The realization of TQM change in a newly changed culture


Charmaine Joy V. Zhang

4HR2 October 10, 2013

The realization of TQM change in a newly changed culture

It is of no myth that the Total Quality Management (TQM) has always been known to be on the field of marketing, production, and development. It is only recently where researchers are able to link TQM to Human Resource (HR), well, I think also because HR has only just recently stood out as having of equal footing as with the other department in a company. In a traditional organization where the corporate culture remains so intact for change to be penetrated, I began to realize the need of marrying quality and culture for change to arise.

Reading an article about Total Quality-oriented Human Resource Management (TQHRM) from Total Quality-Oriented Human Resources Management of David E. Bowen and Edward E, Lawler III, where they explained the important connection of quality management and the many facets of HR, lead me to a feeling similar to what Edgar H. Shein described from his book The Corporate Culture Survival Guide as the Survival Anxiety, the reaction from a disconfirmation that when left untouched or unchanged something bad will happen. We see the importance of HR and the application of quality management together, however, given a different scenario, the application of TQHRM would prove to be difficult for the newly changed environment as with every change, a newborn resistance is formed.

Like in any marriage, one must need to get along with the other in order to work. I always believe of the equation: Good HR equals good profit. Having a well managed HR, keeps employees happy, they will be satisfied. With satisfied employees, then there will be no problem subjecting them to training, with new knowledge and set of skills added, they will feel motivated and while being skilled, which will reflect on their output and customers will be satisfied and continue to patron the output of the organization. As for TQM, quality as always matters. Doing it right the first time, focusing on the customers, strategic and holistic approach to improvement, and respect towards the people. I just think for HR and TQM to go along, clear understanding of the culture should be present first. We need culture-adaptable TQHRM approach.

HR lead a very significant role in a company as it deals with the most dominant anatomy of the organization- the people. Adapting to change is one of the key towards success of an organization, but tailor-fitting the people to adapt to change is a challenge. How can traditional HR integrate the TQHRM? How can a company go on par competitively when the important aspect of it remains obsolete. The marketing and production may have already integrated the principles of quality management, but the most inner core remains worn out the overall success or progress may not be too evident if there is any. I think that as HR, we can’t just merely apply the principles of TQM without first considering the adaptive culture of the organization. Otherwise, whatever changes HR adds would only face restrictions from the people.