Uploaded by Rosalie Bachiller

application of quality improvement tools in organizations 2 a.docx

Application of Quality Improvement Tools: Comparison of Sri Lanka and UK service
Student Name
Code + Course Name
Professor’s Name
University Name
City, State
Application of Quality Improvement Tools: Comparison of Sri Lanka and UK service
Application of Quality Improvement Tools: Comparison of Sri Lankan and UK Service
Total Quality Management has been around since the 1980’s with the rise of the manufacturing
industries. The quality management technique was initially applied in the manufacturing sector
to improve the efficiency and quality of products. The theory was anchored by quality
management experts such as Deming and Juran advocating for continuous improvement in
organizations. Over time, due to market dynamics the service industry was adopted in the late
20th century and dominates the labor force since over 70% of the world economy is driven by the
service industries. The application of the TQM principles in a competitive market is essential for
companies’ survival and not merely making profits (Yapa, 2012 p. 506). TQM implementation in
organizations is varied as managers are the main drivers and the tools and techniques of quality
management can be selectively applied such that it does not achieve its goals and objectives. In
the Sri Lanka case study on the application of TQM service organizations, it seeks to probe how
real-world managers are applying the technique in a natural environment. Sri Lanka is a service
driven economy, and the study raises questions on how managers understand the TQM technique
and its application (Talib et al.). The UK service industry is synonymous to that of Sri Lanka; the
case study analyzes the critical success factors essential for the implementation of TQM in
organizations. The study aims to compare the application of TQM in the UK and Sri Lanka
service companies.
Application of Quality Improvement Tools: Comparison of Sri Lanka and UK service
TQM in the Service Sector
The technique bases its origins in the manufacturing sector, and most of its application is
anchored in manufacturing processes and models. The service industry approaches issues
differently, and the tools of quality management should be tailored to work best under the
defined environment. TQM and other quality improvement tools are ambiguous from its
definition to its applications in the field (Ram et al., 2013 p.158). Organizations and companies
all over the world have varied ways of measuring total quality management as they are a vast
majority of tools to be used such as Pareto diagram, fishbone diagram, customer surveys,
benchmarking, self-assessment techniques and Kaizen activities among others. The technique is
being applied in diverse sectors such as health, banking, transportation, hotels, profit and nonprofit organizations in the service sector. Research done in Australia Service organizations
revealed there is no significant difference in most TQM practices between the two sectors of
manufacturing and service. The argument brings positivity in different sectors with different
approaches to the implementation and success of TQM.
Sri Lankan service organizations have a positive attitude towards the adoption of TQM; doubts
are however cast on the extent of understanding of the tools, practices and techniques to warrant
that an organization is using effectively implementing TQM. The research attempts to find out
reasons for happening for particular business activities. The literature focuses on three aspects of
positivism, interpretivism and realism. Interpretivism is working on an observable social reality
and law-like generalizations. The objective is to find the details of the situation and understand
the reality and working behind it. The selected strategies for the research is questionnaire survey
and literature review (Yapa, 2012 p. 511). The sample size of the population was 125
organizations to represent the service sector in Sri Lanka.
Application of Quality Improvement Tools: Comparison of Sri Lanka and UK service
The study was done as a survey therefore important to get a larger population and become a
representative of the wider service industry. A pilot survey was undertaken with few selected
organizations and data gathered to show the true picture of the sector and data behaviour. In the
UK case study, 300 questionnaires were used to cover the UK service companies, and the
questionnaires were derived from leading academics in TQM (Mok et al., 2013). The service
organizations in the UK and Sri Lanka are bound by the same challenges; it used the Likert scale
in the questionnaire to get a better perspective of the existing situation of TQM and gathered data
using the postal survey. In the Sri Lanka case study, a short questionnaire was designed, and data
were analyzed using the MS Excel package as the calculations needed were only percentages.
Cross-analysis was done among different organizations where the TQM had been implemented.
The Survey Results
The results were analyzed based on different frameworks of analyzing the quality and guided by
the research objective. The level of adoption of concepts was asked to gauge the understanding
of the management on issues relating to TQM hence determine its implementation level. The
concepts at hand were Total quality management, Just in time, Six Sigma and Benchmarking
(Oakland, 2014, p. 34). From the analysis, benchmarking is the most widely used concept in
service organizations while the least implemented concept being the Six Sigma. However, there
is a significant 12 percent that has never heard of TQM.
