Total quality management (TQM) is the integration of every function and process carried out in an organization so as to achieve constant improvement of the quality of goods and services. The core objective of TQM is achievement of absolute customer satisfaction (Ross & Perry 1999, p. 1). In this paper we examine the TQM and organizational behaviour under its implementation, importance of teamwork and partnership development in businesses.
A plan for Introduction of TQM
The initial step to begin in development of a plan for introduction is to determine the quality requirements of an organization (Oakland 2003, p. 339). It is important that for any industry, the quality requirement is established through market research and customer care services. The requirements of the customer should be given the priority in development of any effective TQM.
Once the quality requirement is obtained, a quality policy statement is drawn and setting up of appropriate structure of organization. The structure set up should ensure proper management as well as encouraging involvement in quality achievement through human capital as a team. This is the point where all the information of organization’s operations is collected and used to identify those areas that need improvements so as to impact positively on the quality performance (Oakland 2003, p. 339). The management of the company is usually engaged in the planning and implementation of the TQM.
During the TQM planning process and implementation, measures should be put in place so that the complete philosophy of management through quality is achieved by setting specific goals for the organization. The first measure is to ensure that the quality message in consistent throughout the organization. This means that there should be no variation from one department to the next. Also, it is important that the quality statement should not be ambiguous but rather clear and well understood across the organization (Bicheno & Elliot 1997, p. 273).
In addition, there should be a measure that ensures the existence of commitments to continuous improvement of quality within the organization. This is because there is constant increasing competition making quality improvements a necessity to survival. With increased competition, customers usually expect more in terms of quality (Bicheno & Elliot 1997, p. 273).
The other important measure in planning and implementation of TQM is switching from defect detection to prevention. The quality management should ensure that the process is inspected rather than the actual output so as to eliminate variations in the process. With reduced variations in the business processes, it ensures that defects are eliminated leading to the outcome which meets customer quality requirements (Bicheno & Elliot 1997, p. 273).
When it comes to supplies, ensure that the TQM eliminates warding of business through price but rather quality, reliability of delivery and supplier willingness to continuous improvement. The system should be able to build partnerships with the suppliers which benefit both parties. Moreover, ensure there is constant improvement which is not limited only to the products but rather all fundamental services and activities (Bicheno & Elliot 1997, p. 273).
The planning should include the setting up of modern training procedures for the employees. The system should ensure that workers understand fully all business processes and any variations as well as improvement with the aim of achieving total quality. The issue is to make everyone be concerned of quality. The supervision of the workers should focus on coaching and support rather than ordering (Bicheno & Elliot 1997, p. 273).
The other measure associated with failed TQM systems is the fear of change in organizations. There should be encouragement to drive out the fear that improved quality might lead to more work for employees or job losses or whatever. The organization should implement ways of removing barriers of quality improvements. There should be easier communications within the organization and the customer reaction should be moved without any distortion up to the point where action is taken (Bicheno & Elliot 1997, p. 273).
The plan should ensure that the slogans developed are achievable and have quality meaning with realistic targets. The work standards and quotas should be done away with to avoid employees being penalized nor rewarded for undeserved performance. Moreover, the implementation should remove barriers that prevent workers from being proud of their jobs (Bicheno & Elliot 1997, p. 274).
The implementation plan should not ignore the element of training and education and create a culture that supports all the above plans. It is important that for total quality management to be achieved all the stated management philosophies should be aimed at and achieved. With a successful plan implementation and continuous systems of improvement, it ensures that the organization is able to meet its required set quality objective (Bicheno & Elliot 1997, p. 274).
Relating TQM Implementation Plan to a UK Chain of Hotels
The particular business needs and business environment of a chain of hotels throughout the UK demand that the TQM implementation plan be done in a manner capable of meeting those specific needs in the given environment. The challenge faced by a Chain of hotels in UK is that of competition causing reduced demand. Therefore the need of the chain of hotels is to achieve competitive advantage in an environment saturated with competitors. This is made possible with the implementation plan of TQM which ensures absolute customer satisfaction in quality. This is because with achieved customer satisfaction, loyalty is developed by the customers resulting in the inexpensive word of mouth advertisement by satisfied customers (Rogers 1996, p. 8).
The quality requirement of a chain of hotels in entire UK is to offer the best hotel services consistently across all its chains. Therefore consistent and uniform TQM implementation is crucial in achieving the required quality for customer satisfaction throughout the chain. The Competitive environment of the hotel industry in UK means that the hotel to invest a lot in training entire workforce on quality improvement. Since employees are most valuable in serving the customers, it becomes absolutely necessary to train and educate them on quality implementation plan.
