There are two types of learning in organisations: single‐loop learning is a participative process of fine tuning or refinement, occurring inside the system; double‐loop learning is an individualistic process of questioning the validity of basic assumptions, occurring outside the system. Total quality management is essentially single‐loop learning, capable only of effecting cautious, incremental adjusting changes to well‐known processes and products. These are not the innovative self‐renewing changes needed to keep an organisation aligned with a turbulent changing environment. TQM is not a universal “fix‐all”. It produces favourable results only if used under the conditions and for the purposes to which it is appropriate. Elsewhere it is likely to be dysfunctional and can reduce the organisation′s overall effectiveness.
Chorn, N.H. (1991), "Total Quality Management: Panacea or Pitfall?", International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. 21 No. 8, pp. 31-31. https://doi.org/10.1108/EUM0000000000402
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