Discusses how the term TQM often conjures up different things to different people. In order to help clear up this confusion identifies four phases of TQM. Contends the theme is the implementation in practice of two major shifts in management thinking towards people and towards customers. Describes the four phases in the evolution of TQM. Exemplifies the evolution of TQM in the Ford Motor Company. Concludes that recognising the four stages brings clarity to an increasingly confusing terminology. Asserts it can also be a useful diagnostic tool when deciding how an organization should make practical use of the profusion of TQM techniques.
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