The Chain is already running in business and as such it has already developed systems of management which only needs some slight changes and improvements. The management and entire staff of the restaurant should be committed to the improvement of quality and service to the organization. Moreover, the company should emphasize on the teamwork to achieve its strategic goals of achieving quality service. They cooperate to serve the customer (Reiter 1996, p. 178).
The other implementation plan is to focus on quality of supplies rather that the pricing. The supply requires expansion to increase the sources of fresh quality products. If the company never compromises on the quality of its products, it is bound to offer excellent quality products to the consumer. The focus on quality by the hotel will ensure that it meets the customers’ ever changing demands and maintain the competitive advantage.
The other implementation plan is to improve technology in used by the Chain of hotels. With improved technology, service to the customer will be achieved at a greater speed thus improving customer satisfaction which is the ultimate goal of the TQM (Reiter 1996, p. 178). The TQM planning and implementation is very important in the successful achievement of customer satisfaction. Therefore it is of great benefit that any implementation of quality measures by the Chain of hotels be well communicated to the entire network so as to enable continuous application and achievement of customer satisfaction across all its hotels. The benefit of this is that the overall brand name is enhanced making it possible to attract and retain more customers.
Characteristics of Effective Teamwork
An effective teamwork is necessary for the successful implementation of TQM. The effective teamwork has characteristics that make it able to successfully perform its processes. The first quality is the cooperation among the team members. When a team is united it is able to stand but division causes failure. The cooperation of team members allows achievement of common goals. Thus an effective team has members who are paying attention to details that make collaboration possible. A team capable of cooperating is able to build of trust among its members. This characteristic usually goes with the respectful attitude towards the team (Ryan & Sladyk 2005, p. 541 & 542).
The other characteristic is the flexibility of a team. The team which embraces change positively is viewed to be a successful team. The winning team is able to approach new ideas with open and accepting minds. The openness to change encourages team members to be innovative and express suggestions without fear of intimidation (Ryan & Sladyk 2005, p. 542).
Moreover, a good team has creative abilities. There is importance for team members to be in an atmosphere that encourages creativity among staff members. The success of a team demands that an environment be liberal enough to facilitate new ideas to be natured in an organized manner accepted by all members. The environment can either encourage or discourage normal functioning of a team. Thus it is crucial that each team member understand individual specific roles as well as the purpose of the entire team (Ryan & Sladyk 2005, p. 542).
Then other important element of effective team is the ability to adopt continuous learning. The entire team should be able to learn from each other as well as the other sources of information such as literature or even observations. The effective team leaders should be able to teach their staff of as they all learn and avoid giving order to the staff (Ryan & Sladyk 2005, p. 542).
The other characteristic of effective team is the ability to facilitate development in the group. This is the process of team building which is crucial in ensuring that the company achieves its objectives through the staff capable to build the processes while working as a team (Ryan & Sladyk 2005, p. 542).
Phases of Team Development
The formation of an effective team is not automatic since several conditions have to be met in the process of development. In this paper we present five phases of development sequence of a team which include; formation, storming, norming, performing and adjourning (Hellriegel & Slocum 2007, p. 269).
The first phase is the forming stage. This is where the team members get to understand the goals and procedures for performing their duties. The members get acquainted with the group members as well as leadership. This is where the members’ feelings and tendency to work together is developed. The members are usually analyzing their benefits of being in such a team and it is generally used as an ice breaking point for creating an effective team (Hellriegel & Slocum 2007, p. 269 & 270). This phase is very important in ensuring that the social understanding among members is achieved to build to the entire success of the company.
The second phase is the storming stage. This stage is characterized by conflicts related to work behaviour, priorities, responsibilities and issues related to the directions given by the team leader. There may be competition at this stage to carry out some favourable duties as compared to others. This is the most challenging stage that requires the team members to tolerate each other and stick together because failure will mean that the team will not progress to the next stage (Hellriegel & Slocum 2007, p. 270).
The third phase is the norming stage where the team members accept to share information, embrace different opinions as well as positive attempts to compromise on the decisions for the sake of the team. At this stage, the members come up with rules and procedures that will drive the team’s operations. The cooperation and shared responsibility develops among the members to ensure that the whole team rather than an individual succeeds. The stern social behaviours change to caring and concern for team members leading to positive cohesion (Hellriegel & Slocum 2007, p. 271).
The fourth phase is the performance stage where members show how effectively and efficiently can produce desired results as a team. The individual duties are accepted and members will have learnt when to work independently and those times to work as a team to enhance effective performance. Some teams continue to learn at this stage while effectively carrying out the team assignements (Hellriegel & Slocum 2007, p. 271).
