Considers the failure of a TQM project in a prominent UK building company, despite considerable efforts to publicise and promote the quality ethos. Argues that it failed because the chief executive officer did not understand or believe in the efficacy of TQM or, indeed, the nature of communication. Outlines the lack of progress of the project despite enthusiasm from the senior managers involved and relates it to the basic principles of professional communication and leadership. Discusses the role of external communicators trying to put across a corporate message on behalf of internal senior staff and concludes with a series of guidelines for effective communication and how to decide what the purpose of that communication is.
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