Total Quality Management originated in the early 1920s as statistical theory applied to the quality control of products and services. This concept gradually came into prominence in both Japan and America during the 1940s, with the primary focus being on enhancing and maintaining quality (BPIR, 2019). However, the TQM concept gradually shifted its focus to handling every quality issue that an organization faces in its operations. Managerial input and leadership styles are also contributing factors to the application of quality management.
They can institute an effective balance in the behavioral sciences, economic theories, qualitative and non-qualitative data analysis, and process analyses. Scholars such as Deming, Feigenbaum, Crosby, Juran, and Ishikawa were pioneers of TQM and its subsequent development (Zairi, 2013). More insights about these scholars’ contributions to the TQM philosophy’s development are covered in this chapter’s subsequent sections.
Japan was the pioneer of quality management in the 1950s. This was before Europe and America felt its relevance in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The competition from Japan led to a paradigm shift, as the other regions sought to improve their production quality standards to match Japan’s.
Challenges of applying Total Quality Management
This chapter evaluates challenges in applying TQM philosophies in Saudi Arabian universities. While some Saudi universities have embraced TQM, there are differing opinions on its application and implementation, thereby compromising the potential opportunities offered by TQM practices in fostering a quality-oriented culture in universities (Alzhrani, Alotibie, & Abdulaziz, 2016). Exploring the challenges and opportunities from TQM in Saudi’s higher learning institutions is necessary. It helps improve instructional and educational management policies in content delivery, process administration, and value enhancement. The gaps between the realization of the potential benefits of TQM and the goals for the Saudi universities can be bridged by eliminating the existing challenges. Through analyzing CSFs and their contribution towards quality-oriented cultures.
TQM adoption may encounter challenges arising from the previously existing culture in educational institutions. TQM philosophies may necessitate a cultural shift to developing a quality culture. Universities intending to adopt or enforce TQM should create a proper understanding of TQM philosophy to accommodate its values and enable them to nurture a high-quality culture (Medne, Lapina, & Zeps, 2020). This study seeks to identify TQM challenges and opportunities to make recommendations for quality departments in public universities.
Consequently, it may ease the implementation of TQM philosophy, help overcome cultural problems. Further, enhance the value of education, develop and sustain a quality-oriented culture in Saudi’s public universities context.