Application of Quality Improvement Tools: Comparison of Sri Lanka and UK service
Table I: Levels of adoption of various quality related Concepts
Organizations Organizations Organization
Organizations Organizations
Not heard
Heard about
s Thinking
In place
Total quality
Just in time
Six Sigma
Commitment of the organization to the TQM
Each organization that follows the TQM model needs to have a quality manual that lays down
the procedures, policies and practices that are directed to increase customer satisfaction and
maintain consistency in the organization. 76% of service businesses in Sri Lanka have a quality
manual which is a high percentage. They are ISO 9000 certified which require implementation
and operation of the effective quality management system (Sallis, 2014 p. 56). The ownership is
considered a commitment to the implementation of total quality and 32 percent of organizations
in the selected sample have ISO certificate. Mission statement plays a critical role for its
purpose, 89 percent of the organizations have a mission statement, and a further 54 percent
include a set of words of quality such as excellence and total customer satisfaction in their
mission statements.
Application of Quality Improvement Tools: Comparison of Sri Lanka and UK service
Customer Satisfaction
Customers are the most important assets of an organization; it is essential that customer
complaints and needs should be served accordingly (Primentel and Major, 2016, p.1000). The
one who reviews organization on its satisfaction is the customer and companies strive to offer the
best customer experiences through quality service.
Top management commitment
All employees and stakeholders of organizations should contribute towards total quality
management. However, top management plays a critical role in its success for continued
excellence in its products and services important to the customer. An impressive 93 percent of
top managers in Sri Lanka have a verbal or written communication emphasizing the importance
of employees in the company (Yapa, 2012 p. 521). A number tools and techniques such as check
sheet and training are the most popular with the least popular ones being fishbone diagrams and
scatter diagrams.
Based on the research, a good number of organizations have a good picture on TQM in Sri
Lanka. 41 percent have TQM's in place, and 18 percent are in the process of implementation.
More than half of the organizations have a mission statement that includes terms related to
quality. The organization's commitment towards TQM is fairly good but needs to be more
tangible and implement TQM concepts and techniques in these organizations (Sureshchandar,
2001, p. 351). Cross-analysis among organizations shows an impressive uptake of TQM with a
positive trend and improvement.
Application of Quality Improvement Tools: Comparison of Sri Lanka and UK service
Table II: Percentage of each category based on customer satisfaction Surveys
No Survey
Informal Survey
Formal Survey
After every transaction
The implementation cost is not a factor for non –use of the techniques as simple and inexpensive
tools. The potential ignorance of the techniques is the inadequate understanding of the TQM and
its implementation process and importance of the technique. To counter the issue, more quality
courses need to be included in the undergraduate and postgraduate courses in universities and
training institutes. Sri Lanka Standards Institute should introduce short-term training courses
especially for the top management of organizations.
Sri Lanka is a country with a large service sector and fierce competition, TQM principles should
be adopted especially when customers are educated and demanding. The research's objective was
to find the level of awareness on TQM tools and techniques. Managers in the service
organizations should boost their understanding of the TQM for effective implementation in their
companies. The challenge faced within the quality management space is the wide variety of tools
that are used to measure quality. The tools bring discrepancies on what to settle on when
evaluating total quality management in the organizations. There is a reasonable enthusiasm
among the managers as 41% of organizations already implemented the technique. Literature
backed techniques of fishbone diagram, Pareto analysis, quality costs are not utilized by the
Application of Quality Improvement Tools: Comparison of Sri Lanka and UK service
organization on the ground (Bon and Mustapha, 2013 p. 103). Managers raise concerns about the
complications of TQM philosophies and techniques complicating the understanding of the
process. In the research, benchmarking has been widely used in in the organizations, and they
benchmark with local, regional and international competitors. It is also based on questionnaire
survey hence the research is subject to biases and limitations based on the technique.
Table III: Percentage of Organizations use TQM tools and techniques.
Check sheet
Flow chart
Analysis of
quality cost
Training of
employee on
Today, Total Quality Management is a key factor in ensuring that a business organization gains a
competitive advantage. In the 1980s, TQM philosophy was being commonly applied in the
manufacturing industry. However, TQM has become an essential part of securing a competitive
Application of Quality Improvement Tools: Comparison of Sri Lanka and UK service
advantage and increasing customer satisfaction. In the United Kingdom, the service industry is a
critical element that plays an important role in the economy.
