From tqm to quantum quality: An islamic perspective
Mohamed A. Youssef
College of Industrial Management
King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Saudi Arabia
Muhammad A. Al-Buraey
College of Industrial Management
King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Saudi Arabia
For the past two decades, Quality management has occupied a vast space of the management literature in general and the quality management literature in particular. Academics as well as practitioners devoted much attention to the TQM philosophy and its impact on business performance. Less attention by Western scholars was given to the origin of the TQM and its evolution to quantum quality, especially in ancient civilizations. Many of the western scholars traced the origin of the TQM philosophy to the efforts of Edward Deming, Philip Crosby and others. In essence Western scholars traced the birth of the TQM philosophy just to the past 100 years or so. On the other hand, the evolution of quantum quality in the mid 1990s as a complementary successor to TQM has not been given the adequate attention it deserves. Such an extension of the TQM was also rooted in the holy book of Qur’aan and the teachings of prophet Mohamed (PBUH). In this presentation, we argue that the essence of the TQM, and subsequently quantum Quality goes back thousands of years ago in the islamic civilization. More importantly, we found that the roots of TQM and its successor can be traced to more than 1400 years ago in the holy book of Qur'aan and the teachings of Prophet Mohamed, Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him. Many verses in the holy Qur’an stressed the impact of good deeds and doing the right things. Not only we will explain these principles, but we will give some business applications of these principles From an islamic perspective.
The authors would like to acknowledge the help and support of KFUPM during the preparation of this paper.
The subject of quality management can be traced back for thousands of years, especially in the ancient civilizations. Over the years, especially in the late 1980s and early 1990s practitioners and academics have attributed the interest in the quality management to gurus such as Deming, Crosby, Ishikawa, just to mention a few ****s. From the 1980s onward, the quality management movement has witnessed four different, but complementary paradigms: Quality Control, Quality Assurance, Total Quality Management, and quantum Quality. Each of these paradigms has its own dimensions where quality management is looked upon From a different perspective. Needless to say that little, if nothing, has been mentioned about examining these dimensions and definitions From an islamic perspective.
This paper is therefore structured as follows. First, we will offer some of the existing definitions to the quality management paradigms and suggest definition to reflect our contribution From an islamic perspective. Second we will discuss the dimensions of the four paradigms and also offer the islamic view of these dimensions. Finally, we will propose a framework for possible empirical work in this very important field.
RELEVANT TQM LITERATURE
The TQM literature, relevant to some aspects of this paper is classified in four research stream. The authors would like to acknowledge the contribution of professor J. Motwani in his classification of literature. Please note that the relevant literature addresses the flexibility and responsiveness dimensions as they relate to TQM and quantum Quality. The rationale behind our emphasis on these dimensions is that we regard TQM as a managerial philosophy that is mainly concerned with the flexibility and responsiveness aspects of satisfying customer needs. Of course the other dimensions are important. However, they have been addressed before, see for example (Youssef, 1996).
The first stream deals with the definition of, and overview articles on quality management and the flexibility and responsiveness dimensions. Several research studies provide definitions of the term quality and flexibility as critical components of operations strategy. See for example, Babbar and Rai (1990), Hill (1991), Allender (1994), and Hunt (1995)]. The overview articles, address topics such as the measurement issues in quality and flexibility. Among the authors who emphasized measurement issues are: Cross and Lynch (1990), Brignall et al. (1991), and Ritsema et al. (1992). This research stream also deals with barriers to implementing TQM and flexibility. See for example, Scully (1993), and Holoviak (1995).
The second stream covers the gamut of normative studies done mainly by practitioners. These deal with the importance of TQM and flexibility, both to the overall organization, as well as functional areas of the organization. It also provides normative suggestions for institutionalizing TQM and flexibility strategies. Normative models for TQM and flexibility include:
· The need for a proactive, rather than a reactive approach, steps for building a TQM and flexible system [ Brownstone and Stonefield (1990), Hay (1990), Hazeltine and Bargallo (1990), McDonalds (1991), and Gehani (1994) ],
· factors that must be considered in implementing a TQM and flexible program [Ayers ((1990) , Owen (1990), Owen (1991), Sutton (1991), Roxin (1992), and Wellins (1994)],
· examples of how organizations have successfully institutionalized TQM and flexibility strategies [ Isbell (1991), and Thornburg (1994) ], and the benefits of implementing TQM and flexibility [ Fife (1991), Inman (1991), Gehani (1994), Wellins (1994) and , Zelman (1996) ].
The third research stream is concerned with developing conceptual models for assessing and implementing quality and flexible management strategies. Several researchers suggest specific models and/or steps for implementing the principles of TQM and flexibility see for example, Carter and Narsimhan (1990), Discenza and Gurney (1990), Drucker (1990), Kleindorfer et al. (1990), Linn and Wysk (1990), Crowe and Nuno (1991), Randhawa et al. (1991), Tranfield et al. (1991), Schonberger (1992), Zairi (1993), Aggarwal and Lee (1995), Madu et al. (1995), and Butler et al. (1996). Another emphasis of this research stream was placed on selecting an effective set of measures or approaches for institutions practicing TQM and flexibility. See for example Noori (1991/1992), Boer and Krabbendam (1992), Luebbe and Finch (1992), Mathieson and Wharton (1993), Czajkiewicz and Wielicki (1994), Bresnen and Fowler (1996), and Frazier and Spriggs (1996) ].
Even though the models/steps suggested by the above authors are detailed, the main criticism against this stream is that there has been little effort to use existing theory to develop a comprehensive model of TQM and flexibility.
The fourth stream deals with the assessment and successful implementation of current practices of quality and flexibility management by organizations. See for example, Beatty (1990), Farhoomand et al. (1990), Ferdows and De Meyer (1990), Holm et al. (1990), Pontusson (1990), Reitsperger and Daniel (1990), Son (1990), Bolwijn and Kumpe (1991), Buxey (1991), Chen and Abbott (1991), Hestand (1991), Horte et al. (1991), Wall and Zeyel (1991), Yen and Chu (1991), Bennet and Karlsson (1992/1993), Meredith and Vineyard 1993, Vineyard (1993), Pearson et al. (1995), Ahire and Golhar (1996), Ahmed et al. (1996), Bonn and Christodoulou (1996), Lau (1996), and Suarez et al. (1996), and Youssef (1992, 1993, 1996). Most of the research in this stream was conducted through field studies, questionnaire surveys or case studies and illustrates how TQM and flexibility can create a competitive advantage.
Quality Management Defined
There has been a plethora of definitions to the term total quality management. We use the definition developed by the leading author, who defined TQM as "…A managerial philosophy whose main objective to is meet and/or exceed the needs of internal and external customers by creating an environment in which: (a) everyone in the organization appreciates and understand the strategic importance of quality, and (b) quality management practices are integrated in every task or function on the company's supply chain." The definition, therefore, looks at the vertical and the horizontal aspects of TQM.
The Horizontal aspect of TQM emphasizes that quality management activities must be integrated into what an organization does, From acquiring raw material to the moment the final product is shipped to the ultimate customer. The vertical dimension of TQM makes quality management the business of everyone in the organization, From top management to the shop floor worker. The integration of both dimensions gives a holistic view of TQM.
The Evolution of the Quality Management Paradigms
In the past four decades or so, quality management has evolved From quality control to quantum quality. Miller (1995) was the first to coin the term quantum quality. Miller indicated that this new paradigm does not negate the older paradigms, but rather it complements them. In this vein, Miller proposed that the development in the quality management area progressed in the following order: quality control, quality assurance, TQM ands quantum quality. the depicted in historical sequence in figure ( 1) below.
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