Sunday, December 18, 2011

Tottering Quality Management

by J. Ajith Kumar
Sultanate of Oman

The concept of Total Quality Management (TQM) took the corporate world by storm almost two decades ago. There were many reasons for it, but the most important one being European Union’s move to allow imports only from companies with ISO certification. International Standards Organisation (ISO) rose from anonymity to become a household name in the corporate world in no time. All types of business and organisations started looking for certification of their goods and services to keep up their exports. Till then ‘quality’ was at best a desirable attribute and only Japanese companies paid any attention to it as a policy. But the rush for ISO certification changed all that. Many good changes resulted but many more unwanted tendencies surfaced. Two decades down the lane it may be a useful exercise to retrospect on the issue. Did ISO certification bring about any desirable change? Is it necessary to continue with it in its present form? TQM is tottering and drastic steps (by ISO) are required if the good effects of quality movement are to survive.


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