Challenges Facing the Implementation Total Quality Management in Public Services Sector in Saudi Arabia
In today’s business world, Total Quality Management (TQM) has become a key success factor of every organization. The concept of TQM emerged in 1980s when the world witnessed quality revolution, which was attributed to increased globalization and high competition (Conti, 2012). As a result, several organizations adopted Total Quality Management in order to remain competitive in the market. Japan was the first country to adopt TQM in early 1980s followed by United States (Alaraki, 2014). However, its success led other countries around the world to adopt TQM in 1990s. Initially, TQM was adopted by manufacturing firms as a way of ensuring quality of their output. Today, TQM is widely used in all sectors of the economy including public service organization. According to Conti, (2012), Total Quality Management is defined as an organization management approach that is centered on quality based on the participation of all its employees and other stakeholders, such as suppliers to ensure the long-term success of the organization through customer satisfaction. TQM ensures that customers are satisfied in the most efficient and cost effective way by involving employees to continuous improvement of the organization (Alaraki, 2014).
Like other countries in the world, Saudi Arabia has adopted TQM in all its sectors including private and public service sector to ensure quality products and services (Alaraki, 2014). In the private sector, TQM has been adopted successfully, and most of the organizations are reaping the benefits through increased customer satisfaction, which has led to increased profitability of the organization (Talib, Rahman, & Azam, 2011). However, the adoption of TQM in the public service sector has been slow, and most public service organizations are yet successful in implementing TQM. The public service sector has been facing various challenges in the implementation of TQM and thus the process has been slow as compared to the private service sector (Alaraki, 2014).
The study aims at establishing some of the challenges facing the implementation of Total Quality Management in public services sector in Saudi Arabia. The paper starts by establishing the problem and stating the study objective. Research questions, which are based on the objective of the study, will be highlighted to guide the researcher in conducting the study. A literature review will be conducted to give the researcher an insight on the study topic. The methodology of conducting the study will also be indicated in the paper.
Statement of the Problem
Saudi Arabia adopted TQM in early 1990s. Most of the manufacturing and construction firms have successfully adopted the concept of TQM to improve the quality of their product and services. The government of Saudi Arabia has also put a lot of efforts to implement TQM in the public service sector in order to improve the quality of public services. Some of the areas that the government is adopting TQM include public health service, education, security, social services, judicial services, and telecommunication among others. However, the research has indicated that there has been less success in the implementation of TQM in the public service sector. Various researchers show that public service organizations are faced with conflicting demands for productivity and quality that increase the chances of failure of any quality measures. There is also high resistance to change in the public service sector. Research has also shown that the bureaucratic nature of public service organization of contribute to the slow adoption of TQM. Hence, the quality of services in the public sector organizations is very low compared with the quality of service in the private service sector (Kumar, 2013).
Objectives of the Study
The main objective of the study will be to establish challenges facing the implementation Total Quality Management in the public services sector in Saudi Arabia. The research will also aim to:
- Determine the benefits of implementing TQM in an organization
- Determine the level of TQM adoption in Saudi Arabia
- Give recommendations on how the challenges can be avoided
The Study will answer the following study questions:
- What are thechallenges facing the implementation Total Quality Management in public services sector in Saudi Arabia
- What are the benefits of implementing TQM in an organization?
- What is the level of TQM adoption in Saudi Arabia?
- How can the government deal with challenges facing the implementation of TQM in the public service sector?
In the course of the study, the researcher has formulated a research hypothesis that he will test. The research hypothesis of this study is the implementation of TQM in public service sector in Saudi Arabia is very slow due to several challenges faced by public service organizations.
Total Quality Management
Total Quality Management is a structured organization managerial approach that aims to improve the quality of products and services by involving all members of the organization in continuous improvements. TQM seeks to ensure customer satisfaction by offering quality products and services and hence the long-term success of the organization. TQM originated from manufacturing sectors where quality was seen as key success factors of the industries and has since been adopted in other sectors including both private and public sectors.
Implementation of TQM
TQM implementation involves everything and every member of the organization from the top management to employees and from input to output. Sabella, Kashou, and Omran (2014) indicate that successful implementation of TQM must involve everyone and every department in the organization. Employee management is the crucial point in ensuring continuous improvement of quality in the organization. Therefore, management must find ways of improving performance of employees and also ensure employee satisfaction to maintain quality (Goetsch, & Davis, 2014).
