The quality school of management is a comprehensive concept for leading and operating an organization, aimed at continually improving performance by focusing on customers while addressing the needs of all stakeholders. In other words, this concept focuses on managing the total organization to deliver high quality to customers.
The quality school of management considers the following in its theory:
Organization makeup. Organizations are made up of complex systems of customers and suppliers. Every individual, executive, manager, and worker functions as both a supplier and a customer.
Quality of goods and services. Meeting the customers' requirements is a priority goal and presumed to be a key to organizational survival and growth.
Continuous improvement in goods and services. Recognizing the need to pinpoint internal and external requirements and continuously strive to improve. It is an idea that says, “the company is good, but it can always become better.”
Employees working in teams. These groups are primary vehicles for planning and problem solving.
Developing openness and trust. Confidence among members of the organization at all levels is an important condition for success.
Quality management involves employees in decision making as a way to prevent quality problems. The Kaizen (pronounced ky‐zen) approach uses incremental, continuous improvement for people, products, and processes. The reengineering approach focuses on sensing the need to change, seeing change coming, and reacting effectively to it when it comes. Both approaches are described in the following sections.
The very notion of continuous improvement suggests that managers, teams, and individuals learn from both their accomplishments and their mistakes. Quality managers help their employees gain insights from personal work experiences, and they encourage everyone to share with others what they have learned. In this way, everyone reflects upon his or her own work experiences, including failures, and passes their newfound knowledge to others. Sharing experiences in this manner helps to create an organization that is continuously discovering new ways to improve.
Kaizen is the commitment to work toward steady, continual improvement. The best support for continuous improvement is an organization of people who give a high priority to learning. In this process, everyone in the organization participates by identifying opportunities for improvement, testing new approaches, recording the results, and recommending changes.
The reengineering approach to management focuses on creating change — big change — and fast. It centers on sensing the need to change, seeing change coming, and reacting effectively to change when it comes.
Reengineering — the radical redesign of business processes to achieve dramatic improvements in cost, quality, service, and speed — requires that every employee and manager look at all aspects of the company's operation and find ways to rebuild the organizational systems to improve efficiency, identify redundancies, and eliminate waste in every possible way. Reengineering is neither easy nor cheap, but companies that adopt this plan have reaped remarkable results.
Reengineering efforts look at how jobs are designed, and raise critical questions about how much work and work processes can be optimally configured. Although many people believe that reengineering is a euphemism for downsizing or outsourcing, this is not true. Yes, downsizing or outsourcing may be a byproduct of reengineering. However, the goal of reengineering is to bring about a tight fit between market opportunities and corporate abilities. After organizations are able to find this fit, new jobs should be created.