IntroductionIn the early 1990's I was in the United States Air Force and I had the opportunity to be exposed to Total Quality Management in more than just a few situations. It was a brand new program to the USAF and we had words like, Four Pillars of Total Quality Management (TQM), Tiger Teams and Continuous Process Improvement. It was during those classes that I thought I would like to pursue a career in process improvement and I tried to learn as much as I could about the subject matter. I quickly learned that Total Quality Management (TQM) is basically a mix of proven management and quality improvement techniques that are guided towards increasing your slice of consumer market and decreasing your rework on the production lines that result in tremendous amounts of waste. I believe that the most important aspect of TQM is the philosophy that directs the practitioners of TQM to continually strive for continuous improvement in your business and production.
A number of quality initiatives have arrived since TQM started in the 1980s. The most recent is the Six Sigma programs, which is quite similar to TQM. North American Energy Services follow the Kurtusian philosophy of TQM that was developed for the U.S. Air Force space programs (NAES, 2007).
Total quality management is a culture; inherent in this culture is a total commitment to quality and attitude expressed by everybody's involvement in the process of continuous improvement of products and services, through the use of innovative scientific methods (Melynyk, 2005).
Management StylesI think that any discussion of traditional management styles and quality-focused management styles has to include General Electric's ex Chief Executive Officer, Jack Welch. Welch set a new agenda for the corporation, based on new concepts. Before his day, for example, GE was the arch-exponent of...