As indicated, TQM is a structured managerial approach to quality and hence, there are various basic elements that are involved in the implementation of TQM. TQM involves continuous improvement, customer’s satisfaction, process involvement, focus on employees, supplier involvement, teamwork, training, and management commitment (Youssef, Youssef, & Saleh, 2014). The integration of these elements ensures that the organization achieves its goals of ensuring customer satisfaction in the most efficient and cost effective way (Talib, Rahman, & Azam, 2011).
Training involves improving employee’s knowledge and skills and keeping them updated with changes in the business world as well as organization changes. Management commitment involves designing the mission and vision of the organization and also designing strategies to achieve them (Aspinwall, & Elgharib, 2013). Communication helps to increase understanding between employees and management and hence improving their performance. Teamwork involves everyone in an organization working together to achieve a common goal. Customer satisfaction involves ensuring that products and services are able to satisfy customer’s needs. Continuous improvement involves getting customers feedback o improve the quality of product and services in order to meet their need. The organization also improves its processes to ensure quality production and also reduce costs. Supplier involvement helps to ensure that the quality of input is high in order to get quality output (Goetsch, & Davis, 2014).
Benefits of TQM
There are several benefits that can be derived from the implementation of TQM in an organization. These benefits include:
- TQM improves the quality of product and services
- It ensures better control of processes which ensures consistency of product design through to delivery
- Reduce production time and waste
- Lead to increased measurement of performance
- Increases customer satisfaction
- Increases company’s profitability
Challenges Facing Implementation of TQM in Organizations
Suleman, and Gul (2015) have outlined some of the common challenges in the implementation of TQM. Some of these challenges include:
- Inadequate knowledge and information about TQM implementation
- Resistance to change by employees
- Difficulties in measuring effectiveness of TQM
- Poor communication between the management and subordinates
- Insufficient training resources
- Difficulties in measuring customer’s satisfaction
- Poor management
Customer satisfaction refers to the degree on how products and services supplied by a company or organization meet customer’s expectation. The measure of customer’s satisfaction helps businesses to manage and improve their products and services to meet customers demand. Total Quality Management is one of the best ways of meeting customer’s satisfaction by improving quality of products and services. Customer’s satisfaction is usually measured by the number of repeat customer as well as increasing sales of product and services (Bienstock, Mentzer, & Kahn, 2015).
The study will use quantitative research methodology to determine Challenges Facing the Implementation Total Quality Management in Public Services Sector in Saudi Arabia. A survey will be conducted by gathering relevant data from managers and employee in the public service sector in Saudi Arabia. Questionnaires will be the main data collection tool during the study. The question will consist of close-added questions where the research participant will be required to select an answer from a group of available choices. The questionnaire will also include open-ended questions where participants will give their own opinion of implementation of TQM in public service sectors as well as give a recommendation on what should be done to ensure effective implementation of TQM. The collected data will be analyzed using quantitative data analysis method to give findings that will be used in drawing conclusions and giving recommendations. Ethical issues such as privacy of participant and confidentiality of information will be addressed during the research by obtained an informed consent to participate in the study (Mackey, & Gass, 2013).
Limitation of the study
In the course of the study, the research is likely to face several limitations. One of the major limitations is lack of participation. The selected participant may fail to respond to the survey as anticipated by the researcher. The other limitation of the study is time constrains. Collecting data in the public service sector is a huge task and require a lot of time. The researcher may lack enough time to collect data from all public service organizations. Inadequate finance will also be a major limitation in the study. The researcher has limited finance to fund the study hence he may fail to collect the data from anticipated areas due to financial constraints (Mackey, & Gass, 2013).
Implementation of the TQM in public service sector in Saudi Arabia has been very slow as compared to the private sector. Research has shown that there are several challenges that face the implementation of TQM in the public sector. The study aims at determining the Challenges Facing the Implementation Total Quality Management in Public Services Sector in Saudi Arabia. The study will conduct survey using questionnaires to collect data from managers and employees of the public service organizations in Saudi Arabia. The data collected will help in drawing a conclusion on the challenges facing implementation of TQM in public service sector as well as give recommendation on what should be done to ease the implementation.
Note to the Lecturer
I am very flexible when writing the dissertation and I am committed to do any correction as guided by the adviser.
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