TQM critical factors for success
These are the factors that throw into the success of the efforts put in place for the total quality
management in the various organization. The critical factors that lead to the success of TQM
implementation are the following:
Focus on the customer
This factor entails the analysis of complaints from the customers, the requirements from the
customer both externally and internally and their contentment. The employees have always
thought on the kind of needs that their customers possess since several customers have different
needs with a variety of expectations on how they are going to get satisfied (Hing Yee Tsang and
Anthony, 2001, p.135). The TQM key goal should be, getting to understand the needs of a
customer, satisfying their needs according to their expectation and even surpassing the
consumer‘s needs and expectation on a continuous basis.
Unremitting improvement
This factor entails the activities that continuously improve the processes, systems and the
continuous check on the performance of the employees. The recognition of opportunities that
require improvements and the revision of the issues on quality are also covered in this factor
(Akgun et al., 2014 p. 890). The performance of both the employees and the process, need to be
continuously monitored and enhanced. The main element of TQM programme is the continuous
improvement in the product and service quality; this is used majorly in the eradication of
Application of Quality Improvement Tools: Comparison of Sri Lanka and UK service
defective products, reduction in the time of production and reduction of waste caused by extreme
inconsistency. Moreover, several organizations are trying to reduce all the activities that are not
adding value to minimum by continuously improving the total performance of their business and
focusing in the areas of functionality and aspect of their operation.
Employee involvement and teamwork
This factor deals with the teamwork structures, implementation of teams with improved quality,
the involvement of employees in various activities that are of quality and team rewards. Firms
need to put to use the skills and the abilities that their employees possess for better achievements.
For problems to be solved within a company people from the different department should work
in unison as a team, and for this to be achieved communication between the employees should be
empowered (Ab Talib and Abdul Hamid, 2014, p. 34). Furthermore, dedication, appreciation and
recognition are required to enable the employees to inspire themselves and to achieve the goals
set for the company. The management needs to keep attention on what their employees suggest
because they employees understand the daily issues better. The employee should also build trust
with their employer by managing, controlling and improving all the process that is within their
Recognition and commitment of top management
The factor covers the support and the awareness of the top management in the implementation of
quality improvement project and quality management system. The management commitment
entails the expression and upholding of a compelling and a clear vision for future and giving a
strategic kind of leadership in the company (Chang, 2016, p. 23). The victory achievement of a
quality improvement program depends on the commitment of the top management. Unless the
Application of Quality Improvement Tools: Comparison of Sri Lanka and UK service
top management is devoted, it will be very difficult to influence the subordinate staff where most
of the workload is done.
Training and development
This factor is based on the availability and accessibility of the training programmes to the
employees and the education of the subcontractors and the suppliers of the company. The
training programme focuses on topics such as statistical improvement techniques, teamwork and
quality related topics. Training is the basic essential practice that organizations use to impart new
skills that are required in accomplishing the principles of quality, in their employees (Hing Yee
Tsang and Anthony, 2001, p.152). After the establishment of quality management system, proper
training of employees at all levels is provided to gain skills and knowledge of carrying out their
roles and responsibilities in the quality management system.
Quality systems and policies
For continuous improvement to be experienced, the features of total quality management which
include: the techniques and tools used in predictions, analysis and correlation of actions need to
be in place. Measures such as performance improvements, control charts and quality
improvement teams are used in process control (Dale, 2015, p.21). These measures give more
information on the performance of the processes and people and hence provide a prediction on
how to motivate them for a quality performance in future. In addition to those basic elements,
there are methods that are used to interpret and obtain the greatest use of the data such as the
Application of Quality Improvement Tools: Comparison of Sri Lanka and UK service
check sheets, control charts and stratification. In data evaluation methods such as regression
analysis, variance and experimental design are employed.
Supervisory leadership
It covers the styles of leadership in a company such as training of employees and delegation of
duties. The management leadership sets a firm foundation for the execution of TQM in an
organization by providing a conducive environment where quality total quality management is
practice. The management needs to support their employees in their daily activities by
encouraging them to learnt and to the risks, and this will improve their innovation and creativity
(Goetsch and Davis, 2014). Despite the fact that they support their employees, the management
should review the description of the job and its performance in order of upholding the quality of
the work. Good communication between the management and staff should exist. Above all, the
managers should learn to reward their employees for participating in quality activities for their
The discussion includes the communication and cooperation between departments and the crossfunctional teams used for solving problems and in the continuous improvement of quality
projects. Under the TQM philosophy, communication is very important because the members of
staff at different levels are assigned the responsibility of ensuring that there are continuous
quality improvements on the projects they undertake (Garcia et al., 2014 p. 2190). Therefore, the
employees will always require feedback so that they can establish whether their previous strategy
Application of Quality Improvement Tools: Comparison of Sri Lanka and UK service
on quality improvement was effective or not. The staff need capacities building so that they can
control whatever they do and have authority to even implement improvement at all levels. The
management should also give guidance to ensure that the organizational objectives are achieved.
