Document Detail

Title: RS10-4 - Total Quality Management: The Competitive Edge
Publication Date: 4/1/1990
Product Type: Research Summary
Status: Archived Supporting Product
Pages: 22
This publication has been archived, but is available for download for informational purposes only.

Outlines a TQM approach that will permeate every aspect of a company and make quality a primary strategic objective; offers recommendations for the development of TQM.
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Companies must institute total quality management (TQM) or become noncompetitive in the national and international construction and engineering markets within the next five to ten years. This startling conclusion is based on interviews with 142 individuals from 19 owner and contractor firms involved in constructing heavy industrial, manufacturing and commercial facilities.

Total quality management is a company-wide effort that involves everyone in the organization in the effort to improve performance. It permeates every aspect of a company and makes quality a primary strategic objective. TQM is achieved through an integrated effort among personnel at all levels to increase customer satisfaction by continuously improving performance.


  • Institute an integrated approach of total quality management and quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC).
  • Develop a corporate TQM program by thoroughly investigating the different approaches offered by various consultants/theorists and selecting the aspects of each one that apply to the specific needs of a particular company.
  • Education and training
    • Educate management first, as managers must fully understand and support the TQM process and actively participate in its implementation.
    • Address both the technical and humanistic aspects of TQM in the training effort.
    • Tailor training to the job functions of the employees.
  • Use pilot projects early during implementation to obtain management and employee acceptance of TQM.
  • Develop closer, more productive relationships among owners, contractors, subcontractors and vendors to create a team attitude toward improving quality.