TQM Contemporary Management Philosophy: Total Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

In fact, the local public library, increasingly threatened by competition from other entertainment sources such as expanded home entertainment systems, deluxe bookstores with cafes, and the Internet, could do well to adopt TQM principles. "A library should focus on providing the best services possible, and be willing to change to serve its customers. To determine if changes need to be made, a library administrator might ask: What are our niche markets? What do the customers come in for? How can I look at the efficiency of my library? How do we serve the current customers that exist today? (Masters, 2003, citing Total Quality Management, 1995). In short first learn about the customer, in this case the library patron and then solve the problems with attendance.

A library that alienated customers by being old, poorly lit, and dusty, could improve its customer service by creating more open, airy, and well-lit places to read. A library with a large community of children nearby could create an improved children's section, complete with toys, frequent story time sessions for young readers, and an adjacent section for waiting parents. A library with a large elderly population to serve could expand its collection of large-print books. A library need not accept that it is inevitable that the next generation should be lost to more technologically flashy bells and whistles, nor should it, in the realization of its public service mission. If librarians are complacent, they will soon be out of work!

Libraries at universities have already begun to deploy TQM, such as Harvard University. The Oregon State University Library also decided to test TQM, following the lead of Harvard. One of the predominant criticisms of Oregon, as determined by customer feedback, was that books were difficult to find because of shelving backlogs. "Two small teams, the Shelving Team from the stack maintenance unit, and the Documents Team from the government publications unit worked with outside facilitators. Each team surveyed users and staff and found that some issues,...
...In this case, shelving backlogs were of major concern to customers, and the problem was that "the shelvers, who worked alone on the floors, felt isolated and unmotivated to make progress. Using this information, the team devised a plan for shelvers to work in small groups and have an assigned floor. The result was an increased 'espirit de corps,' tidier shelves, and less backlog" (Masters, 1999).

This metrical analysis of patron satisfaction and demographics can and should be applied to every local library. TQM, in short, does not have to be a heartless process of cutting employee numbers and enforcing impossible standards. By determining what is going wrong, and why error-free processes are not being implemented, even a non-profit organization can be reform, with an eye upon metrics -- in this case shelving backlogs -- and upon the critical human factor of customer (and employee) satisfaction and cohesion in the pursuit of an error-free inventory.

Works Cited

Hansen, Dexter a. (2005). "Total Quality Management (TQM) Tutorial/Help Page." Retrieved 17 Feb 2007 at http://home.att.net/~iso9k1/tqm/tqm.html

Holoviak, Stephen. (Jul/Aug1995) "Why TQM fails to change behaviors or attitudes."

The Journal for Quality and Participation. Retrieved 17 Feb 2007 at http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3616/is_199507/ai_n8727227/pg_2

Masters, Denise. (2003). "Total Quality Management in Libraries." Retrieved 17 Feb 2007 from ERIC at: http://www.michaellorenzen.com/eric/tqm.html

Rothman, Howard (Feb 1994). "Quality's link to productivity - Total Quality

Management Techniques help companies improve productivity."

The Nation's Business. Retrieved 17 Feb 2007 at http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1154/is_n2_v82/ai_14989849/pg_1

Zabaracki, Mark J. (Sept 1998). "The rhetoric and reality of total quality management."

Administrative Science Quarterly. Retrieved 17 Feb 2007 at http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m4035/is_3_43/ai_53392848/pg_2

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Hansen, Dexter a. (2005). "Total Quality Management (TQM) Tutorial/Help Page." Retrieved 17 Feb 2007 at http://home.att.net/~iso9k1/tqm/tqm.html

Holoviak, Stephen. (Jul/Aug1995) "Why TQM fails to change behaviors or attitudes."

The Journal for Quality and Participation. Retrieved 17 Feb 2007 at http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3616/is_199507/ai_n8727227/pg_2

Masters, Denise. (2003). "Total Quality Management in Libraries." Retrieved 17 Feb 2007 from ERIC at: http://www.michaellorenzen.com/eric/tqm.html

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