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How can TQM be Applied to Entrepreneurship sample essay

Total Quality Management Defined

Total Quality management refers to a management process and array of disciplines that are harmonized to ensure that the organization constantly meets and exceeds customer requirements. TQM connects all divisions, departments and levels of the organization. Good management organizes all of its strategy and operations around customer requirements and builds a culture with high employee participation. TQM companies are focused on the methodical management of data of all processes and practices to remove waste and follow constant improvement.

Entrepreneurship Defined

Entrepreneurship is defined as the process of creating something new with value by devoting the required time and effort, assuming the associated financial, psychic, and social risks, and receiving the resulting rewards of financial and personal satisfaction and independence. (Hisrich et al, 2005)

TQM Application to Entrepreneurship: An Introduction

Nowadays entrepreneurs are concerned about total quality management. This involves the pursuit of total customer satisfaction, constant improvement of products and the full involvement of every employee. As Total Quality Management has shown to be a useful process for improving organizational performance, its value can only be guaranteed through a wide-ranging and well ¬thought-out execution process.

An initial step in TQM implementation is to evaluate the organization’s existing reality: relevant prerequisites have to do with the organization’s history, its present requirements, swift events leading to TQM, and the existing employee quality of working life. If the existing reality does not include important prerequisites, TQM implementation should be postponed until the organization is in a state in which TQM is likely to thrive.

If an organization has a history of efficient receptiveness to the environment, and if it has been able to effectively change the way it functions when needed, TQM will be easier to apply. If an organization has been traditionally imprudent and has no skill at improving its operating systems, there will be both employee uncertainty and a lack of skilled change agents.

If this condition exists, a broad program of management and leadership development may be established. A management audit (Sugarman, 1988) is a good evaluation tool to see current levels of organizational functioning and areas in need of change. An organization should be in essence healthy before beginning TQM. If it has major problems such as a very unsteady funding base, poor administrative systems, lack of managerial skill, or poor employee morale, TQM would not be fitting.

All the same, a particular level of stress is perhaps desirable to start TQM: people need to feel a need for a change. Kanter (1983) focus on this phenomenon by describing building blocks which are present in efficient organizational change. These forces include departures from tradition, an emergency or galvanizing incident, strategic decisions, individual “prime movers,” and action vehicles.

Departures from tradition are activities, generally at lower levels of the organization, which happens when entrepreneurs move outside the normal ways of operating to solve a problem. A predicament, if it is not too disabling, can also help create a sense of necessity which can activate people to act. In the case of TQM, this may be a funding cut or threat, or demands from consumers or other stakeholders for enhanced quality of service.

After a crisis, a leader may get involved strategically by expressing a new vision of the future to help the organization deal with it. A plan to execute TQM may be such a strategic decision. Such a leader may then become a prime mover, who takes charge in advocating the new idea and showing others how it will help them get where they want to go. Lastly, action vehicles are needed: mechanisms or structures to facilitate the change to happen and become institutionalized.

TQM & Visionary Leadership

Leadership is an important element in successful implementation of sweeping change. The leader shows the need and sets the vision, outlining the basic purpose, objectives, and factors or requirements of TQM. The leader needs to take a long-term outlook, and must be able to inspire others to stick with the process during early stages when resistance and obstacles may seem overwhelming. The favored leadership style would be a participative one, so that staff may be involved in the design of the particular system elements.

Once that strategic direction has been established, a participative style may be used on implementation details. Before this decision, obviously, the manger should study TQM, talk to others who have used it, and possibly attend a preliminary training session. This is important in order for the manager to precisely assess the fit between TQM and his style. This will be necessary in establishing an organizational culture which is in agreement with TQM, promoting and strengthening continuous quality improvement (Cohen and Brand, 1993, 118).


To sum up, first assess requirements and the existing state of the organization to make sure the need for change is clear and that TQM is a proper strategy. Leadership styles and organizational culture must be congruent with TQM. Entrepreneurs will need to keep their commitment, keep the process visible, provide necessary support, and hold people responsible for results. Use input from stakeholder as possible; and maximize employee involvement in design of the system. TQM should be principle motivated. It can be a powerful technique for giving a free rein to employee ingenuity and potential, reducing bureaucracy and costs, and improving service to clients and the community.

Cohen, S. & Brand, R. (1993), Total Quality Management in Government. San Francisco: Jossey¬Bass, Inc.
Hisrich, R. D., M. P. Peters and D. A. Shepherd, 2005, Entrepreneurship, 6th Edition, New York: McGraw-Hill.
Kanter, R. (1983), The Change Masters. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Sugarman, B. (1988), “The Well Managed Human Service Organization: Criteria for a Management Audit,” Administration in Social Work. 12(2), 17¬27.

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