Supplier management and partnership
Quality of the products cannot be achieved if the raw materials are not of high quality and this is
usually the case in the manufacturing industry. Thus, it is important to develop a long-term
working relationship with the suppliers to enjoy a competitive advantage (Campos et al., 2014 p.
11). Some of the benefits of such long-term relationships include; the suppliers become more
concerned with the needs of the customers, they become willing to be involved in product
design, it improves information sharing and constant flow of supplies and price stability.
Measurement and getting feedback
It is important to make the necessary measurements against both internal and external indicators.
The organizations always need to analyze feedback to help improve the quality of product or
service continuously (Mitra, 2016, p. 58). Customer surveys, internal and external benchmarks
must be established to help in measurement of results. Through such measurements, the company
can understand customer needs as well as expectations from the organization.
Cultural change
Every company needs to establish a culture of continuous improvement to ensure that the
employees fully participate in the quality improvement programs, which are within their areas of
speciality. The cultural change needs to change people's behaviours and attitudes in different
ways. For example, every member of the organization needs to engage in quality improvement
Application of Quality Improvement Tools: Comparison of Sri Lanka and UK service
projects, the employees should themselves inspect their work, quality check systems must be put
in place to ensure that any defective product or service does not proceed to the next stage. Every
employee must be committed to customer satisfaction, improvement process must also involve
the customers and suppliers, mistakes must be treated as chances for improvement while
sincerity and honesty need to be the integral part of business (Hing Yee Tsang and Anthony,
2001, p.135).
All the above are the success factors for Total Quality Management. All of them help increase
business performance and customer satisfaction. However, research shows that there is no
guarantee that they will lead to success that is why they need to be considered as a whole. If they
operate independently, they may not result in quality improvement at the end of the day.
The research on the UK service companies involved 300 well-structured questionnaires that were
delivered to the participating companies. Likert scale was used to establish the exact situation of
TQM in the service industry. The sector included water and power supplies, insurance,
employment agency, hotels and banking (Kuipers et al, 2014 p. 5). The advantage of the method
used was that many organizations were reached over a short period. Besides, the postal surveys
were employed in sending the questionnaires to different organizations. From the research, Tsang
found out that 36% of the respondent companies had implemented TQM while 64% had partially
implemented it as shown in the figure below.
Application of Quality Improvement Tools: Comparison of Sri Lanka and UK service
Implementation of TQM by UK companies
partially implemented
fully implemeted
The study about TQM in the service organizations in the UK considering about 11 factors and 59
variables. This research concurs with other research papers that most service companies focus
more on external customer management rather than the internal suppliers and internal customers.
The supplier management or partnership was then ranked very low because most service
industries focus on customers and solving customer problems and not the suppliers. It then
means that customer focus is critical during the implementation of TQM, especially within the
service industry. Furthermore, the service industry players offer the services in a supply chain
management manner. Quality improvement is important and can be effectively applied in
organizations. Tying in his research used companies in the service industry in the UK to establish
the application of TQM. From the research, it emerged clearly that TQM can be an effective
source of competitive advantage only if it is applied in the right way.
Managers of all levels should actively be involved in the TQM implementation and can be
extended to cover hospitals, hotels, higher education and private NGO’S. Total Quality
Application of Quality Improvement Tools: Comparison of Sri Lanka and UK service
Management is a culture that should be engrained in organizations and not simply added to the
work processes. Extensive communication with the top managers to drive the culture to the
employees is important. Each organization varies based on the quality tools being applied;
managers should tailor the TQM principles to suit the unique process in their organizations and
allow for accountability with international bodies such as ISO and government agencies such as
the Sri Lankan quality management institute. It is imperative that the central role of all quality
management tools is focused on the customer (Chang, 2016, p. 24). The happiness of a customer
leads to more prospects and more business, therefore, customer satisfaction is central as that is
the main objective. Service organizations around the world are dynamic and need checks and
balances; quality focus is important as it gives a competitive advantage among other players in
the sector. Innovation in the company with a focus on quality and enhancing customer
experience is essential to the success of any organization.
Ab Talib, M.S. and Abdul Hamid, A.B., 2014. Application of critical success factors in supply
chain management. International Journal of Supply Chain Management, 3(1).
