TQM and Business Process Re-engineering

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Total Quality Management and Business Process Re-engineering


This article going to discuss about Total Quality Management (TQM) and Business Process Re-engineering (BPR) which are the most expressions of an increasing sophistication in management techniques and principles in recent years (Christian 1997). There are some ambiguous constructs between TQM and BPR. On the one hand, there are claimed that the management innovations might be restore competitiveness and back to traditional, such as bureaucratic organizations. On the other hand, TQM and BPR are normally concerned to only to the managerial common sense (Fisher 1994). This paper’s goals to explode the reasons and benefits relate with managers and workers around the BPR and TQM.

Total Quality Management (TQM)

Total Quality Management (TQM) has its roots in Japan, because of the original Japanese words Quality Control (QC) which means the development of quality improvement activities, due to the translation problems about QC from the original Japanese words(Boaden 1996). So, QC and TQM have same meaning, for example the principles were universally accepted as a means of continual improvement in quality overall organizational performance. Furthermore, there are aim of TQM which means for customer satisfaction, and improved flexibility (Ruth 1996). TQM often rely on a statistical base through mathematical foundation of quality control (Ruth 1996). At the begin , TQM started in 1950’s and 1960’s, it was attributed by Deming and Juran who promoted quality processes in Japan.

Although the radical concepts of TQM were developed in US and Europe during 1980’s and 1990’s the growing international competition led many UK and other companies to adopt TQM, especially focus on quality by management gurus such as Peter’s and Waterman (Ruth 1996). There are some common quality principles of TQM, including customer orientation, substantial cultural change, top management leadership of the quality improvement process, focus on continuous improvement, respect for employees and their knowledge, and reduction of product and process variation with an emphasis on defect prevention rather than detection. Especially continuous improvement for example, it is often related with Kaizen which is one of the basic principles of TQM (Ruth 1996). The results of TQM processes generally are improvements in mistake rates, reduced time needed to save money, worker capital and increased efficiencies (Christian 1997). Another example of Customer orientation is one of soft systems of TQM. It is usually flexible forms of work organization with the intensification and insecurity that come in its wake.

TQM as an inclusive management practices that using methodology to set up models of organization and amplifies. Some aspects of TQM were obviously incorporated more easily than others. For instance, problem solving by teams, conferencing, and training. After finished the TQM training, managers were able to offer an intellectualized report of TQM (Chritian 1997). However, it was not mean that managers were understood of practical by their level, and they could sure what the elements exactly could mean in their working climate (Chritian 1997). For instance, senior managers might lose sight of the ball. They kick the ball into play, and when it has some problem or the ball is not working as fast as they think they would like change the way to find another job better than before (christian 1997).

In addition, managers focused on the mechanisms- training, meetings. Because of TQM become a more efficient and modern company it was enabled managers could self-referential, especially in official company discourse (Christian 1997). And most of senior managers have had an opportunity to achieve a multitude of sometimes conflicting or objectives, who were choosed by consultants and management gurus.

TQM principles, practices and techniques are have benefits to workers. Such as teamwork, group skills, continuous training and learning techniques as role clarification and group feedback (Christian 1997). For example, there are lots of quality management rules such as TQM, just-in-time, Quality Control systems are used by the operational workers in Denso Company, this are increasing and improving work efficiency and effectiveness.

In spite of the benefits of TQM, there is failure paradigm of the Quality Management. For example, according to Kearney survey that there are 80% of the companies surveyed might not point to a dramatic improvement in implementation, and research from 1992 by Arthur D. who reported that TQM had a remarkable impact on their activities and habits are considered merely by the third of studied companies (Christian 1997).

Business Process Re-engineering (BPR)

The Business Process Re-engineering (BPR) replaced Total Quality Management (TQM) as the hottest topic of organizational processes and structures, always following the introduction of new information technologies into an organization. “BPR is the fundamental thinking and redesign of business processes, to achieve dramatic improvements in critical, contemporary measures of performance, such as cost, quality, service and speed” (Hammer &Champy 1994). On the other hand, BPR is contrasted with process simplification that it is considered involved in fundamental change, led by a view, involving new frameworks and technology and changes in habits and attitudes.

