Total quality management (TQM) is an organizational activity that has received many labels since its widespread introduction to the U.S. workplace in the early 1980s. It has been labeled as a comprehensive approach to management, a managerial philosophy, a set of tools for improving quality and customer focus, and an organizational development (OD) intervention that can affect both the business and the people side of operations. It is practiced by statisticians and engineers, by psychologists and other behavioral scientists, and by CEOs, general managers, and human resource professionals. TQM has been praised as the panacea for business competitiveness and survival, and it has been maligned as nothing more than a passing fad that has failed to deliver. Clearly, it is difficult to provide a comprehensive, ...

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