An Overview of Total Quality Management: Understanding the Fundamentals in Service Organization

Faisal Talib


Recent studies on total quality management (TQM) show that there is sudden shift in the application of TQM from manufacturing to service organization and voluminous studies have been undertaken in it. TQM has taken a strong place in all sectors and emerged out as an approach for process improvement, waste reduction, business optimization and quality performance. Additionally, numerous researchers and academicians have acknowledged the applicability of TQM for sustainable competitive advantage especially for service organizations. In light of this, the purpose of the present study is to understand the concept of TQM as applicable to the service system. It also explores the literature on TQM in service organizations as well as reasons for its failure. Lastly, the study provides systematic guidelines for effective implementation of TQM in the service organizations. The findings of study provide a better understanding of TQM, its practices and present the reasons for growth of service organizations. Results also highlight some major outcomes from the latest studies on TQM in service organizations. Finally, the study proposes a ten step approach for effective implementation of TQM in the service organizations. This study provides a framework for better understanding the fundamentals of TQM in service organizations and seeks an in-depth knowledge of TQM theory to the service managers and practitioners. Some managerial implications and scope for future study are presented at the end.


Total Quality Management (TQM), TQM Practices, Service Organization, TQM Failure, Implementation


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