Application of Quality Improvement Tools: Comparison of Sri Lanka and UK service
Akgün, A.E., Ince, H., Imamoglu, S.Z., Keskin, H. and Kocoglu, İ., 2014. The mediator role of
learning capability and business innovativeness between total quality management and
financial performance. International Journal of Production Research, 52(3), pp.888-901.
Bon, A.T. and Mustafa, E.M., 2013. Impact of total quality management on innovation in service
organizations: Literature review and new conceptual framework. Procedia
Engineering, 53, pp.516-529.
Boulter, L., Bendell, T. and Dahlgaard, J., 2013. Total quality beyond North America: A
comparative analysis of the performance of European Excellence Award
winners. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 33(2), pp.197215.
Campos, A.C., da Costa Mendes, J., Albino Silva, J. and Oom do Valle, P., 2014. Critical success
factors for a total quality culture: A structural model. Tourism & Management
Studies, 10(1).
Chang, J.F., 2016. Business process management systems: strategy and implementation. CRC
Dale, B., 2015. Total quality management. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
García, J.L., Maldonado, A.A., Alvarado, A. and Rivera, D.G., 2014. Human critical success
factors for kaizen and its impacts in industrial performance. The International Journal of
Advanced Manufacturing Technology, 70(9-12), pp.2187-2198.
Goetsch, D.L. and Davis, S.B., 2014. Quality management for organizational excellence. Upper
Saddle River, NJ: pearson.
Application of Quality Improvement Tools: Comparison of Sri Lanka and UK service
Hing Yee Tsang, J. and Antony, J., 2001. Total quality management in UK service organisations:
some key findings from a survey. Managing Service Quality: An International
Journal, 11(2), pp.132-141.
Illés, B.C., Szuda, C. and Dunay, A., 2017. Quality and management–Tools for continuous and
systematic improvement of processes.
Kuipers, B.S., Higgs, M., Kickert, W., Tummers, L., Grandia, J. and Van der Voet, J., 2014. The
management of change in public organizations: A literature review. Public
Administration, 92(1), pp.1-20.
Kuei, C.H. and Lu, M.H., 2013. Integrating quality management principles into sustainability
management. Total Quality Management & Business Excellence, 24(1-2), pp.62-78.
Mitra, A., 2016. Fundamentals of quality control and improvement. John Wiley & Sons.
Mir, F.A. and Pinnington, A.H., 2014. Exploring the value of project management: linking
project management performance and project success. International journal of project
management, 32(2), pp.202-217.
Mok, C., Sparks, B. and Kadampully, J., 2013. Service quality management in hospitality,
tourism, and leisure. Routledge.
Molina-Azorín, J.F., Tarí, J.J., Pereira-Moliner, J., López-Gamero, M.D. and Pertusa-Ortega,
E.M., 2015. The effects of quality and environmental management on competitive
advantage: A mixed methods study in the hotel industry. Tourism Management, 50,
Application of Quality Improvement Tools: Comparison of Sri Lanka and UK service
Oakland, J.S., 2014. Total quality management and operational excellence: text with cases.
Paltayian, G., Georgiou, A.C., Gotzamani, K. and Andronikidis, A., 2017, October. Combining
Quality Management Tools With Quantitative Approaches to Improve e-Banking
Οperations. In Global Conference on Services Management (GLOSERV 2017) (p. 273).
Pimentel, L. and Major, M., 2016. Key success factors for quality management implementation:
evidence from the public sector. Total Quality Management & Business Excellence, 27(910), pp.997-1012.
Sallis, E., 2014. Total quality management in education. Routledge.
Sureshchandar, G.S., Rajendran, C. and Anantharaman, R.N., 2001. A conceptual model for total
quality management in service organizations. Total quality management, 12(3), pp.343363.
Talib, F., Rahman, Z. and Qureshi, M.N., 2013. An empirical investigation of relationship
between total quality management practices and quality performance in Indian service
companies. International journal of quality & reliability management, 30(3), pp.280-318.
Ram, J., Corkindale, D. and Wu, M.L., 2013. Implementation critical success factors (CSFs) for
ERP: Do they contribute to implementation success and post-implementation
performance?. International Journal of Production Economics, 144(1), pp.157-174.
Yapa, S., 2012. Total quality management in Sri Lankan service organizations. The TQM
journal, 24(6), pp.505-517.
Application of Quality Improvement Tools: Comparison of Sri Lanka and UK service