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Evaluate critically Quality Management theories as expounded by Deming and Juran.

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Introduction

Evaluate critically Quality Management theories as expounded by Deming and Juran. Introduction Total Quality Management (TQM) has become a key management issue due to the increasing importance of quality. The gurus of TQM define it to suit their beliefs, prejudices and business and academic experiences. There are common elements such as top management support, customer and supplier relationships and employee involvement. "They are all talking the same `language' but they use different dialects" (Oakland, 1989). Oakland (2003) demonstrates the differences and similarities of Deming and Juran under 12 different factors. I will address the following: � Definitions of quality. � Degree of senior management responsibility. � Improvement basis. � Cost of quality. Their definitions of quality Deming defines quality as, "a predictable degree of uniformity and dependability at low cost and suited to the market". According to Juran quality is, "fitness for use" (Oakland 2003 p.18). Can either of these definitions on its own be quality? The consumer needs to be satisfied not only that the product is fit for its purpose but also that s/he gains value and satisfaction by owning and using the product or service for the cost of obtaining it. This may vary from customer to customer. For example, a car that offers security, durability, luxury or any such added feature is more likely to be considered a 'quality product'. ...read more.

Middle

Can an organisation expect its staff to reach an optimum level of quality without raising their wages? Employees and management need to be very motivated in order to have high levels of quality. To achieve this, the organisation will have to look in to the motivation factors put forward by various motivation theorists. This means more work and costs. Therefore, there is a trade-off between wanting the finest level of quality and the costs of production. The TQM magazine 1998 states that Deming believes that motivation campaigns are useless. Juran argues that motivation does not assure a zero defects production (Juran et.el 1974 p.18-28). Improvement basis and cost of quality At this point there is a conflict between the two gurus. In Deming's opinion there is no optimum level of quality and it requires continuous improvement. He adds that organisations should eliminate goals without methods. Juran on the other hand believes that there is an optimum level of quality and that it is not free. He argues that organisations should take the project-by-project approach and set goals. Deming's philosophy is, "continuous improvement through life-long improvement" (Landesburg. P Nov/Dec 99 p.59-61). To validate his statement he introduces a model called the Plan-Do-Check-Act in which he states that management needs to identify customers' needs and continuously improve their products. ...read more.

Conclusion

They both agree that quality is a genuine issue of good management practice. Although they recognise that leadership and motivation is required, they fail to draw up adequate plans to deal with the problem. Both theorists identify that quality is based around the customer's needs but Deming fails to address that the continuous move towards improving quality can sometimes be unattainable and may not be applicable to all products. Flood (1993) criticises Deming by saying that, "the action plan and methodological principles are too vague to be readily put in to practice. There is no clear "Deming method". Juran's methods of quality improvement highly undervalue the contribution that the worker can make. Most organisations apply a 'bottom up' initiative where they communicate with the workers to identify potential problems on the production floor. There could be issues that the workers maybe aware of that the management are blind to. The quality methods are traditional and old fashioned, aimed solely at the basic control systems and ignoring the vital and most important resource of an organisation, the human resources. The principles and methods say nothing about cultural and political issues, which play a major role in organisations at present. Both gurus do not consider benchmarking, supplier chain management, the quality data and reporting dimensions. These tools can be very useful and are vital for quality management. Landesburg (1999) concludes that Deming's theory appeals to theoretical minds and Juran's to practical minds. BIBILIOGRAPHY Quality Management: Oxford, Butterworth Heinemann ...read more.

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