The fifth stage is called adjourning stage. This is for those teams that were formed to carry out a particular task for which it is disbanding after completion. However, there are those teams that do not enter this stage due to their continuity in nature and as such cannot be adjourned. After the team reports and makes recommendations, the disengagement takes place at this point (Hellriegel & Slocum 2007, p. 272).
Relevance of Teamwork to TQM
An effective team allows achievement of TQM through effective and efficient corporation towards the common quality goal. This is important because TQM cannot be achieved without combination of several functions which can only be done by a team of individuals. The workers form a team which makes decisions on plans and implementation of the TQM (Sallis 2002, p. 71).
Teams have importance of engaging maximum number of required individuals in a given total quality management. The continuous quality improvement comes from the team working in harmony. The quality improvement involves a great hard work process which is best handled by various teams (Sallis 2002, p. 71).
According to Sallis (2002, p. 72), the teams have important functions in TQM which include; accountability for the quality learning, responsibility for making quality improvements in specific areas of responsibility, monitoring and evaluation of the quality improvements, and channel of information to management on the changes necessary quality improvements.
Therefore, quality improvement is achieved through a series of teams working on small development projects aimed at solving problems, improving existing processes as well as designing of new projects. The teams are able to utilize various TQM tools so as to achieve the required quality (Sallis 2002, p. 72). Thus teamwork is very relevant to the Total Quality Management.
Approach to Teamwork by Burger King Chain of Restaurants
The Burger King has broken down its operations into several tasks assigned to teams. This ensures that a small number of people working in a team are able to accomplish tasks that they are specialized in performance. There are some other job functions that may be contracted out to specialized external teams which produce excellent quality (Reiter 1996, p. 178).
The company has also cross-trained its team members so that they are interchangeable enabling easy shifts from one job function to another. This has enabled movements of crew in fast food outlets to rotate under scheduling. This has weakened the protection offered by collective agreements (Reiter 1996, p. 178).
The company emphasizes on the teamwork of management and the crew in working smart to serve the customer. Thus emphasis is given to the quality service that should be given to the customer. Therefore in conclusion, the Burger King utilizes team work to achieve its quality objectives in the restaurant operations (Reiter 1996, p. 178). All the teams working for Burger King Outlets have been trained so as to achieve set quality requirements.
Therefore, depending on the company capital requirements, the approach to its teamwork is unique to the company operations. Two different firms may not be found utilizing similar approach to its teamwork because of the dynamic business environments which demand flexibility of the entire workforces.
The concept of partnership development has increasingly become acceptable form of solving business problems jointly due to increased costs. Therefore partnerships involve the coming together of two or more organization to jointly carry out the business. This is because the socioeconomic improvement problems are impossible to solve without partnership. Their complication and inflexibility requires several players as well as resources. With advancing technology and scarce resources globally, it becomes inevitable to join partnerships so as to achieve the business purpose with pooled resources. The lack of partnership has been shown to be ineffective and other people argue that they are becoming detrimental. Thus the partnerships have become essential to become competitive in business environment (Brinkerhoff 2002, p. 1; Rajendra 2006, 45).
Reasons for Organizations to Create Partnerships
The first reason for partnership establishment is the need to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of development labours. The partnership is able to provide possibilities of developing strategic objectives as well as coordination. The partnerships provide integration of interest and services are difficult to be achieved by sole operations. There are major public service delivery projects that may only be achieved through partnerships between government departments and NGOs (Brinkerhoff 2002, p. 3).
The other reason for partnership is the challenge of obtaining sustainable development through good governance. The ability of a business to be sustained despite the social, political and ethical issues requires strategic responses and business operations to overcome. For instance, there is daunting challenge to sustain a good environment requires cooperation between NGOs and donors. Without partnerships with each actor carrying out independent operation, it can only solve the symptoms and fail to stop the causes of distraction (Brinkerhoff 2002, p. 3).
Moreover, the partnerships enable players to access important resources including the human capital expertise which could otherwise be impossible. The actors close to the problems to be addressed have better information and procedures of ensuring good performance as well as ensuring affordable costs to bring the resources. The other partners will utilize the information and provide expert solutions and suggestions. Some partnership to provide good health will involve that of trained health personnel with government departments, NGOs or private sector. The personnel will harness resources while they provide the human capital expertise in solving health problems (Brinkerhoff 2002, p. 3).
Furthermore, partnerships boosts efficiency of development efforts by recognizing and utilizing the comparative advantages of partners involved. The partners are able to take advantage and utilize their respective resources and skills. This unity of diverse partners brings creativity through different perspectives as well as expertise which results in improvement of overall efficiency. For instance, partners are able to reduce transaction costs through coordination and building trust (Brinkerhoff 2002, p. 4).
