng-hsun Hsu & huang-pin Shen (2005) Knowledge management and its relationship with TQM, Total Quality Management & Business Excellence,

16:3, 35-361, DOI:10.1080/14783360500054111

  1. Knowledge Management, Total quality Management and Innovation: A new look Amir Honarpour, Ahmad jusoh, Khalil Md Nor
  2. http://www.knowledge-management-tools.net/three-km-models.html
  3. https://www.idosi.org/wasj/wasj34(12)16/31.pdf
  4. Managing for quality through knowledge management, Lim, Kwang K; Ahmed, Pervaiz K; Zairi, Mohamed, Total Quality Management; Jul 1999; 10, 4/5; ProQuest
  5. https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/content/advantages-and-disadvantages-knowledge-management


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