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Critical Managerial Skills With Total Quality Management

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Critical Managerial Skills with Total Quality Management

Quailty is the key to competitive advantage in today's business environment. As more organizations started to apply Total Quality Management (TQM) procedures, the managerial skills necessary to follow such procedures become more crucial.

Managers have to improve their skills to be able to practice these new procedures and develop their own approaches for applications. Among the managerial skills, three most critical skills for TQM are, being proactive, being visionary and giving importance to create values for stakeholders. Managers have to focus on these skills so that they can achieve good results by applying TQM procedures.

If we have to enlarge the meanings by showing the applications of the above three important skills, we can start with being proactive. When we check the dictionary meaning of proactive, it says, 'Acting in advance to deal with an expected difficulty' or another explanation is 'Controlling a situation by causing something to happen rather than waiting to respond to it after it happens'.

Biggest mistake of traditional managers are trying to solve the problems after its occurrence which can be described as firefighting approach that resulted in time and money loss most of the times. This situation is faced because there is neither a real road-map for problem solving nor enough knowledge about the TQM approaches.

To eliminate such time and money loss, managers should be proactive. There are various ways to solve the problems in advance, but most commonly used one is avoiding alienation among workers. Alienation demotivates people towards their jobs, and makes the jobs meaningless for them. Empowerment is the best way to avoid alienation. To empower the workforce, first adequate training should be given to all people. Proactive managers are the ones who can foresee the problematic issues well in advance and give enough empowerment to his/her subordinates for such issues after an organized training session, within a road-map created by the top management.

Another aspect of the proactive manager is to avoid wastes and defects during the operation. We can see the total quality management as a culture that requires quality in all aspects of the organization's operations, with processes being done right the first time and defects and waste avoided from operations. Such being the case, TQM is a method by which management and employees can become involved in the continuous improvement of the production of goods and services. It is a combination of quality and management tools aimed at increasing business and reducing losses due to wasteful practices.

Being visionary is the second key skill for a manager during the application of TQM. Traditional managers are looking the managerial works from micro levels and were considering the success as only on monetary basis. According to them numbers are the key factors showing the company reliability and success and they reward the results accrued from short term gains. An organization that is only concerned with the bottom line and manages solely by-the-numbers is doomed to failure.

When the workforce has had short-term gains rewarded in the past, there is the tendency for employees only to work toward short-term gains. Management must act to ensure employees believe the organization will give priority to long-term improvement over short-term gains. Long-term benefits that may be expected from TQM are higher productivity, increased morale, reduced costs, and greater customer commitment. To achieve these benefits the organization should have a vision that they explain where the organization wants to be in the future. Top management creates the vision, but the entire organization must embrace it for it to have meaning.

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