Another reason for partnership formation is through conflict. This is where it is expensive for the partners to conflict in terms of time and resources as compared to the costs of cooperation. An example is major conflicts in environmental sectors in competition for scarce resources as well as their protection. With the increased costs of conflicting, the only viable option is for various actors to form a partnership that looks into the interests of the entire setup thus reducing the conflict costs (Brinkerhoff 2002, p. 4).
The other reason for partnership formation is to strategically open decision making processes. This may be an interest to further the public interest rather than the private sector ones, or it can be for sustainability purposes. The input from various partners is important for the creation of sustainable benefits. With these pragmatic perspectives, partnerships will enhance developments which maximize available resources (Brinkerhoff 2002, p. 4 & 5). Thus the partnerships are important in enabling achievements of specific partners as well as the entire general public interests.
Obstacles to Partnership Development in Restaurant Chains
The first obstacle is the economic inconsistency within the regions of the Chain of restaurants. The inconsistent economic environments make it difficult for partnerships to thrive due to the discrepancies. The connection between the varying economic situations may be a huge gap making it a huge challenge to overcome so as to enable the partnership to develop (Otgaar, Berg & Meer 2008, p. 37).
The inability of the government to facilitate cross-border cooperation makes it difficult for the partnerships to thrive across their boundaries. The various partnership policies optimize national and regional networks. However, it could be better for these policies to encourage cross border networks so as to enable partnerships in other countries (Otgaar, Berg & Meer 2008, p. 37). The governments need to facilitate more policies that encourage restaurant partnerships beyond national borders.
The third obstacle is the fundamental differences in culture, legislations as well as administration of different restaurants. This makes it very difficult to establish concrete partnership agreements that can be implemented anywhere. It is hard to imitate other partnerships because they operate in different environments which may not work in the context of the potential partnerships (Otgaar, Berg & Meer 2008, p. 37). Therefore this obstacle has to be overcome in any restaurant partnerships.
The fourth obstacle is the weak internal accessibility of the restaurants. The lack of access to each other discourages successful partnership among the chain of restaurants. There should be better connection between the businesses so as to create more opportunities for partnerships. To allow accessibility, the governments should ensure proper development of infrastructure which facilitates proper access and communication between partnerships (Otgaar, Berg & Meer 2008, p. 37).
The other problem is that associated with holding fast to own business approach. This does not allow adoption of new effective practices because member restaurants would want to do business their own way. By viewing the other partners to be interfering with the individual member’s decision is an obstacle to partnership success (Motes & Hess 2007, p. 111).
Furthermore, there is a problem associated with accountability of partnership members. There is a struggle to address problems of non-performing member restaurants which pulls down the partnership achievements. The evaluations are carried out and discussion may have to be made to address these problems of accountability. Out of these inadequacies, the other partners may withdraw support for those partners thus leaving the partnership which is no longer effective (Motes & Hess 2007, p. 111).
There are also problems associated with competition from already established partnerships. Due to the strength nature of partnerships, it becomes inevitable that new partnerships are faced with the challenge of competition from already established restaurants. To avert this problem, the partnerships have incorporated policies that address these competitions (Motes & Hess 2007, p. 111).
Structured Approach to Overcome Partnership Obstacles in Burger King Chains
The Burger King Chain of restaurants has used partnership approach in expansion of its networks as well as increasing sales. The partnership in sponsorship programs with other organizations to develop various community projects has an effect of increasing sales level. The public interest is achieved through these partnerships in which the restaurant uses as a marketing tool through corporate social responsibility. The Burger King partners with other private sector corporate which may include airlines and other service providers (Wakefield 2007, p. 166).
The other Burger King Chain of restaurants approach to partnership is for the purposes of expansion of its network chains (Johnson Publishing Company 1996, p. 13). The partnerships enable the company to overcome the obstacle associated with limited resources in expanding its market network outlets. With increased level of partnerships through franchising, the Burger King is able to reduce the obstacle of competition through the economies of scale in which it benefits as a large partnership.
The other partnership of Burger King is the approach on its suppliers. The restaurant has developed partnerships with food suppliers that enable the restaurant to receive quality supplies which ultimately improves the performance of the restaurant. Partnership with suppliers enables the suppliers to have common quality objectives with the restaurant. With common objectives, the partnership is able to deliver the best food products across its entire network.
The total quality management in an organization ensures absolute customer satisfaction and continued future profitability. On the other hand partnership part of organizational behaviour enables the companies to pool resources so as to achieve goals that would have otherwise not been achieved by a single entity. Therefore the fusion of the two processes has an excellent positive impact on the competitiveness of any business organization and should be upheld