In addition BPR was developed as a radical concept for fundamental change in an organization, relied on total redesign of an organization’s programmers, and taking into account the full power of modern technology (Ruth 1996). BPR could make the small change in each department for example in marketing sales department, but return the huge benefits for the organization. For instance, structure change related with people and technology, it plays a crucial role in organizing people, technology, decision-making, control, and management. Bad organizational structure can reduce the success of the redesigning effort. These might involve multi-functional teams, product teams, and the flattening of the management hierarchy (Delvin 2002). In the technology facts are pointed that it might includes the relationships and controls in various technologies.

The main features of BPR includes simple to multi-tasked work, empowerment of employees, change of focus from management towards customer, flattening hierarchies and managements habits from supervising to coaching, and switch from functional department to process teams ( Grint 1994).

BPR have benefits both of managers and workers, including a non-bureaucratic and informal management structure, a flat organizational structure, tight control of day to day works for example someone absence, and little management of authority. To achieve these might via the three fields, such as reengineering technology, organizational structure, and communication (Delvin 2002).

Firstly, the advantage aspects of reengineering technology to managers are including standard managerial processes which trend to integration all the information: share databases, function, network, and improving quality in operational processes (William 1996). Such as, the most important processes in a manufacturing or service company and distinguish the following steps: order flow, strategic process, product, marketing or sales, services, accounting, personnel, and technology (Marta 1999). These could via information technologies systems to achieve them.

Information technologies, namely, personal computers and internet communications allow workers to work far away from the office. Employees may work at home or other areas. Multimedia communication programmers, which receive email or messages, and review news and get information is very convenience and quick. And computer systems can integrate multi-functional of business processes, sharing data resources, internal and external information. These processes not only reduce cost and improving the accuracy of exchanging information, but also increasing work efficiency and effectiveness (Marta 1999). Such as Enterprise Resource Planning Systems (ERP) which is one of popular software systems, it is widely used in most of companies in recent years.

Secondly, organizational structure which is really difficulties in redesigning procedures especially to managers, they might less autonomy due to the formal constraints and regulations of organization (James 2000). For example managers may less decision-making and flexibility. On the other hand, the hierarchical or bureaucratical of organization might become flat levels. And their changed the management habits and attitudes from supervising to coaching or training. As well as towards pay more attention to the customers instead of management.

Organizational structure change to workers, the organization needs encouraged employees who accept changes, share, and motivate their new style of working processes. On one hand, the organization must in-depth training and motivation their employees, such as provide the team work knowledge and creative new type of jobs. On the other hand, the organization must encourage their workers via incentive systems and involvement in the decision-making process (Marta 1999).

Lastly, communication issues to managers are more crucial in the organization. For example, in most of the companies, they employees are working for the company, it is not only for the better paid, but also really focus on the senior managers who are respect or take care them as a word or a gesture. While these are absolutely small changes to managers, but to workers are really more respects or thanks to managers, prompted them to performance well, these are without money issues, each worker needs esteems and trusts.

Communication processes involved in all departments and people at all levels of the organization (Winklhofer 2002). People should be kept as open as possible to ensure success. It can help higher management transform information about the business and BPR progress across the organization and make workers more ensure and understand what exact their role in the change process (David 2005). It will be reduce resistance of change process and give feedbacks to the higher level managers, such as the training issues or promotions, employees cannot be controlled, they can be encouraging innovation, sharing information, and providing a change blueprint (David 2005).

However, there were 70% of BPR projects failed (Ralph 2000). It had have many reasons about failure of BPR, including have “ill-defined scope and processes defined, inaccurate information and data, lack of executive commitment and sponsorship, limited guru to proceed and fast changing technologies” (Ralph 2000). One of the typical unsuccessful example of BPR in the organization, management risks involve operational problems such as lack of customer focus, transaction issues, and lack of time to execute the project.


In conclusion, this paper provides general theories and examples about Total Quality Management (TQM) and Business Process Re-engineering (BPR). Although there are many critical articles about TQM and BPR, and the high rate of failure cases. While, it is not deny that BPR established on the TQM programmers, there are similarities both of them such as high quality, continuous improvement, and working efficiency. However, there are basic different between TQM and BPR. For example, TQM do not changing the existing processes, it is focus on continuous improvement and customer satisfaction. In contrast, BPR is changing the existing processes, reengineering the whole processes, set up the new processes instead of old one.


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